FREE February Half Term Voice Jam with Clive Brown at The Premises

13th-16th February, 2023. Times to be confirmed.

Suitable for ages 12-18.

Looking for something musical to do during February half term?

From 13th-16th of February, London-based secondary school students are welcome to join our urban choir, led by musical director Clive Brown.

Participants will select two songs to sing in full choral glory, with all students singing all the parts, adding in raps or doing anything that puts an urban, modern feel to songs you all know and love.

The final day we’ll be in the main recording studio, recording the song, followed by a little wrap party and some free-styling on the mics. 

If you like to sing, are good at singing or just fancy having a go at something a bit different, please join us!

To join the Voice Jam ask your parent (or carer) to fill in this form:

Or email:

January 2022 Newsletter

“There’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.” Carson McCullers

No unfinished business here at The Premises as we rang in the New Year, the younger staff swinging from our crystal chandeliers, dancing with Glo sticks and setting off minor explosives, the older ones sipping Horlicks and drifting off to the bongs of Big Ben on Radio 4. Before then we celebrated the year with a staff night out at the Panto (see above). It was our first full-blown crazy busy year since lockdown, with all rehearsal and recording studios booked way in advance, and our courses in full swing. So if you have a list of resolutions, break ‘em all, except two: 1) Finish that song and 2) Rehearse and record it here.

On February 11th, we’re thrilled to be hosting an intensive one-day Masterclass by bass player extraordinaire Yolanda Charles MBE. The full day session will be focussed on musical development for bassists and drummers. Yolanda, who has played for and/or toured with Robbie Williams, Paul Weller, Squeeze and Hans Zimmer amongst others, will help you develop a nuanced approach to style, influence, feel and groove. Not suitable for beginners, but aimed at drummers and bass players at intermediate level and above, who have some experience playing within a band or group setting. If you are in a band and want to come as a pair (bass and drums), that’d be even better! But move fast, as we go to press there are only five places left. Early Bird price of £75.  More information here.

Also filling up fast is our three-day course for Backing Vocalists on Feb 16/17/18. If you want to become a top-notch backing singer then you need to join Gospel star and MOBO winner Lurine Cato MBE, who has worked as a professional BV for all the top names in the business. Learn all you need to know about timing, harmonies, movement, professionalism and winning that audition. Aimed at good singers who want the inside track on how to get the BV gigs. £195 for all three sessions. Click here for more info.

And, for the very advanced planners amongst you, we are running Janette Mason’s popular Art of Arranging course again, which went down a storm last year. Janette will teach you how to arrange your song for a pro session band, and the final day will be a master recording of you, the band and your song and vocals in our state-of-the-art recording studio. We’d ask you to submit a recording (nothing fancy, Mp3 will do) prior to the course. There will be a vocal coach on hand too and Janette will accompany on piano. We got some dynamic recordings last time round. Check out Stephanie’s Unlovable to The Bone here. Early Bird price for the three days is £345. For more information.

Our October half term Voice Jam was a great success, with our young choir laying down soaring versions of Lean on Me and Stand Up under the expert tuition and enthusiastic guidance of voice coach Clive BrownHere’s a sample of what they recorded. And we’re doing it all AGAIN, so if you know anyone in secondary school who’d like to jam with other singers over the February half term (13th-16th Feb) and record some songs in our state-of-the-art recording studio, please contact:
The course is FREE and open to those with a keen interest in singing.


December was busy with visits from, amongst others…   

Dirty Rumour, Liberty Church, Grand Union Orchestra, Hannah Brine, Trinity Laban, Tommy LaFoy, Music For Youth, Slow Thai, Shiva Nova, Quaye, Ben Marc, Art Terry, Nokomis, Yazz Ahmed, Flower Of Love, Young Gun Silver Fox, Ezra Collective, Bryn Christopher, Joy Anonymous, Horrifix, Ash, Anoushka Shankar, Snowman and Snowdog Orchestra, Superfly, Sarah Tandy, James Ford, Omar, Caity Baiser, United Freedom Collective, Black Country New Road, China Moses, Miss Baby Sol, Nathan Ware, Robert Fleming, Tsunainia, Loyle Carner, Joss Stone, Moving Mirrors, Engines Orchestra, Self Esteem, Elephant Kind, Tom Burke and Daisy Loving

In the first of a new feature in the newsletter, we catch up with bands that have been working here and are doing stuff you should know about. We bring you a short on the road feature with Jealous Nostril, Johnny Borrell’s (of Razorlight) new outfit, who were out on the road late last year, touring intimate clubs to rapturous audiences. We managed to catch them in the tour van (not literally, we can’t run that fast) and hear about Johnny’s new venture, what he did in lockdown and some stuff about chalk and sanding window frames down. Rock and roll, eh?  Here’s a Link to their new video, and here’s a link to our exclusive interview.

Got a song in your head and run out of paper napkins and bits of paper to write it down on, or do you sing it on some not very good phone recorder thing? We feel your pain and here’s the solution: recently we’ve been testing out a new iPhone recording app called Tape It, invented by an old friend of the Premises, Thomas Walther, and the audio quality is vastly superior to Apple’s Voice Memos. The perfect tool for songwriters and musicians wanting to quickly record ideas and demos. Super easy to use and exporting recordings is a doddle. Great for recording interviews too. Get the app FREE here: or search for Tape It in the App Store.



Interviewed by Michele Kirsch

What have you been working on here? Getting ready for a tour or preparing for a release or both?

“Both. We’re doing Jealous Nostril, which is a three piece, I guess it’s a heavy art rock three piece, and we’ve been up in Studio 6. We’re releasing singles every six or eight weeks, that’s the plan, and touring as much as we can. Ready to go on the road, man.”

How did you come to work with Jack ex of The Mystery Jets and Ellis? Did you like each other’s work or had you worked together before in other incarnations?

“I saw Ells playing in a pub in Camden about 5 years ago, when he was in a band called Strange Cages and I watched them and I thought I would love to play with this drummer and if I’m ever putting together a rock band I’m going to give him a call. So I kept his number for about 5 years and then gave him a shout. It turned out that Strange Cages had just broken up, so it was really good timing. And Jack… how did I start working with Jack? I can’t remember…. He’s right here. Jack! How did we start working together?”

Jack: “We met in a snooker hall. And you followed me into the bathroom.” Johnny: “I followed you into the bathroom?”
Jack: “With some chalk.”
Johnny: “With some chalk…and we wrote some songs. Actually, hang on I’ve got it, basically it was just in all the down time from Razorlight. I had this gig coming up so I called up Jack and said I’ve got this song, let’s try and do a band’. I had so much down time, so we’d just be writing every day, for hours. And the whole thing came together.”

Did you have a productive lockdown?

“I made some oak windows… which I thought was going to take me about a week. And three months later I’m still hand planing this ancient oak which I’d recovered, and I’m thinking, this looks really good. But carpentry takes a lot longer than you think. Also I got a lot of plastering done. I made my own renders out of quicklime, just slaking my own lime and making my own renders.”


“Slaking is when you dose the quicklime with water and it goes ksssshhh, there’s this violent chemical reaction and its highly toxic for your health. And then it gets to a semi-hydrated state, and then you wait a few days and from there you mix it with water and you turn it into your mix…What we call ’the mix’, in the trade and then you can slap it on. So I built a few walls out of rubble, did some plastering and wrote a bit. Wrote a bunch of songs with Andy (Burrows) which haven’t ended up being used for Razorlight yet.”

Are you feeling positive or negative about the music business and its future in general and specifically for you?

“Sometimes I think the existence of Coldplay and Taylor Swift is proof of some kind of conspiracy that’s been sent to destroy music. Not so much the existence, but the popularity of those two acts. It’s like proof of some kind of external, worldwide force that’s attempting to suck everything good out of music. It’s not really the question, but I think that what they could do to improve the music industry is to have a scale where the more records you’ve sold, or the more streams you’ve had, on your previous release, then the more of a risk you are legally obliged to take on your next release. There should be an independent panel of judges who would say ‘OK you did 10 billion streams, so now for the next thing, you have to absolutely gamble, you have to take a massive risk. Because that’s the real cancer of music, that as soon as anyone gets any success, they just stop taking any risks. It’s like corporate consolidation, and that’s the problem with so much music that I hear. I know, it’s impossible, but if only there was a way. Coldplay, Taylor Swift. Corporate consolidation. Drives me mad.”

Art of Arranging Course: 25th March, and 1-2 April, with Janette Mason

Have you written a good song and want to learn how to arrange it for a band and record it in a studio? We started this course last year with Janette Mason– composer, pianist, arranger, recording artist and touring musician with the likes of Oasis, Seal, kd lang and Robert Wyatt, and it proved to be hugely popular. If you want to learn the mechanics and artistry of arranging your song for different instruments, which includes considering form, harmony, style, texture and working with and directing musicians in the band, then Janette will put your through your paces with the view to recording your song with Janette on piano, Tom Mason on bass and Simon Lee on drums. There will also be a session devoted to getting the most out of your vocals. This course is suitable for those who can sing and have some knowledge of the principles of song writing. You don’t have to be able to read music but it helps if you know how to work with a click track and can sing the top line of your song. Places are strictly limited and partially based on the sample of the track you submit for arranging.

If all this sounds daunting, know that you are in expert hands and Janette is there to help you build your song every step of the way. Some feedback from happy participants from last year’s course: 

“I enjoyed every moment of the course. It was invaluable to work with professional musicians and have their input. I would 100% recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn arranging and improve song writing.” – Sofia

“A great overall experience and the course helped to inspire me to believe in the power of song. I was not able to read or write music but I was still able to learn how to arrange and get my ideas across to the band and I am really happy with the result.” – Sean

“I learnt so much in such a short time and this has really motivated me to think about music as a profession. The support was fantastic, not only from Janette and the band but from the other people on the course. I listened to my song with a fresh approach and I am really happy with the result.” – Stephanie 

Full price for the course, including vocal coaching and master recording, is £375. Early Bird price of £345 if booked by 1st Feb.  For more info:

Rhythm Section Masterclass for electric bass players and drummers: 11th Feb with Yolanda Charles MBE

What is the role of the rhythm section within a band? Are you a bass player looking to work with a drummer or a drummer looking to work with a bass player to hone your musicianship skills? If you aim to be a top-level session musician or just get better at what you already do, this One-Day Masterclass for bass players and drummers, led by in-demand bass player and teacher Yolanda Charles, MBE, will provide lots of practical exercises as well theory to help you move up to the next level of live and recording work.

This course is aimed at intermediate players and those above, and will cover groove analysis, listening skills, arranging, dynamics, solo arranging and composing and music industry advice.

Yolanda has had over 30 years’ experience playing bass professionally for Robbie Williams, Mick Jagger, Hans Zimmer, Paul Weller, Dave Stewart and many more.

If you want to up your skills, practice, and learn the subtler tricks of the trade, sign up for this one-day masterclass on 11th of February from 10 am -4pm at an Early Bird price of £75.

Places are strictly limited to 10, but we can put you on a waiting list if places are full.  We aim to get a balanced mixture of drummers and bass players so if you already play together, you can both sign up.

For more info:

Backing Vocals course: 16th-18th Feb with Lurine Cato MBE

Are you a good singer who’d like to get work with a performing band, or a good singer who’d like to explore the possibility of Backing Vocals?
If so, then we’ve got you sorted with one of the most in-demand Session Vocalists, Lurine Cato MBE, teaching this course here.

Backing Vocals is not just about wearing matching outfits, moving from side to side and repeating a main line in synch. 
Backing Vocals (BV’s) are the backbone of any live act and essential in supporting and expanding the sound of the lead singer.

We’re very lucky to have Lurine Cato leading a three-day workshop covering all aspects of being a great Backing Vocalist.
Lurine will take you step-by-step to help reveal the level you need to be to get the gigs, as well as all the technical aspects of being a great BV which will give you that crucial edge in auditions.
She’s been there, done that and signed the t-shirts, having been a Backing Vocalist for Adele, Elton John, Andre Bocelli, Mary J Blige. Kylie Minogue and many more, with over 25 years’ experience in the business.

If you are a good singer, or know a good singer who always fancied having a crack at this, do sign up for our early dird price of £195 for three days.

The course runs from the 16th – 18th of February.

16th and 17th: 7-11 pm

18th: 11 am- 4pm

For more info:

December 2022 Newsletter

Unless the music is stopped now, the human race, mumbling, snapping its fingers, twitching its hips, will sink back into an amoebic state where it will take a coagulation of hundreds of teenagers to make up a s single unit of vital force, which once formed, will only live on sedatives.” Quentin Crisp

Wow, he said that like it was a BAD thing! While we appreciate the caustic wit of the well-coiffed and much beaten up writer and contrarian Quentin Crisp, your newsletter correspondent loves nothing more than being in a crazed, dancing crowd. And just how MANY great gigs there were during the EFG London Jazz Festival, where we got to see many of our Premises pals play to ecstatic crowds. More of which, this happy amoebic unit will report on, later.


Christmas, New Year, yadda yadda…. we’ve got a 2023 Year Planner and we’re gonna use it.  We can think of no better Christmas present to give a musically inclined loved one, or indeed, yourself, than a course in something they’re pretty good at and want to get even better at! Resolutions and all that.
First up on 11th Feb is an intensive one-day Masterclass by bass player extraordinaire Yolanda Charles MBE, whose course will be about musical development for bassists and drummers. Yolanda, who has played and/or toured with Robbie Williams, Paul Weller, Squeeze and Hans Zimmer amongst others, will help those who play or want to play rhythm professionally, to develop a nuanced approach to style, influence, feel and groove. This is NOT for beginners, but those who aspire to get on the gigging and session circuit, ideally, but mainly to improve musicianship. Early Bird price of £75.  If you play electric bass or drums at least at an intermediate level and want to play even better and get more gigs, contact details below.

Always fancied being a Pip, or Pip-esque, as in Gladys Knight and the… or have aspired to be a gigging, reliable and red-hot backing vocalist, which is a vital, backbone like part of any good stage act? You need to join our three-day Backing Vocalist crash course run by singing sensation, Gospel star and MOBO winner Lurine Cato, who has worked professionally as a BV for the likes of Kylie and Adele. Learn all about timing, harmonies, moving, professionalism and winning that audition. Not for beginners, but for good and great singers who want to get the know how to get the gigs. Dates are 16-18 Feb, with an Early Bird price of £195.

Finally, for the very advanced planners amongst you, we are running Janette Mason’s popular Art of Arranging course, which went down a storm earlier this year, on the 25th of March and 1st and 2nd of April. Janette will teach you how to arrange your song for a band, and the final day will be a professional recording of you, the band and your song  and vocals in our solar-powered recording studio. There will be a vocal coach on hand and Janette will accompany on piano. We got some dynamic recordings last time round. Check out Stephanie’s Unlovable to The Bone on Premises Radio. Early Bird price for the three days is £340.
For more information or booking for ANY of these courses, email:

If you did not go to one of these many gigs all over London, mainly starring Premises regulars, we want to know, if not, why not? And demand a note from your parents.

Gig land in London has been such a blast the last couple of months, and if you didn’t attend at least one of ‘em, you need a mighty good excuse. At the Barbican we had Carroll Thompson, Ian Shaw, Abdullah Ibrahim, Lady Blackbird and Nubian Twist.

We particularly enjoyed the double Joni Mitchell Hejira and Mingus tribute at South Bank, featuring conductor Peter Edwards and vocalist Eska, with the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Tears were shed and hearts were exploded, in a good way.

Finally, one of the workingest guys on the contemporary jazz scene, Shabaka Hutchings, who has launched his own label, Native Rebel Records, had a showcase gig at EARTH in Hackney.  We’ve heard very exciting and innovative sounds from label stars The Brother Moves On, Kofi Flexx (with ace drummer Jas Kayser), Chelsea Carmichael and Confucius MC and Kwake Bass. You can hear bits of all via:

Big adventures in store for BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, 20-year-old double bassist Ewan Hastie. Ewan and other nominees all got to play with Nikki Yeoh (image below), who leads our piano courses, and her band Infinitum, which consists of Michael Mondesir on bass and Mark Mondesir on drums. Those who recorded at our 2022 Piano Week were very lucky to have Mark playing with them. More info on our Live Piano comping course coming up next newsletter.

Nominees just announced for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 include, of course, a bunch of Premises clients. We’d like to take all the credit, but we can’t. However, big props to R&B group Flo, drum and bass duo Piri and Tommy, Afrobeats contender Asake, punky popster Dylan, indie songwriter Rachel Chinouriri, and alt pop musician Biig Piig

Amongst many others during November…. Ezra Collective, Bigg Pigg, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Tom Burke, Fontaines DC, Liberty Church, Lava La Rue, Mauvey, Fossils, Gretel Hanlyn, Tim Burgess, Tony Kofi, Omar, Nubya Garcia, Binker Golding, Black Country New Road, Perhaps Contraption, Laura Mvula, House Gospel Choir, John Oates, Daniel Casimir, The Staves, Maverick Sabre, All Stars Collective, Asian Dub Foundation, Ash, Izzy Bizu,  Jorja Smith, Shabaka Hutchings. Kofi Flexx, Deaf School, Mansur Brown, Kid Apollo, Jean Toussaint, Roella Oloro, Perusi Kakaire, Sarkodie, Anoushka Shankar, Abby Roberts, Skylar, Kevin Rowland, Becky Hill, Jarvis Cocker, Trans Voices and Dalia Mubarak.

1. Don’t Look Back into The Sun: The Libertines
2. Paradise: Sun Ra Arkestra
3. Tate Song: Jean Toussaint
4. Space: Becky Hill
5. Hold: Nubya Garcia

Please make a note that we’ll be closing at 16:00 on the 23rd of December, and reopening on the 2nd Jan 2023, so the usual amount of break for you lot, although we’ll still be busy here behind the scenes once we’ve eaten our weight in mince pies and screamed, “He’s behind you,” at the pantos we’re heading to.


November Newsletter

“I’ll never make it. It will never happen because they’re never going to hear me ‘cause they’re screaming all the time.”Elvis Presley

Your newsletter correspondent knows the feeling. People do scream when she sings, but perhaps not for quite the same reasons as those who screamed and fainted for The King. There’s a reason those of us behind the scenes in the music business, are behind the scenes.

Say what you like about The Premises (and we hope you will say that you like us very much) but rather a lot of the nominees have graced us with their presence, dear. Every year, we’re always excited to see at least half of our clients in the shortlist and this year was no exception: Self Esteem, Sam Fender, Joy Crookes, Yard Act, Kojey Radical and of course, the glorious Wet Leg. But we did let out a particularly big yelp of delight when our gal Little Simz scooped the big prize, and she was a model of grace, gratitude and humbleness. Check out her distinct and smooth flow, not to mention innovative hair architecture, on the brilliant ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’. Huge congrats to all!

We had a lively, lovely bunch of young singers in to work with vocal coach extraordinaire Clive Brown over the half term. Some were from Hackney schools, one from the Brit School and one determined youngster travelling all the way in from Essex. It was pleasure and a privilege to watch the singers go from shy and reticent and singing quite low in the first few hours, to hitting their stride with three-part harmonies, rapping and all sorts of playful nuances by the end of the first day. They worked on Lean on Me, and Stand Up.  Clive brings out the showbiz confidence, clarity, diction and good manners (these things count) in everyone.  The transformation within the group over the week, was palpable, and the energy in the recording session, pure magic. Watch this space for news of future Voice Jams in coming half terms.

A mega line-up last month, including (deep breath)… Alexander Joseph, Biig Piig, Cian Downing, Beck Hill, Boy Bleach, Maya Delilah, Beth Orton, Loyle Carner, House Gospel Choir, Dan D’Lion, Steve Weston, Omar Puente, Nicky Rubin, Anoushka Shankar (below), Trigger Fish, Robert Mitchell, The Weilthings, Brass Funkeys, Kyla La Grange, Liberty Church, Trinity Laban, Syleena Johnsson, Paddy Murphy, Metamorphics, Miriam Jackson, Midtown Funk, Murkage Dave, Glory Boy, Oxlade, Nicky Rubin, Duke St Big Band, Donna Thompson, The Squires, Malika, Tellison, Eliane Correa, Mark Almond, Tenacity, Jealous Nostril, Celeste, Rachel Chinouriri, Glory Choir, Nick Woodmansey, Nadine Khouri, Eliza Doolittle, Rio Hellyer, Black Country New Road, Ashton Jones, Joshua Jaswon, Ewan Mainwood, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Jay Wilcox, Bby Ivy, Zara McFarlane, Dylan, Clive Brown, Moonshine Heavies, Attawalpa, Adrian Sykes, Adam Rowley, Future Sounds, Carina Tamer, Elliot Doyle, Creative Artists Network, Led Bib, Aura, Izzy Bizu, Prep, Iraina, The Mekons, Black Midi, Asha Parkinson, Lava La Rue, Lucy McWilliams, Jaz Karis, Joe Stilgoe and Girls of The Internet.

The Beeb has been putting quite a bit of comedy our way recently, the latest being a late-night radio 4 programme written by comedian Kat Sadler, whose show Kat Sadler’s Screen Time goes out on the 17th and 24th of November on Radio 4 at 11pm. The clue as to what the show is about is in the title, which speaks volumes for how young people today live their lives through social media and their phones in particular. Kat finds a girlfriend on her phone, a seemingly perfect relationship, but the course of social media love does not run smoothly. Sounds like a hoot, and a very topical one at that.


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that those who rehearse/teach/record at The Premises who are not already superstars, will have superstardom thrust upon them, at least to our ears and often to the wider world.
Our Piano Week regular tutor, the mega-talented Robert Mitchell has a double LP out with his band True Think, an innovative project entitled: Hold The Light- The New Resistance. To find out more:
Long time jazz, funk and soul maestros Cymande are having their debut album re-released by Partisan in rather fabulous Orange Crush vinyl. Plus, they are the stars of the award winning documentary “Getting It Back”. More Cymande info here:
Celebrating 40 years of making wild, wonderful, fusion music taking in too many global traditions to mention, the mighty Grand Union Orchestra will be playing Shoreditch Town Hall on 3rd and 4th  December at Shoreditch Town Hall, just a hop, skip and jump from The Premises. For more info: 
Young jazz wizard composer and multi instrumentalist Roella Oloro is over from her final year studies at Berklee for the London Jazz Festival this month, with dates at The Living Room, Pizza Express, Ronnie Scott’s (already SOLD OUT) and The Royal Albert Hall. For more details:

We are currently VERY heavily booked. So please.. if your rehearsal dates are important, get them in the book well in advance. CALL 0207 729 7593. We’re always here, from early to late, 7 days a week. We hate having to turn any of our regulars away.