Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Bloody Valentine and Blackwing Studio

There's an article in today's Observer by Sean O'Hagan about My Bloody Valentine which mentions a couple of South London links to their story - including recording in a studio in Southwark and MBV main man Kevin Shields living in Streatham.

Following up on these it seems that MBV began work on their second Loveless album in early 1989 at Blackwing recording studios. This was one of many studios used during the famously lengthy and expensive recording of this album, which was finally released in 1991. All of this contributed to the financial crisis of Alan McGee's Creation Records and O'Hagan mentions that "It was during this time that Alan McGee claims he went to visit Shields in his house-cum-studio in Streatham, and found a reclusive-to-the-point-of-paranoid figure whose abode was ringed with barbed wire and overrun with chinchillas. Shields has subsequently claimed that the barbed wire was there only to deter intruders from stealing his equipment, but admitted that for a while he 'totally lost it'."

Not sure where the Streatham house was, but Blackwing was in the deconsecrated All Hallows Church, 1 Pepper Street London SE1 0EW (off Copperfield Street in Southwark). Mute Records founder Daniel Miller used the studio for his Silicon Teens project, and it was also used by Depeche Mode (for their first single, Dreaming of Me), Fad Gadget, Erasure and Yazoo. The latter's first album, Upstairs at Eric's, refers in its title to Blackwing owner and album co-producer Eric Radcliffe.

Maybe these recordings don't count as South London Songs proper, but there's certainly a connection. Anyway here's Kevin Shields talking about Loveless:

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