Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

Portsmouth area Recording Studios

The Crystal Rooms Studio

Watershed Studio

Mayfield Studio

Telecomms/Wessex Studio

The earliest known recording facility was Southern Souund Recordings, a 'mobile' outfit run by Peter Taylor, now retired and living in Spain, from a room over Avenue Artistes office in The Avenue, Southampton.
He hired Hamble Villige Hall, and the For-tunes record about 15 songs on day in about 1962.

Later in the 1960's we met up with a couple of guys who went under the name of MBC Recordings, and one lived at 20, Beaconsfiled Road Fareham. The For-tunes had several sessions with them. Again a mobile outfit and one session at The Grove Club, and another at Hillside Youth Club
Other local fixed studios included;-

The Hayling Studio.
This was owned and run by David Ruffell, and was set up in about 1968. It moved to Worthing, W Sussex, in 1969 or 1970 under the name Saturn Sound Studio and was subsequently sold to Adam Sieff (of the Marks & Spencer family) when it became Pebble Beach Studio for a time. It has since closed down.

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Apparemntly Gee Kenny was the Entertainment Manager at Sinah Warren around 70/71 and left there to head up Warners operation in Yugoslavia. also The Furys became Blue Sand in 1967 timeframe with me (Pete White on guitar) colin Marchant Rhythm, Bryan Baker bass and Stu Savage on drums then The Colours around 1970 same people with Colin then added Ray Baker in 1972.

Before Toucan?


Toucan Studios

Based at Finchwood Farm, Hayling Island...
Dave & Jon Hardcastle and Steve Beck created Toucan Recording Studios on Hayling Island, Engineer David Hardcastle all around in 1981/2.
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1st Offence demo recording in 1984 ---- Jim Berry at the controls

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The recording by Geoff Davis, although on 'Bucket' Records, was recorded at Toucan with Dave Hardcastle.

Spit N Finish Toucan Records : TOU 002 - 1983
Compilation of new wave, alternative, synth-pop acts. Pressed in red vinyl, as follows:
A1 Benchiz - Rise And Fall A2 The 15th - Now I Dream A3 A Short Term Effect - Empty Shell A4 Dark Harvest - All Systems Go A5 Relative Ease - Run From My Mind A6 State Of Mind - Pictures B1 Perfect People - Good Time Girl B2 Ulterior Motives - Heart Won't Let You Go B3 Friends - Pyramid Blue B4 Secrets In Whispers - Soul Searching B5 Red Flag - Davey B6 The Dodgers - I've Got News For You


Dave Hardcastle

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Also there was and is BOB ROSS who had a studio? At Drayton/Farlington?
and later in Kingston Road. in 2011 Address: 86a Kingston Road and is still recording new acts

Telecomms had a studio above the shop in North End that started in 1978, Roger Kennedy was the studio engineer. They recorded many of the well known local bands and musicians of the time.
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Peter Lush had a recording studio built in the Fox & Hounds, Denmead, where he recorded his single with the Peter Lush Band. I don t know if anybody else used the facility though.

In the 1970's Dax Recording Studios

Watershed Studio in the 1980's in St Mary's Road Fratton, and in the 1990's just below Fratton Bridge.

Johnny Gordon and Brian Price ran DMF Studios at Denmead on the corner of Craigstone Road and Hambldon Road. The building is now demollished.
John Gordon s studio was in a bungalow in Denmead, called The Bungalow. Literally a home studio, there was no line of sight between the studio proper and the control room. It is said that Davy Jones (ex-Monkees) did some recording there, and I know that John G. s business partner (John Sellars, AKA John Xavier) recorded a demo of two of his own compositions there, with Martin Keel and Mark Andrews, amongst others. The two tracks were, I believe: Maggie & the Ravers , and Man at the Top .
The Bungalow was also the registered office of their publishing venture Seldon Enterprises, which managed to upset quite a few people at one point with their shrink-wrapped classic the Jet Set Private Address Book.

What happened to all those master tapes? Lost? Shame!

It s Don t Blame Me by Johnny Dankworth and Don Rendell. Rendell was the sax player who employed an alto saxophonist in his modern jazz outfit, around 1960/1962 called Graham Bond.

So far, so good but the address is ALAN BROWN RECORDING, ARUNDEL STREET. Bandleader Johnny Lyne had a music shop in Arundel Street but does anyone know about this? The only Alan Brown I knew of back then was a Scottish wing-half (ah, wing halves!) in the Pompey team that won promotion 1961/2.

The Kelly s Directory of Portsmouth for 1958 shows number 26, Arundel street as being Chain Libraries Ltd. then comes Surrey Street, (almost opposite the old Mecca), then number 40 as being a tobacconist, where U-Need-Us now is, so it looks like the building that was number 35 was lost during World War 2. At number 269, Arundel St. was a business called Recording Machines Ltd. that may have been a studio relocated from number 35, or it may have been something entirely different? Johnny Dankworth s Don t Blame Me was recorde on October 14th 1950 in London. The Portsmouth recording must have been a recording-off (an early version of an illegal download?)!! The personnel was :- Johnny Dankworth(as), Don Rendell(ts), Jimmy Deucher(trp), Eddie Harvey(tb), Bill le Sage(p), Joe Muddel (bass), and Tony Kinsey(drm). Vocals were by Frank Holder, who replaced Marion Williams. Our old mate Tony Kinsey seems to crop up on so many different recordings and was probably the most regular drummer for Johnny Dankwoth.

In the1939-1940 Kelly s Directory there is an entry under Music and Musical Instrument Warehouses and Dealers :- Barkers, 31, Arundel Street, Landport. This seems too much of a coincidence for there not to be a connection between two music-related businesses being next door neighbours.

From Chris Harvey
The Allan Brown Studio was situated in Arundel Street, approximately where Wilkinson s now stands. It was essentially a radio equipment and repair shop with the recording facilities in a room at the rear of the shop. Everything seemed a bit of a jumble with bits of equipment all over the place (an Aladdin s Cave for radio enthusiasts)
I m not sure for what reason we decided to make the recording or the cost, but it couldn t have been too expensive as we wouldn t have had much spare cash being young apprentices.
I remember the four of us being guided into the room at the back of the shop and told to sing into a rather large microphone, while Mr. Brown was in the corner twiddling with various controls to get the right balance. I don t think he was particularly interested in music but more in the technical side of the whole thing.
We made a double-sided recording; side one being the Jimmy Brown Song and on the reverse Oh Mein Papa (both unaccompanied). I think this dates it to 1953.
I believe the record is still around after 60 yrs and is in the hands of Brian Muggeridge s widow unfortunately with whom I have no contact. I hope my recollections have been of some help by the way there s no way Johnny Dankworth would have got his band in that studio !
Regards, Chris.


Thatched Cottage Studios, Warsash


Dugout Studios and Rehearsal Room

The Dugout studios is a rehearsal and recording facility located in Fort Fareham. Catering for artists of all styles and have recorded just about everything since opening in 1998 at the
Dugout Music Studios Fort Fareham Business Park, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 1AH
Geoff the engineer is a bit of a hound dog.

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Southsea Sound is Tim Greaves and Eleanor Morgan, local residents and long-time participants in the Portsmouth music scene. premises were finally secured on Albert Road in late 2015. Southsea Sound opened its doors for business from February 2016. Located in the heart of Albert Road, Southsea. 02392 297383 112A Albert Road Southsea Portsmouth PO4 0JS


Launched in 2014 by Mixing and Mastering engineer "Shaun Rayment",
also the bass player for the Portsmouth born Progressive Rock/Metal band "Enochian Theory".
SDR Audio Production specialise in providing top class, professional Recording, Mixing and Mastering to extremely high standards.


Therapy Studio on Hayling Island, Ian McLaughlin engineer

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Tracks became Bad Bear Studio


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Highcroft Industrial Estate, 17 Enterprise Rd, Horndean, Waterlooville PO8 0BT

Other Studios were;-

2020 STUDIOS in Jackson Close. now closed was run by Danny Watson
Terrahouse and probably another one in Alliance House, St Mary's Road.

Other Recording Studio memories

Dave Allen says;- I recorded at Telecomms and about 1976, which is just before Mick has it opening (?) and the other memory is recording with Steve Hoff at Crystal in a little alley opposite the King's Theatre in the early/mid-1990s. I think he moved later somewhere around Tipner too? There is also now a studio in the University - Scarlet Town did some early stuff there a couple of years ago, although how available it is I'm not sure.

Steve also operated from Hoagy's with the live room in the basement and the control room upstairs. That's if anyone remembers Hoagy's. Wonderful burger place!!
The Reds recorded at John Gordon's studio in Denmead.

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