The site currently occupied by Konk Studios in Crouch End, London, has been put on the market with a price tag just shy of £2 million, writes David Davies. Originally established in the early 1970s as a studio base for The Kinks, Konk's combination of vintage and cutting-edge equipment has endeared it to generations of performers and producers.
One of London's oldest private studios, Konk was established in the early 1970s as a private facility for The Kinks. Later that decade, it opened to outside acts, and over the ensuing decades it hosted sessions for artists including the Bee Gees, Thin Lizzy, Paul Weller, the Stones Roses, Steve Winwood, Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks (who even named their 2008 album after the studio).
A winning combination of new and vintage equipment, Konk comprises two studios: a Neve Room based around a custom 8048 console originally built for Utopia studios in the early 1970s; and an SSL Mix Room structured around an SSL 6000 E. A small live space attached to the SSL room was designed to accommodate any overdub requirements.
Whilst The Kinks ceased trading in 1996, band leader and songwriter Ray Davies (pictured) continued to be closely associated with the studio and employed it for his own solo projects, including 2007's Working Man's Cafe .
But now it seems that the studio could join the ranks of other London facilities to have disappeared off the map: rather than being sold as a going concern, it is being touted for its redevelopment possibilities. The Crouch End site is listed as 'land for sale' on the Right Move website at a price of £1,995,000, and a representative of the estate agency told PSN-e that only the site itself is for sale.
Studio booker Linda McBride also confirmed to PSNE that Konk (site-only) is on the market, but said there was no further comment at this point. An invitation to representatives of Ray Davies for a statement had gone unanswered at press time.
Further comment will hopefully follow in due course, but there was no shortage of third parties to highlight the studio's unique qualities. As producer/engineer and MPG member Mick Glossop told PSN-e, the Crouch End studio is "one of the only remaining 70s-style studios left in London. Konk has a great Neve console and, last time I was there, they had a classic Mellotron in perfect condition!"