Lansdowne Recording Studios, which first opened in a Grade II listed building in west London_s Holland Park in 1958, is to close in mid-September. The directors broke the news on August 15th.
Lansdowne will continue to trade as CTS/Lansdowne Studios, based in the Watford Colosseum, which incorporates sister company CTS Studios_ orchestral scoring facility.
At the same time, company chairman, Adrian Kerridge, is to retire after 51 years of active involvement in the recording industry. Kerridge revealed that he will, however, continue to work as a consultant and retain a key role in the operation of the Colosseum. Lansdowne_s studio manager and director, Chris Dibble, plans to pursue his freelance career in orchestral recording for film and broadcast, while maintaining links with CTS/Lansdowne.
“I’m very sad and very sorry. I thought we were going to make it to 50 years, but it’s not to be,” Kerridge told PSNE. He blames deal-makers and rate-cutters at record companies for forcing his hand. “People are not willing to pay a decent fee. And if you cannot get a return on your investment, you cannot make the assets sweat – well, you have to make a hard-nosed business decision like this.” The Lansdowne Group confirmed that there will be redundancies as a result of the announcement, and the consultation process has commenced.
Lansdowne Studio 1, and its ground floor reception area Flat 1 _ the home of the studios for the past 48 years _ has been sold for redevelopment as a residential property.
Studio 1 was based around an AMS-Neve VXS 72-channel console and was refurbished in 2004. It has a long and distinguished history, including 300 gold, silver and platinum records to its credit, including records by the Yardbirds and the Dave Clarke Five. But it was also the studio of choice for the Sex Pistols_ first recordings of Anarchy in the UK, when the band, along with manager Malcolm McLaren, were admonished for spraying foam around the control and live rooms, spilling wine on the console and, according to Kerridge, allowing a dog to defaecate on the studio floor.
Lansdowne Studio 2, a small multi-purpose studio based around a 16-channel Pro Tools HD system and Yamaha 02R96 console, will be retained by Kerridge as a long-term rental suite or ‘composer’s room’. Studio 2 featured in PSNE earlier this year when a new recording of Steve Reich_s Different Trains was undertaken there by producer Harvey Brough and the Duke Quartet.