Ray Davies and Mike Oldfield were among the recording industry veterans to be honoured by the APRS at its Annual Sound Fellowships Lunch in west London, yesterday.
Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant was the surprise guest at the celebration at the Kensington Roof Gardens, as members and guests of the Association of Professional Recording Services gathered to “recognise the excellence and achievement of those who have made a special contribution to the art, science and business of recording”.
With Sir George Martin, APRS president, unable to attend through health reasons, hosting duties were handed to his wife Lady Judy Martin. 6Music tastemaker Tom Robinson and APRS statesman Dennis Weinreich co-presented the proceedings; Focusrite, AMS Neve and API returned as three of the main sponsors, with Sonnox and Yamaha UK joining the line-up for the first time.
As usual, six titans in their field were inaugurated into the Fellowship: this year, it was the turn of Ray Davies CBE of the Kinks, musician Mike Oldfield, producer and engineer Richard Dodd, co-founder of AMS Neve Stuart Nevison, RAK Studios manager Trisha Wegg, and musician and former APRS exec director Peter Filleul.
Guy Fletcher OBE, chairman of the PRS, began the formal part of the lunch by proposing the annual Harewood Toast (a traditional ‘keynote’ style affair in honour of Lord Harewood, founding patron of APRS.) Fletcher regaled guests with tales of meeting Joe Meek in his chaotic Holloway Road studio in 1962, and revealed how he was the first UK songwriter to have a composition sung by Elvis Presley.
AMS Neve MD Mark Crabtree read the citation for his old business pal Stuart Nevison. Rock legend Robert Plant was on hand to present the Award to RAK studio manager Trisha Wegg. “I’m overwhelmed!” said Wegg as she took to the stage. “It’s been one heck of a ride. I’m just so aware that without all this music and musicians, I wouldn’t have a job.”
Producer Richard Dodd (Clannad, Uriah Heap) sent a video message of thanks, while studio designer Eddie Veale read a citation for, and accepted the award on behalf of, Mike Oldfield. Veale has had a long association with the Tubular Bells composer since he designed his Tilehouse studio in Denham, Buckinghamshire. (Oldfield couldn’t drag himself away from him new home in the Bahamas for a windy afternoon in London… but who would?)
Singer Debi Doss reflected on being in the studio with the man who penned Waterloo Sunset, Lola and You Really Got Me: in his acceptance speech, the Kinks’ Ray Davies joked he didn’t know the difference between “AMS and the SAS”.
Retired APRS exec director Peter Filleul was the final honoree.
Filleul brought another afternoon's exultation of outstanding talent to a close with the President’s Toast.
Here’s to the 10th anniversary in 2016!
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WAS AMENDED AT 6PM THURSDAY 19th NOVEMBER.
Top picture: Robert Plant congratulates RAK’s Trisha Wegg (whether she likes it or not!)
Middle pic: Eddie Veale receives the award on behalf of Mike Oldfield, while co-host Tom Robinson looks on
Bottom pic: (L-R) Robert Plant, Guy Fletcher OBE, Ray Davies CBE, Debi Doss, Malcolm Atkin (APRS chairman)
ALL PICTURES: (c) Gilead Limor Photographic Creations