David Gray applies to turn former Eurythmics studio into flats
By CMU Editorial | Published on Wednesday 22 August 2012
David Gray has applied to have The Church Studios in North London, which he has owned since 2003, when he purchased it from The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, turned into five flats and office space. The move has drawn protests from local residents in Crouch End.
Previously a church (hence the name), the building was converted into studios by animators Bob Bura and John Hardwick, where they worked on shows such as ‘Captain Pugwash’ and ‘Camberwick Green’. In the 80s they rented out one room to The Eurythmics, who later took over the whole building and converted it into recording studios. As well as The Eurythmics and David Gray, artists including Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Depeche Mode, Matt Cardle and My Bloody Valentine have recorded there.
In a letter to Haringey Council, forming part of the lengthy planning application, architect Mark Ruthven writes: “Church Studios were converted into a music recording facility some 25 years ago. However, due to the technical developments in the music and recording industry, these facilities have been rendered obsolete and do not present a viable future for the building”.
Amongst various objections to the plans, several have objected on the grounds that the building is of cultural importance to the area, many submitted a standardised letter which in part reads: “The Church studios are and have been a part of Crouch End’s artistic and creative heritage for decades. Many local musicians use and are based in the building. If the main part of the building is converted into residential flats the studios that adjoin the building will likely have to cease operation or spend thousands on further soundproofing to avoid noise disturbance. I feel that this will have a significant effect on the vitality of the local arts scene and the character of the area. It will also affect the livelihoods of those working in the building at this time”.
Dave Stewart also wrote on his Facebook page: “[The Church] has so many memories for me not just recording sessions. I would host evening soirees with poets, philosophers, musicians etc, burn frankincense on huge columns at 2am. [Bob] Dylan would turn up with his band and hold court, or Joni Mitchell would play drums! Things have changed now, [the] music scene is not the same. I understand [Gray] having to sell, [even though] I wasn’t bothered about the cost of running it (always at a loss)”.
A date has not yet been set by Haringey Council to consider the application. David Gray has also not personally commented on the plans.
Here’s a video of Annie Lennox giving a tour of The Church in 1988: