Plaque calling for Highbury studio that was home to The Clash
Residents welcome move to put their building – where seminal albums were recorded - on the rock ’n’ roll map
14 February, 2020 — By Danny Halpin
Julie Albreksten, who lives in the former Wessex Sounds Studios building
THE building where The Clash recorded their enduring hit London Calling could see a plaque mark its spot on the capital’s rock ’n’ roll map.
Residents in the former Wessex Sounds Studios in Highbury New Park welcomed the move, which began as a petition started by former council leader Terry Stacy.
Julie Albreksten, who lives in the building, said: “It’s long overdue. I’ve lived here for 10 years. When you walk around Islington and you see these plaques it gives you a sense of the past and what’s been going on here. It’s a really nice thing for locals in terms of giving the neighbourhood an identity.”
The Clash and the Sex Pistols recorded at the Wessex Sounds Studios
Originally built in 1881 as a hall for the neighbouring St Augustine’s Church, the building was converted into a recording studio in the 1960s and was bought by The Beatles’ producer George Martin in 1965.
Since then it has hosted acts such as The Rolling Stones, Queen, King Crimson, Pete Townsend and The Damned, with punk pioneers Sex Pistols also recording their hugely influential Never Mind the Bollocks album there.
The building was originally a hall for the neighbouring St Augustine’s Church
Another resident, Ian Hines, said: “All my family have lived there at various times, we are indie music lovers who all own vinyl and CD copies of London Calling along with several other seminal albums recorded there. We would really like the musical heritage of the building and London Calling to be recognised. What better way than via a plaque?”
The studio closed in 2003 when it was sold to property developer Neptune Group.
Islington cabinet councillor Asima Shaikh said: “This studio was famous for a number of recordings, including The Clash’s London Calling. It would be great to have this celebrated and we will look at how we may be able to support a plaque for this location.”