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Europa Sound Studios
Europa Sound Studios circa1978-1987 were created in from the virgin hobby project operated by Chris Ashman under his home in Folkestone, Kent, which for some reason was known previously as "Kripps Studio". Chris was joined by Mike Craig bringing his engineering skills developed at Chalk Farm and Olympic Studios.

During the next few years Folkestone's first recording studio also became the area's first commercial record company "Red Admiral Records" and "Cringe Music" (Publishers) bringing local and international musicians together for their projects.

Mike Craig was introduced to Chris by a common aquaintance Nigel Blow who said that he knew a guy from Herne Bay who was the engineer of Radio Caroline and was interested in getting back into studio work. A visit was arranged and the partnership started there and then. A strange combination maybe but it worked. Chris operated the studio and business while Mike built the new equipment and developed the sound engineering and production skills that Chris would need over the next 10 years. Chris took control of the studio in 1982. Mike went back to the radio business.

The Piano in the studio was a German Gors & Kallman metal framed overstrung upright. Aquired via Nigel Blow from a local public house, tatty & unloved (the piano not Nigel) this piano was to cause a few heartaches. Transport was arranged and a crew of heavies to move it. The loading was not a problem. but first it got stuck at the top of the studio stairs (requiring the whole wall to be replastered) and then would not fit through the bottom door. The door frames were removed and great chunks of the wall chopped out to allow the keyboard to pass through. When the studio was sold the piano stayed and is probably still there now.

Studio Diary Extracts

Below are extracts from some old diaries showing appointments for the month, when I find time I might get around to adding some notes to the events. You might like to send me yours? The list of course not complete as there were many in-house productions going on and casual visitors just popping in on the off-chance of grabbing a couple of hours.
Date
Customer
Notes
1974Bob Coltart - Badge - Citris -    
 Just looking at your studio diary and I remember playing about there with Ellis which must have been 73/74 as I was at college in Ashford with him at the time. I think I still have the tapes which were under the name URF! Fledgling stuff! I remember the room very well which had a vocal booth like a telephone box and piles of “stuff” all over the floor!!

Andy Young
Hi Andy
Yes, same room very early on - 74/75 after the control room started being nuilt. The 1930 internal Telephone box was used for vocals and anything else that needed complete isolation. It was brilliant with double glazing and lead lined 3 layer walls and muti-path isolated ventilation.
  
         
1975    
 Roger Moore & Reg LawsRoger asked the studio to give Reg a trial  
1976    
 Young CountryAlbum - "Especially For You" Date to be inserted 2 Ferrograph 7's - 6 channel Allen and Heath desk recorded totally in one weekend.  
1977    
     
1978    
     
1979 Hurrah we went 4 track - 1/2" TRD recorder built for the competition to supply Abbey Road with their first 4 track to record the Beatles. TRD lost but we bought the machine for £1200 in background of photo" the man with the big hands"  
     
  
  
January 1980Fragile    
 Halo Feud   
 The Jets   
 Arthur Kays Originals   
February 1980Dave Cosgrave   
 Red Admiral Records   
March 1980Dead Dogs Don't Lie   
 Bob Coltart   
April 1980Easystreet   
 King Bee   
 Dave Sinclair Rehearsal   
May 1980Peter Speed L Driver Tape   
 Easystreet   
 Henry Sparks/James Lyle
LONGPORT BUZZ

Recordings
BUZZ-13 Canterbury Pop EP: I'm In Love With You/ The Daughters Of Frenchmen/ If I Was A Jewess/ Dreamland (Canterbury Pop 1978)

On Web - LONGPORT BUZZ: "Canterbury Pop" E.P. I'm in love with you/The daughters of Frenchmen/If I
was a Jewess/Dreamland (no label, UK '78) M-/EX € 35,00
U.K. group best known for their "Fun" single from 1980 (see "Powerpearls Vol. 2"). This is their privately released debut E.P. that is more DIY pop/wave-style, but that is VERY HARD TO FIND!

SWAG-14/BUZZ-14 Fun/ Who Is He? (Criminal/Canterbury Pop 1980)

  
June 1980Mr Griggs   
 Ian CooperClients  
 Marc Le ClaireSelf  
 Keith Harwood r 
 Bob Coltart   
 Andrew McPherson   
 Alternative Country Boppers   
July 1980Easystreet   
 Marc Le Claire   
 Peter Speed   
 Echo   
 Bob Coltart   
 Cruise   
August 1980Gabriels RatchettsHenry McCullough  
 City Blues Band   
 Bob Coltart   
September 1980Tony Flyn   
 Gabriels Ratchetts   
 Peter Speed   
 John & Bert   
 Below Above   
 Bill Barnacle BandBills Bossar 
October 1980Andrew McPherson   
 Peter SpeedPeter Speed A.F.C., D.O.E/A.D.I., M.I.A.M.I- - Driving Test - Pass First Time/ The ABC of First Aid L.P - Red Admiral Records (DCL 1) 1980c 
 John & Bert c 
 Last Resort  a 
 The FeelShe's Not There- We Gotta Get Out Of This Place 0 Caught In The Act - Tired Of Waiting For Yourh
 Below Above   
 Mike & Simon   
 Marc Le Claire   
November 1980Below Above   
 John & Bert   
 Originator   
 Marc Le Claire   
December 1980Gabriels Ratchet   
 Nightrider   
 Marc Le Claire   
January 1981 Credit Control & The Sales Reps
St John Poore & The Cure
   
 Staires   
 Silent Movies    
 Last Resort Last Resort Cassette Limited Release This Cassete was bootlegged so much that requests for the band to appear on Skinhead compilations. Their manager asked me to produce their first Album. Skinhead Anthems   
February 1981Staires Innocent Man  
 Silent Movies Photos for cassette  
 David & Graham   
 Marc Le Claire   
March 1981Marc Le Claire   
 King Bee - Sound FX   
 Newena & Dave   
 David & Graham   
 Last Resort Production at Workhouse Studios - London. Executive producer Gary Bushell  
 Silent Movies    
April 1981David & Graham   
 Silent Movies    
 Keith Harwood    
 Mr Bowman   
 King Bee   
May 1981Mr Bucknell   
 Alternative Alternatives   
 Crocodiles   
 Last Resort The Last Resort - A Way of Life: Skinhead Anthems - Album recorded on 4 Track over a weekend

Mixed by Chris Ashman October 1981
  
June 1981Silent Movies Vance Freeman  
 Phase IITony McPhee (Groundhogs)- Producing  
 Last Resort    
 Spiggy & Beth   
 Carlos The Singing Milkman   
August 1981Breakaways   
 Graham & David   
 Last Resort a.m. Producing in London for another compilation track - p.m. Took Arthur Kitchener that Londoner to London Zoo for the first time in his life. Photo" I am so hungry I could bite out the bum of a Rhino"  
 Day Trip   
 Last Resort    
 Sticky Fingers   
September 1981Graham & David   
 Breakaways    
 Last Resort    
 The Sedated   
 Closed 2 weeks for re-fit   
 T.D.A   
 Breakaways    
October 1981First Kent Gig Guides Produced by Chris and SandiInitially only in the Folkestone Herald and Gazette included Photos and write-ups
now Kent & E Sussex Gig Guide and kentgigs.com
  
 Last Resort Mixed "Skinhead Anthems" Album after near nervous breakdown. Found one track I liked and mixed continiusly on the fly until the end of the tape.. Chris   
 Harmony DuoNick & Sue Double  
 Mr Smith   
 Paul Robinson/Graham FullerAV work  
 Breakaways    
November 1981Last Resort   
 Breakaways    
 Harmony Duo   
 Carol RousellRecording for Herne Bay School Christmas Tape
Visions
- TAKE ONE L.P.(Red Admiral Records (Take - 1) 1981
  
November 1981Last Resort    
     
 Harmony Duo   
December 1981Breakaways    
 Day Trip   
 With The Breakaways at BBC Radio Medway - Mike Brill Christmas Show - Max Splodge  
January 1982Dumb Waiters   
 Harmony Duo   
 Tony FlynSynth music  
 T.D.Afor Riot City Records  
February 1982Band From Driving   
  Sedated   
 Conditional Discharge   
March 1982Paul Dodgeson   
 Sedated   
 Backfire   
 New Creation   
 Arthur Kay   
April 1982Bill Dent - Classical sessionR.I.P  
 Harmony Duo   
 John Milton   
 Matrix   
 Zenith   
 Breakaways    
May 1982Harmony Duo   
 Warriors Rehersal   
 Backfire   
 Debenhams voiceoversIn-store tapes  
 Bob Coltart & Arthur Kay   
  WarriorsProduction for - at Redam Studio's   
June 1982Mr Munt Gateway BroadcastingMeeting to discuss setting up of local radio group to apply for licence in the Folkestone & Dover area  
 Harmony Duo   
 Kevin Bowyer   
 Sound FX   
 Warriors Rehearsal   
 Zen Archer   
July 1982Bill DentClassical recordings topped up with Gin & Orange  
 Skrewdriver Session: Arthur, Bob Coltart to rehearse . They were both in the session because Skewdriver was by then not a whole band, just a singer Ian Stuart and occasional drummer who turned up at the studio without a band - thus Arthur and Bob were called in to play Bass and Guitar   
 Maroondogs   
 Bob Scott   
 Keith Harwood Band    
 The Accused   
August 1982Bill Dent   
  Skrewdriver Production work at Wave Studios - London - Studio and engineer was rubbish and band not complete again - Session abandoned.  
 T.D.A   
September 1982Harmony Duo   
 Accused   
 SkrewdriverAlbum Tracks - London - I ended up producing 12" Single "Back With a Bang" and "I Don't Like you " SCREW1 on Boots and Braces Label in September at The Workhouse Old Kent Rd. In my opinion Record company ruined it by cooking the Bass on the cut. -----Chris  
 Warriors   
October 1982Alternative Alternative Country Boppers

"I've got a bird on my head"

I was part of the Alternative Alternative Country Boppers and Jim - authors of the famous 'I've Got a Bird on my Head' session of October 1982. Arthur Kay and Stan Gretsch (of Ignerents fame) managed to stop the whole thing deteriorating into a complete farce, although it wasn't far off. Our music saw four of us asked to leave Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in 1981 following an underappreciated turn at the Faversham Carnival Club talent show. I shall never forget the forbearance of Chris Ashman who, at a point, ripped his headphones from his head as singer Dave Holt hit one of his trademark high notes.

No hard feelings?
Cheers
Chris Blunkell now with

  
 Paul Lenster   
 Chris Southern   
 McFarnell & Mills   
 Plan "B"   
November 1982Harmony Duo   
 Marc Le Claire   
 The Milkshakes   
 Design 9   
December 1982 RitefilmsProducer George Wright  
 Masterstroke   
 Gruff Men   
 Bert Red Eyes is Back   
 Beverton   
 The Swingband   
January 1983Keith Harwood    
 St John Poore   
 Harmony Duo   
February 1983Sidewinder   
 Marc Le Claire   
 Eclipse   
 Harmony Duo   
 Beatles for Sale   
March 1983Ultimatum   
 Marc Le Claire   
 Gruffmen   
 Harmony Duo   
April 1983Perfect Daze   
 Mr Matcham   
 Glasshouse   
 Tomorrow Today   
May 1983Glasshouse   
 Breakaway to Shepway Film releasedIncluded soundtrack "Bills Bossa" written by George Sketcher performed by Bill Barnacle & friends  
 Jack Pound   
 Kevin Bowyer   
 James Blomfield   
 SLR   
June 1983Kevin Bowyer   
 Bob BlytheOl' Gravel Voice is back  
 Harmony Duo   
 Sound FX   
 Folkestone Hospital Radio   
 James Blomfield   
July 1983Sidewinder   
 Glasshouse   
 Retrofit   
August 1983Kevin BowyerSausage Roll anyone  
 Maroondogs Session for Harmony Album   
 Breakaways    
 Keith Harwood    
 James Blomfield   
September 1983James Blomfield   
 Breakaways    
 Mark Addison   
 Denigh   
 Keith Harwood Sad Guitar - No Returns  
 Maroondogs Session for Harmony Album   
 Breakaways    
October 1983James Blomfield   
 Harmony Remix   
 Bob Coltart   
 Mark Addison   
 Black Widow   
 Breakaways    
November 1983George Sketcher   
 Decade of Pleasure   
 Mark Addison? Gwabi really good song  
 The Watch ( From Dover)Is This The Real World/Every Little Thing(Name of the Game)/ Walking on a Tightrope - How can you say It's All Over / Other Side Of Town / Hit & Run Driver - Video Session ( Real World) for a cable T.V. programe in the West Country - Dave Shackle in attendance  
 The Sonics   
 Old GoldShadows number / I fought The law/ Not Tonight Josephine / ????  
December 1983Jim Blomfield   
 Winston & The Churchills   
 Mike Amery   
January 1984Life 'n' SoulAndy Pandy  
 George Harland Dickens Tapes  
 Lee Robinson   
 The Record Players   
March 1984 John Taylor   
 John Showan   
 Keith Harwood    
 James Blomfield   
 Jack Pound   
 The ChangeClive Giblin and Adrian  
 Dave Smallwood   
 McPherson Hearing   
April 1984RhodesMark Buckham  
 Peter Mould   
 Paul Roland   
 ROM   
 James BlomfieldThe Bangle  
 Jack Pound   
 Maroondogs Rehersal  
May 1984James Blomfield   
 Jack Pound   
 Dover College Tapes   
 George - RiteFilms   
 Indigo IslandRussell Kingdom  
 Paul Roland   
June 1984Jack Pound   
 Paul Roland   
 McPhee   
July 1984Denigh - Chat   
 Jim BlomfieldTina in session  
 Mark Blackman   
 Double Take Video Services   
 Lenny Barratt   
August 1984Arthur KitchenerThe Balham Alligators
Oh Marie - 1984 Sing UK Streetheart SHOO 1 - Producer Vick Keary.
  
September 1984Denigh   
 Arthur Kay   
 Keith Harwood    
 Pendragon   
 Paul RolandCello, Viola, Violin & guitar parts  
October 1984Denigh   
 MasterstrokeContact Jim & Neil  
 Paul Lenster   
 Ian Devlin   
November 1984DenighDenigh - Fire From The Sky LP ....Fire From The Sky / Synthetic Seduction / Touch Me / (You) Put My Neck On The Line / Struck Down (In The City) / Lean On Em Hard / The One Eyed Jack / Travelling On / Sentinel. Red Admiral Records (DEN-1) 1984 - Jon Everett , Phil Allchin, John Regan, Ian Devlin
2003 New Release - Denigh »Fire from the Sky« CD
Iron Pages Records 002
------------ Buy in UK from Us
  
 Ian Devlin   
 Harmony Photo Session   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
March 1985Tim SwainsonFlute Compositions through to 19 April when cassette project abandoned   
 Fickle HeartsIan Devlin - Lay Tracks  
 Paul Roland Matilda Mother (Sid Barrett) Session keyboards Brian Gould  
 MaroondogsRehearsal  
 Fickle HeartsVocals   
April 1985The Betrayed   
 Overdrive   
 Keith Harwood    
May 1985John Everett   
     
June 1985Julia Francis   
 Voyage   
 Sponsor Battle of the Bands at Leas Cliff HallIst year -   
 Phoenix   
August 198530th - Battle of the bands final   
Sept 1985Paul Roland   
 Beat the Jeep   
 Winston & The ChurchillsWinners of the 1985 Battle of the Bands - Winston & The Churchills spend their prize with us.  
16 October 1985Winston & The Churchills and Bad Manners at the Leas Cliff Hall   
November 1985Touchy PeopleDemo  
30/11/1985Mobile Recording DoverDover Country & Western Club  
December 1985Gargoyles Kissvery popular local band  
 Gargoyles Kiss   
 Freddie Border   
 Arthur Kay Wedding   
 Paul RolandAlbum Tracks  
January 1986Paul RolandAlbum Tracks  
February 1986Paul RolandAlbum Tracks  
 The Betrayed   
 Tourist Town   
March 1986Paul RolandMadelaine  
 Tourist Town   
 Gary Virtue   
 Maroondogs   
April 1986Rocking Horse Club   
 Kent Aid   
May 1986Kent Band Aid   
 The Dover Skiffle Bandnearly got punched on nose due to me saying the Tea Chest sounded crap.  
 Paul Roland   
June 1986Paul Roland   
 Tough Stuff   
 Sponsor - Battle of The Bands at Leas Cliff Hall2nd Year   
 Shade   
July 1986Abstract Lines   
 MichelleDemo tapes for Accordion Manufacturer  
August 1986Paul Roland   
 Live Aid Release   
 Betrayed   
 Michelle   
September 1986Pint & Half   
 Apache   
 Arthur Kay   
 Dave Munday   
October 19863AM   
November 1986Dave Munday   
December 1986 Paul Roland   
     
     
     
     
May 1987 Dibble & The Atomic Dogs1/2 Hour Live Recorded Session - Classic  
     
     
     
October Studio Closed    
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
October 1987 Studio closed   

Kripps Studio Kripps Studi Handbill = 1974 Copyright Ellis Pelham Glasby
1974-1978 - Chris Ashman a former vocalist in a Folkestone band borrowed a Fidelity mono tape recorder to record some harmonies being practiced by Nick Ashman and Ellis Pelham - Glasby in his basement. Pleased with the results and but not the quality, a Ferrograph Series 7 was purchased. Wow! Stereo, 2 track, Sound on Sound - what a difference.
An insulated cupboard was built to house equipment and the engineer with only headphones to monitor with - Don't laugh, it worked - and it wasn't you who had to climb through that little door.

Kripps Studio ©Folkestone Herald

1974
A few experiments offering free time to local muso's to rehearse, recordings and plenty of customers later, it was time to take the next step.
The search for some better microphones in the local audio shops provided some help from John Budd of Kent Audio and Ian Cooper a Country & Western fanatic bus driver.
Kripps -IMC Record Productions and Agency formed by the trio.
May - Vogue signed representation contract
May - Citris signed recording Contract
Oct - Agency formed
1975
- With the extra help and the loan of some equipment the new control room seemed a reality. Bye-bye cupboard
Feb - Agency ceased
March - Deposited Reg Laws Tape with at Bank
First album 'Especially For You by' Young Country.


SOUNDS FROM A BASEMENT - Article from South Easti nternal regional Newspaper of BT.
When you walk into vour local record shop and buy an LP, do you ever wonder how it was made - recorded that is? Do you imagine a big spacious studio, dozens of microphones, several tape recorders with thousands of feet of tape, not to mention guys bedecked with headphones pushing and pulling switches?
Perhaps this is so in London. But down at Kripps Studios in Folkestone, Chris Ashman does things in a less complicated way, but still gets quality results.
For pop groups and singers who want to make a record hoping to get into the "big time", starting at the bottom can be a costlv business - as 27-year-old Chris Ashman, an apparatus fitter based at Folkestone TEC, knows only too well.
About seven years ago, he was a vocalist with a local group, and they had hopes of making a recording until they visited a London studio and found it would cost them anything up to £50 an hour to do it - and they would probably end up with a poor quality tape.
After a couple of years, the group broke up, and with his brother and a friend, Chris formed a three-part harmony group. They experimented - recording their sound on an ordinary tape recorder, but the results were hopeless. Chris had recently bought a terraced house in Folkestone with a large-size basement which the group used for practice without disturbing anyone. And soon, Chris found he was more interested in recording the sounds of the group than actually performing.
Naturally, his main aim was to achieve better quality and this called for more sophisticated equipment - and the idea of con-verting the basement into a recording studio was born.
With backing from John Budd, a friend who used to be an engineer on Radio 390, Chris built up the recording equipment in collabora-tion with friend and partner Ian Cooper, a 28-year-old Folkestone bus driver, who once worked with RCA in America.
Chris said: "We put the studio together with the idea of helping local bands and musicians - doing recordings for them at cost price to stop them becoming victims of the London studio sharks. After my experience with our group, we aimed to save other youngsters from paying through the nose for bad recordings. We do all the ground work and try to help anyone who has some sort of talent. We don't ask them to sign any contracts, but aim to send them away with the best recording we can produce."
What started as an extended hobby has now developed into a small company.Registered under the CMI (Country Music International) label, Kripps Studios produced and issued 1,000 copies of their first LP last June. It was a country record called Especially For You, by the Ashford-based group, Young Country, and was recorded in one hard-working week-end.
Studio space in the converted basement is 16 feet square, which includes the drum booth, lined with old mattresses, to contain the sound. The rest of the studio section is lined with an odd assortment of egg boxes, foam rubber, peg board, polystyrene squares and old carpets on the floor to deaden the acoustics.
Chris said that it took him six months of study to set up the recording equipment, although his Post Office training helped him a lot with the work. "We now have the equipment to do a master recording with good quality," he said.
1976 Control room rearranged -
17th March Chris Resigns from IMC Record Productions
18March 1976 John and Ian leave Kripps Studios

Europa II
Chris Ashman was dragged screaming out of studio retirement by a Folkestone musician, to build and operate a studio for him. Europa II was a short lived project, the studio took longer to build than its time in operation. A 1" 16 Track Studio with a beautiful white oak 24/16 desk once owned by Gary Numan was installed.
A few test recordings were made including some tracks produced of the Maroondogs and friends playing Ska. These were released as an album 'Skatoon Time' by 'The Volecanoes' (Link Records)
Some recordings were started for Judge Dread with The Hotknives from Sussex but were not completed.
Due the studio owners personal problems, the studio closed. Chris retired again.
 

 

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Copyright 1981 - 2001 Kent & E Sussex Gig Guide

RED ADMIRAL RECORDS LLP Registered Office: The Cedars, Elvington Lane, Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent. CT18 7AD
URL: http://www.redadmiralrecords.com Email: info@redadmiralrecords.com Tel: 01303 893472
Company No. OC335598
incorporating Red Admiral Records, Cringe Music, Kent & E Sussex Gig Guide. Registered at: Companies House, London.