Tuesday, 1 May 2018
I discovered recently that there is a piece of rock 'n' roll history right under my nose, here in sleepy Sale. This advert for Smile Recording Studios, 'the friendliest in the north west' no less, used to operate in the cellar of a house near where I live. As in, I can see it from where I'm typing this and with a good throw could hit it with a tennis ball. In 1975 Manchester's premier punk band recorded a demo there, 4 tracks of high octane proto-punk from Slaughter And The Dogs. Only £6 an hour too. I have been tempted to go and speak to the owners and ask them if I can have a look in their cellar for the distant essence of music history, to see if any lingering remains can be found.
Slaughter were a formative influence on members of Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses to name but three local bands fired up by Wayne Barratt, Mick Rossi, Brain Grantham and Howard Bates. Run by Steve Foley, who started in his parent's home in Salford on a two track, Smile relocated to Upper Chorlton Road, Whalley Range, a couple of miles away. What do we get for our trouble and pain? Whalley Range. On a comment thread somewhere, Steve lists the bands who recorded using the facilities at one of his studio set ups- Salford Jets, The Alarm, Frantic Elevators, Fast Cars, Gerry And The Pacemakers, Martin Hannett and St Winifrid's Choir (although a user of Smile reports that the studio drum kit was 'truly shit'). But, still, Slaughter And The Dogs, across the road from my house. Wonderful.
Cranked Up Really High