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Town House Studios in London to Close

Town House Studios in West London—a commercial facility comprising three rooms that has hosted sessions for artists such as Frank Zappa, Queen, Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry, Oasis and Coldplay—is scheduled to close at the end of March. Equipment and contents from the studios will go under the auctioneer’s hammer May 7-9, 2008.

Pro audio specialist mjQ has been commissioned to handle the sale, which will be conducted both online between May 7 and 9 and as a sale by treaty, which will take place at the studio on the same dates. The auction will include more than 1,000 lots covering every piece of equipment, from SSL consoles to Pro Tools systems, vintage tube mics, classic pieces of outboard equipment, vinyl cutting lathes and brands such as Prism Sound, Fairchild, Bosendorfer, Massenburg, PMC and Bryston.

“Given the reputation of the Town House Studios and the affection that it has generated in so many people’s hearts, we are anticipating strong interest in this sale, both from UK buyers and those further afield,” says mjQ managing director Malcolm Jackson. “The Town House Studios was always one of London’s key innovators and this heritage is reflected in the extensive range of high-quality, well maintained equipment included in the auction. We believe that the opportunity to own a piece of music industry history will prove to be a strong draw for many of the people bidding for these lots.”

Originally acquired by Richard Branson in the late 1970s, The Town House Studios in West London rapidly gained a reputation as one of the world’s great studio complexes. Other recording artists who have worked there include Placebo, Elton John, Robbie Williams, Ian Brown, the Beautiful South, Russell Watson, Travis, Beyonce, J-Lo, Kylie Minogue, Jamelia, Pulp, Ash and the Dandy Warhols.

Producers, engineers and remixers such as Bob Clearmountain, Hugh Padgham, Mick Glossop, Tony Platt, Phil Bodger, Cenzo Townshend and Sergio Galoyan also worked at Town House, drawn by its unique feel and atmosphere of the three rooms designed by Sam Toyashima and its state-of-the-art equipment.

During the 1980s, The Town House was absorbed by the EMI/Virgin Studio Group and was later taken over by the Sanctuary Group in 2002. In 2006, producer/engineer Al Stone took over the facility’s daily operations, with the lease retained by Sanctuary.

A full list of the 1,000 lots will be published in an online auction catalog, which will be available at from April 2008.

For more information on Town House, click here