UP-AND-COMING artists have played one-off gigs at The Old Vinyl Factory, the former home of EMI which once shipped out the music that defined a generation.
So far, seven artists and bands have been part of TOVF sessions, and performed private acoustic sets in the Cabinet Building, part of an abandoned complex of buildings in Blyth Road, Hayes, which has sat empty for about 30 years and is in line for a major refurbishment.
Soloists, Sam Beeton, and Luke Ritchie, and indie bands The Heartbreaks and The Keepsakes are among the acts who have taken up the opportunity, with more to come.
Martyn Evans, marketing and creative director of developers Cathedral Group, one half of Purplexed LLP which owns TOVF, said: “It will be years before we can fully develop this place, and we don’t just want to leave it sitting here empty.
“The aim is to bring new music back to the place where vinyl and modern music was effectively born, and get these buildings singing again. We are revisiting the notion that it was once a creative place.
“We are hoping that what we are doing will spread via word of mouth, and lead to other musicians coming to us and asking whether they can come and play here.”
Purplexed have recently lodged regeneration plans for the 18-acre site with the local authority, with a vision to provide thousands of jobs, homes, and leisure space.
Formerly known as Vulcan House and then London Gate 2, The Cabinet building is to be renamed as such due to its past as the hub for the production of gramaphone casings at the start of the 20th century, when the site was home to The Gramaphone Company.
EMI formed in 1931 after a merger, and the label was home to the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Cliff Richard.
Although the firm’s manufacturing has long since moved out of the area, an EMI archive and museum with priceless original pressings dating back to the late 19th century remains nearby in Dawley Road.
To see the videos, go to www.theoldvinylfactorysessions.com.
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