The next time you walk down the Kings Road, try looking up when you get to Knoops on the corner of Smith Street (just don’t get run over.) Atop this beautiful red building is a cow’s head and the name ‘Wright’s Dairy’. In the Swinging Sixties, long after it was a dairy, this place was a recording studio that played host to many up and coming bands you may recognise.
Sound Techniques Studio
The Sound Techniques studio on 45a Old Church Street (with the entrance just off the Kings Road) studio played host to many iconic acts including the late Nick Drake, Elton John, T-Rex and Pink Floyd. This small studio that lasted less than a decade was to the source of some great great music.
Bought by by two sound engineers Geoff Frost and John Wood, they chose this former dairy because its slate-lined walls which gave a nice – and cheap – form of sound proofing, ideal for recording bands. The pair knocked out some walls to create a large recording space, with workshop and recording desk and were ready to welcome the bands.
The recording studio soon gained a reputation as a great place for recording strings, which caught the attention of producers like Joe Boyd and his Witchseason production company.
Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett recorded their first two tracks Arnold Layne & See Emily Play which would result in a record contact and appear on their debut album. ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’.
Nick Drake recorded much of his, ‘Bryter Layter’ album, whilst other ‘Folkie’ acts of the Seventies recorded here. The wonderful Vashti Bunyan recorded ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ , and Fairport Convention delivered the landmark ‘Liege & Lief’ from here on the Kings Road.
The Sound Techniques Studio lasted just over a decade but the music, the building – and the cows remain.
Where to find Wright’s Dairy
Head down the King’s Road from Sloane Square, staying on the left hand side of the road. You will find the distinctive red building on the corner of the King’s Road and Smith Street. The original entrance is now blocked up but you can still see the cows perched atop the building. Nearest tube will be Sloane Square on the Circle Line.