The Story So far......
Updated: May 6, 2022
In 2014 we took over from our friends at Bainbridge Music Rehearsal Studios at the colossus that is 125 Great Junction Street
A colossal undertaking to say the least, we were faced by a building that had steadily been in decline since its' days as an indoor market and previous to that as the storage vaults for the Crabbies Beer brewery, across the Road in the Yardheads bonds buildings.
In fact I’m told that if we remove a little breeze block wall in our basement we would enter the huge cavern that sits under Great Junction Street itself that served as an access tunnel between the old beer factory and the vaults that are now our home. Apparent through that thin wall are still the rail tracks on which beer was carted into storage. And rumour has it some human remains! One day we will invite all our friends down and open it up!
We’ve always reinvested heavily in trying to improve the studio building rather than resting on our laurels. Blindly throwing money at something isn’t sensible business and we’ve had to be patient, but we will continue to invest in order to protect the integrity of our special building and constantly strive to create a unique environment for creativity and collaboration.
Our original vision was to unite many of the producers/writers and musicians of Edinburgh under one roof, in a city where everyone in music seemed disjointed. Since then we’ve seen our producers and writers (and staff) develop into some of Scotland’s biggest music champions winning multiple plaudits and even Grammy awards among the way! We are proud to boast such quality of talent.
At the heart of our business are our purpose built 4 rehearsal studio rooms which we have worked hard to keep improving and which have seen countless mega acts through their doors. they are also the home to the Edinburgh Rockschool Examinations and studios of choice for the auditions of popular tv shows like The X Factor and The Voice.
But we are primarily passionate about our grass roots musicians coming to use the rehearsal rooms. The closure of grass roots music venues wounded this demographic badly but it's exciting to see these venues once again open and the wave of amateur bands return through the doors. We will admit sometimes we have been known to eavesdrop at the doors just to hear snippets of exciting bands on the cusp of success! With all the experience within the Music Base walls at 125 Great Junction Street it’s so valuable for less experienced musicians to come in and learn from others, even just to chat in the cafe.It might be a surprise but we’ve always ensured that even the coffee shop staff are indeed, musicians - and bloody successful too!
Our cafe, Spilt Milk Coffee was such an important piece of the jigsaw for the Music Base vision. It allowed an inclusive space for outsiders to integrate with the music community, and a central space for collaboration and networking. It’s always so exciting to see newcomers come to the cafe in shock at the sheer size of the building when they go downstairs! they are always so intrigued to know whats happening behind all the studio doors! And it's so important for us to provide high quality local produce and not just cheap rocket fuel for late night rehearsals. Thats why we are honoured to be able to serve Williams and Johnston Coffee and Considerat Doughnuts not least because they are the highest quality but made right here in Edinburgh. Cos you know, Musos love good coffee ! And many of our staff were always so passionate about veganism that it was natural, and more-so, important to change our ethos to share the passion of those working with us. Because it sounds cliched but whether it was our no 1 aim or not - Music Base/Spilt Milk belongs to the tenants and staff
And of course it’s an understatement to say we are delighted to have Red Dice Games and the DC musics school under our roof, not to mention having witnessed first hand the resurrection of Scotland’s most famous drum store, and our biggest tenant, Drum Central, once-again back into a power house in drum retail with over 3000 sq. ft. of pure drums - pretty handy if you break a stick when rehearsing or Musicbase staff suddenly need a new snare drum!!!
We are forever thankful to the original studio tenants who are still with us (nod to David House at the Noisefloor!) and all those who joined the vision on this journey. 8 years on, we are proud of who we are as a community; supporting one another in our businesses and musical journeys. We’ve come through the most testing time any of us has experienced but, for the most part, we’ve come through it strong and still passionate and protective of this hub and one another.
We also thank all our loyal Edinburgh studio customers from the bottom of our hearts. It’s because of you that we have come this far.
Here’s to the next 8 years. But no more lock downs please….