In 1985, I embarked on my music career at Strawberry Recording Studios in Stockport, a town in northwest England. It was an exciting opportunity for me as an assistant sound engineer. My eagerness to learn led me to work alongside esteemed producers on projects involving renowned bands like "The Smiths" and "Echo and the Bunnymen." While I attended Salford University once a week for electronics education, I gained most of my skills through hands-on experience, sitting in on sessions, and assisting the studio's in-house engineers—Martin Lawrence, Richard Scott, and co-founder Peter Tattersall.
My dedication paid off within six months as I was promoted to engineer overnight sessions with local bands, including The Milltown Brothers, The Mock Turtles, and "The World of Twist." Notably, "The World of Twist" was signed by major record labels shortly after my initial demo sessions.
As the late 1980s approached, I found myself working on pop projects with notable bands like "The Housemartins," "A Certain Ratio," and contributing to the legendary album "Bummed" by "The Happy Mondays," under the guidance of Martin "Zero" Hannett. Collaborating with Hannett significantly influenced my recording techniques, as he could capture the essence and authenticity of performers on magnetic tape, resulting in a raw and genuine sound. Furthermore, Hannett had a discerning eye for talent, often discovering bands in intimate venues and nightclubs.
My fruitful partnership with Martin Hannett continued as we collaborated on The High's debut album, "Somewhere Soon." This particular project marked a significant turning point in my career. Upon completing the album, The High offered me a full-time position, prompting my departure from Strawberry Studios. This decision was driven by the enjoyable experience I had with the band and the fact that the studio's new owner, Nick Turnbull, planned to demolish it. Additionally, the band offered me a salary twenty times higher than what I was earning at Strawberry, making the choice easy.
From 1991 onwards, I had the privilege of enjoying a fulfilling and enjoyable time working with The High, continuing to shape my career in the music industry.
John Pennington Has been a sound engineer for 34 years, bringing the techniques he learned within the recording studio to the "Live Music" scene to create effects that no one had heard before.
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