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Amsterdam band Pip Blom quarantining in Ramsgate studio to record new music


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The Beatles at Abbey Road, Johnny Cash at Sound City and Led Zeppelin at Headley Grange - recording studios can become near-biblical places for musicians, often making pilgrimages to far-flung places to try and snatch their very own lightning in a bottle.

For an indie-rock four piece hailing from Amsterdam, their hallowed hall of choice happens to be a chapel on the south east coast of Kent, which is where they are now quarantining for two weeks.

The band will be stuck inside the studio for a fortnight following government guidelines. Picture: Pip Blom
The band will be stuck inside the studio for a fortnight following government guidelines. Picture: Pip Blom

Dutch band Pip Blom travelled across Europe to record their first album Boat at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate in 2019.

Falling in love with the seaside town and the converted church on Chapel Road, they felt compelled to record their follow up in exactly the same place.

Smash cut to six months of a global pandemic, and the group realised the prospect of sunny beach walks in between recording sessions would not be on the cards.

Pip, the band leader of the four-piece, said: "Ramsgate is on the coastline which is very nice, so when we booked this we thought it would be super nice to go outside and go to the beach and get some distraction from just being in the studio.

"Last time we were here I went for a swim everyday, and the rest went for lots of walks.

The studio on Chapel road. Pic: Google Maps
The studio on Chapel road. Pic: Google Maps

"But then quarantine had to happen so we're not really benefitting here."

Under government guidelines they were asked to provide the address of the studio as where they were staying and will have to remain quarantined there for an entire fortnight.

This means eating, sleeping and making music will all be happening under one roof.

Luckily the studio includes a bedroom with bunk beds, a bathroom and a living room.

The 24-year-old said: "It's going to be an experiment- I hope it'll be fine, we've brought lots of entertainment stuff.

The band fell in love with Ramsgate on their first trip. Picture: Pip Blom
The band fell in love with Ramsgate on their first trip. Picture: Pip Blom

"The neighbour of the studio let us borrow some fitness equipment, so we've got a rowing machine and a home trainer.

"We've just done some yoga, and hopefully that will keep us sane."

Normally the band would finish off their recording slot with some live dates across the UK, but the current state of the events in the industry means they will have to return once venues are given the go-ahead to open once again.

In their home city of Amsterdam things are different, with bands being allowed to play inside socially-distanced venues.

Pip said: "We do a lot of inside gigs but they're all 1.5m apart, but they do happen a lot, and I haven't seen as many happening in the UK.

"We've just done some yoga, and hopefully that will keep us sane..."

"I do think in the Netherlands is a bit more strict but there are many inside gigs with social distancing so that's fun."

Once their 14-day quarantine period ends they will have a week to stretch their legs between sessions and enjoy the beaches, before heading back off to the Netherlands.

The band have also found an unexpected silver lining in their inability to tour Europe.

The singer and guitarist said: "The whole situation is terrible of course but this is the one benefit - to listen to the record back home, to listen to the mixes and take our time to make it exactly how we want it to sound."

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