2nd November 2016
New rehearsals rooms have opened in Leicester. Pirate Studios has opened a branch in Leicester of its national network of rooms for bands and artists to rehearse. Situated not far from the Highcross Centre, the building in Cumberland Street, which opened last week, offers a range of rooms of different sizes and standards.
What marks this out is its commitment to keeping costs down in order to offer affordable rates of hire.
I met up with director David Barrie who showed me round. The rooms are situated on the ground floor of the building. Finding it was not difficult and there was ample parking in the vicinity.
Each of the rooms is full equipped with a drum kit, mics, amps and mixer unit. The larger rooms have air conditioning and heating and the lights can be dimmed or brightened according to what kind of atmosphere the band wants to create. In some of the rooms it is also possible to change the colour of the lighting.
All the drum kits were brand new and David was keen to point out that the cymbals are hand-crafted. The walls are sound proofed so that the sound is well damped although the floors are concrete so that the resulting sound is not too muffled.
The studios are aimed at young people, particular new bands that are on a tight budget. The policy of the business is to keep costs to a minimum and pass those savings on the customer. Little expense has been spared on the fixtures and fittings and the rooms have a pleasant modern ambience.
In addition the rooms there are also lockers where bands can keep instruments. The large lock-ups would easily hold a few guitars.
There are ten rooms in all ranging from the top-level premium rooms that could easily accommodate a five-piece band through to the smaller rooms which would be ideal for smaller bands and start-up groups.
The rooms are opened on a 24/7 basis so that bands that get access to them whenever they like for as long as they like. Rates are charged by the hour.
The premises have a large store of spares so that if anything goes wrong, parts can be replaced from the central stores.
Hirers can pay for their rooms online when they book them and the system takes all forms of cards including those most likely to be owned by young people.
Plans are being made to introduce coffee machines and snacks dispensers and there will be a rest lounge with sofas and comfortable chairs.
Pirate Studios has branches in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, London, Sheffield and now Leicester.