Useless Facts about Bally Studios
Slacking off at work? Bored? Here's something to compound the boredom......
1) We officially started trading on 9th October 2005. Before this Ron Niblett and Nikki Rossetti ran Sync City, located where Bally Studios now is. It was a 2 room complex, with a 3rd room having just been opened for long term rental. This was turned into a short term, by the hour letting room in Feb 2007. Our Studio 4 was opened in June 2006, with Studio 5 opening in June 2009.
2) Each year, we go through at least 3,000 tea bags, 40kg of sugar, 5kg of coffee, and our kettle boils about 2,000 litres of water a year. In the 10 years we have been open, we've made an estimated 32,000 cups of tea, and about 20,000 cups of coffee.
3) Before we took on the studios in 2005 there was an average of 1.3 bookings per day. 2006 we had 2 rehearsal studios and averaged 2.1 sessions per day. In 2007, now having 4 rehearsal studios, we averaged 4.7 rehearsals a day, and in 2008 the figure hit 4.9 rehearsals sessions a day. In 2009 we opened our 5th rehearsal studio and averaged 5.6 rehearsals sessions a day, and in 2010 we broke the 6 rehearsals a day barrier as the studios popularity continued to grow. This is only counting by-the-hour sessions, excluding long term rehearsals, of which we also had quite a few. This figure grew to a peak of 6.7 rehearsals per day in 2012, before dropping to 5.8 sessions a day in 2013 when we decided to rent out our studio 2 on a full time long term basis, and thus reverted to a 4 studio complex. In 2014 we had 5.7 rehearsals per day, and in 2015 this figure rose to 5.8 sessions per day. In 2016 the studios is now operating as a 5 studios complex again, with no full time long term block bookings sessions, but with some daytime block bookings instead.
4) Before we started tying drum keys to chains and pens to lengths of string, we used to lose 40 drum keys and over 150 pens a year.
5) In 10 years, we have blown 187 PA speakers. The vast majority of them were blown by miking up the bass drum or putting backing
tracks/synths into the PA.
6) On one day, in July 2009, on the same day, we had band members from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Nigeria, Angola, Senegal, Cameroon, South Africa, Canada, USA, Australia, Hungary, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Catalonia in, in just 5 bands.
7) We have had, about, 180 pizzas delivered to the rehearsal rooms in London in 10 years. But not one Chinese or Indian takeaway delivered.
8) We have had 89 amps repairs carried out in 10 years, mainly by MPH Guitars in Edmonton.
9) in 2009, we got on average 68 friend requests a day on MySpace, and had over 100,000 MySpace friends. In the end it reached 135,000, before we eventually migrated to Facebook and Twitter.
10) In the first 4 years of the studio up until June 2010, Fran and Jimmy only had 89 days off, including Weekends, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Christmas Day, etc. Since then, extra staff has meant that workers have been able to have proper days off.
11) We go through 1 kg of Incense a year, as well as 600 bin liners of rubbish, 8 industrial packs of carpet cleaner, 12 cans of fabreeze, 36 rolls of gaffer tape, and over 40 drum skins.
12) Fran and Jimmy have attended the following bands gigs that have frequented at the rehearsal studios in London: The Incisors, (4 times with 3 different lineups) Girls Girls Girls, (6 times with 3 different drummers and a drum machine) The What, After The Ice, The Charlie Parkers, (twice) who then became Ravens in Paris, (twice) Allo Darlin, (once in London once in Barcelona) Darren Hayman, (twice) Gentleman's Dub Club, Neils Children, The Dead Flowers, The Love Barons, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Dark Lights, Bleak, The Starts, Klunk, Behold A Pale Horse, The Kurtz, Chapter 24, Caribou, Bleak, The Destroyers, The Super Nashwan Kids, Time.Space.Repeat, Pirate Robot Dinosaurs, Big Benn Band, Dick and The Doppelgangers, and Zalinski.
13) Fran and Jimmy had to sell 3 of their guitars to keep the rehearsal studios going during its first Christmas lull.
14) About 50% of bands comment how the building the rehearsal studios is located in looks like a) A Hospital b) A School or c) They ask what the building used to be, hence why we have added the history of the building.
15) Bally Studios is called Bally Studios as Jimmy;s family comes from Ballyheigue, in county Kerry, Ireland.
16) At least 11 bands that we know of have done video/photo shoots in the corridor of the rehearsal studios, or just outside. The What, The Outbursts, King Robot, Zalinski, Neil's Children, Klunk, Room 9, Caribou, After The Ice, Miss-Use and Spider Redundant. There's probably a lot more though.
17) We get on average, 1 band a week asking to print out lyrics from the office computer.
18) Most popular reasons for cancelling a session? The drummer has injured his wrist. About 40% of the time a rehearsal is
cancelled at the last minute, that's the reason given.
19) Latest a band ever finished a session at Bally? 4:30am. They were originally only meant to go until Midnight.
20) Longest shift Jimmy ever did at the rehearsal rooms; 36 hours straight, with no break. Upon getting home, due to tiredness, he turned on the TV and proceeded to commit the cardinal sin of asking what teams were playing, even though it clearly said in the corner of the screen. (It was Liverpool and Reading in the FA Cup.)
21) When rehearsal Studio 4 was built, Jimmy and his Dad carried all of the materials from the local B&Q about a third of a mile away, by hand. About 2 and a half tonnes worth over 6 weekends.
22) Most people ever in a rehearsal room at once: 72, in the old Studio 1 for a Drum and Bass video shoot. Temperature inside the room reached 130f. This was 3 days before we fitted Air Conditioning, with the bottled water we sold during that video shoot helping to contribute to the cost of the air conditioning unit.
23) Types of Tea we have at the rehearsal studio? A minimum of 20, but sometimes we have up to 100, including Lemon and Ginger, Green Tea and Camomile. Check out the office photos for proof.
24) Band with most members who have rehearsed at Bally? A 24 piece African Afro-beat band, who all fitted into Studio 2 at an immense squeeze.
25) Bands that have stolen items from us in the last 10 years - 4. Thanks to CCTV, all 4 were caught, and all of the items were retrieved.
26) 2 bands have split up during a rehearsal at Bally. Neither of them, may we add, were due to the studios. We accept no responsibility. One was due to 2 members not turning up, which caused the two band members that did turn up to split the band up, the other was due to 2 members "being f***ing tight c***s who never pay for their rehearsals", according to the drummer of that band.
27) The wall between the office and Studio 4 has a layer of lead in it, to further soundproof it. We're not sure if it protects people from nuclear attacks though. It might, who knows? Quite frankly, we hope we never need to find out.
28) We once had a rehearsal where a chap in one band ran into his ex girlfriend in another band. Apparently he'd ran off without explaining anything to her, owing her lots of money. It turned into quite an entertaining argument.
29) The rooms get vacuumed about 350 times year.
30) Once, when walking home from Wood Green, Fran and Jimmy saw 2 brown chairs being thrown out of a house. They were placed next to a skip, so Jimmy nipped back home, grabbed the famous "Bally Blue Trolley" and carried them home on it. When we moved to a smaller flat we couldn't accommodate them in our flat so we put them in Studios 2 and 4. 90% of people who sat on them used to comment on how far you sink into them, but then when the springs broke on them, we had to put some hardwood board on there, and now lots of bands comment on how they used to be able to sink into them. The chairs were thrown away in 2015 when they had started to show their age, and also to make space for band members.
31) About 10-15 cups get broken every year at the studios by bands, which means about 150 cups have been broken since we opened. At £2 per cup, that's enough to buy a second hand Fender Amplifier. :-(