VOTI - voices of the industry




In celebration of GRS’s founder John Taylor’s 100th birthday, we join Richard Loftus in conversation with Jez Collins, founder of Birmingham Music Archives and John Taylor’s son, Richard Taylor, who grew up living in Grosvenor Road Studios, as they celebrate the legacy of this iconic place.


Grosvenor Road Studios, formerly the renowned Hollick & Taylor Studios, has been Birmingham’s best keep secret for over sixty years. During that period, many firsts have been recorded here including: All the original sound effects for Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds Are Go, the fabulous brass band rendition of Brighouse and Ratrick’s Floral Dance, The first Brum Beat album, Jasper Carrott’s Funky Moped.


Grosvenor Road Studios, was acquired by Black Voices in 2003 with the support of Arts Council England. The studios are managed by a voluntary board which brings diverse skills and knowledge of the music industry and community development.



Tune in below to the interview:


The fabric of the original house dates to 1872. At this time Handsworth was part of Staffordshire, but in 1911, with a population of 70,000, Handsworth became a major suburb of Birmingham.The Taylors bought the house in 1945 and converted part of the house into a recording studio soon afterwards. It became known as Hollick & Taylor studios when John Taylor teamed up with Charles Hollick, a technical engineer with whom he had previously worked.


The studio has been changed and refurbished several times over the past sixty years, adapting to suit the demands of the music industry and accommodating new changes in technology.


Following the death of Charles Hollick, the studio changed its name to Grosvenor Recording Studio Complex and continued producing high quality recordings until the beginning of the 21st Century.


Grosvenor Road Studios, was acquired by Black Voices in 2003 with the support of Arts Council England. The studios are managed by a voluntary board which brings diverse skills and knowledge of the music industry and community development.


We spoke to Jez Collins, founder of Birmingham Music Archives and Richard Taylor, former resident of the studios and son of Hollick and Taylor’s John Taylor about the legendary studios.



What was it like to live at Birmingham’s very own Abbey Road, Grosvenor Road Studios?


Richard Taylor: Both my brother, Chris and I both kind of feel now “I wish we’d done more in there as children.” I think if I was there now, I’d just sleep in there and be in there all the time. It was an amazing thing to be part of it and I’m just so proud of it. It’s great now that it’s becoming a piece of history.


There’s been a huge number of artists to go through and music to come out of the studios, what are some of the highlights?


Jez Collins: It’s played host to people from John Bonham, of Led Zeppelin, was first ever recorded at Grosvenor Road Studios. That in itself is a massive piece of music, global music history. Noddy Holder, when he was with Steve Brett and The Mavericks – first song recorded at Grosvenor Road Studios – and obviously Noddy would go on to be fronting Slade. That in itself is a huge piece of music history. All the Brum Beat bands who were there, who recorded there: The Move, Spencer Davies Group, The Moody Blues. Into the 70s, you’d have the reggae bands like Steel Pulse who would come and rehearse and record there.


For me, one of the most interesting parts is Jean Taylor who also worked at the studio. For me, she’s a bit of a forgotten woman of Electronica. At Grosvenor Road Studios they did the sound effects for Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds and, for me, Jean is our Delia Derbyshire. Really important and very unusual to see women in recording studios anyway, and even more so working the machines, recording the sound effects and putting things on to tape. It’s such an important place and space, Grosvenor Road Studios and the Taylors – as a family, all of them – are an incredibly important piece of Birmingham music history and their contribution to our music culture.


Richard: There was always odd celebrities coming through. Like The Krankies. I remember meeting The Krankies. I don’t know how old I would have been. Gordon Jackson, from The Professionals, that was a big thing when he came through.

And I can remember when we did the launch for Cliff Richard. He did an album launch there for the “I’m Nearly Famous” album. And I can remember being thrown out of there many times with Mum saying “Would you stay out of there, Richard!” I just wanted to go in there and see what was going on!


How did growing up at the studios impact your life?


Richard: When Dad was thinking about retiring, both Chris and I didn’t want to be stuck in the studio. We concentrated more on a career as live musicians. The studio side of things, of course, is always there and plays a part in my work every day as a live musician. I’ve carried on doing writing and production as well as being a live musician.



Grosvenor Road Studios, was acquired by Black Voices in 2003 with the support of Arts Council England. Why do you think these studios are so important to the music community of Birmingham and beyond?


Jez: They’re the life blood because it gives us places and spaces to identify ourselves, to express ourselves, to learn, to educate, to come together and have experiences. They play much more of a part than just being a building that you pay £10 an hour to rehearse or record in, they give us so much. Perhaps now is a moment in time where we can articulate better the cultural value, rather than the economic value, of music and the people that work in the music business/industry/sector. They’re such important places.


What did the acquisition mean to you and your family, knowing that the legacy of music in the building would continue?


Richard: Amazing! Particularly for Mum and Dad. Dad would have moved and retired a lot earlier, but he blatantly refused. He didn’t want that building to be turned into a block of flats. It was hugely important to him. And also because it still says GRS and that’s what it’s been called now…I spoke to Mum about this the other day and she said it’s amazing because every record that was made on the Grosvenor label, the catalogue number was always GRS. It’s amazing that its been kept going. I can’t wait to go back again now.


So for people reading this, or that have watched the longer video interview, what one recording from the studios would you encourage them to go and listen to?


Jez: I would probably say The Senators and that’s the band that John Bonham was on. I think you get a sense of Bonham and his drumming. I think it’s available on YouTube. Get a sense of what it must have been like to be in that studio at that time and unleashing the beast that would become John Bonham – that would go on to be in one of the world’s biggest ever bands. And imagine being John Taylor in the studio control room, who probably didn’t bat an eyelid. Probably thought it was just another band. But to be part of that moment in history. I would suggest that.


Richard: I was going to say The Floral Dance. That goes back to my memories of when I started wanting to use the studio and Dad would never let me go near multi-track until I’d learnt the art of recording a band and getting it right going down to stereo left and right on quarter inch. Until I got that right, he would not let me go anywhere near multi-track. And that Floral Dance was done on multi-track very, very early-on. A lot of the balancing was already done before it went down on to multi-track. There aren’t many people around still today that would be able to record that in that way and get that sound.


voices of the industry

Featuring what and who’s out there! Articles, Sounds, Top Tips – words & wisdom from leading Voices Of The Industry

WATCH AND LISTEN new music features

Parrjazz presents – Mark Lettieri Group

Nov 3, 2022
  District, Liverpool

Tim Garland, saxophone @ Jason Rebello , piano Jazz Concert

Nov 25, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre


Oct 1, 2022
  The Wardrobe

Trish Clowes, saxophone & Ross Stanley , piano

Nov 6, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre

Neil C. Young Trio

Oct 20, 2022
  Northern Guitars


Oct 28, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre Cambridge

London Django Collective | Festival of French Jazz

Nov 27, 2022
  The Actors' Church,


Oct 9, 2022
  The Glee Club Glasgow


Oct 14, 2022


Nov 28, 2022
  The Glee Club Birmingham


Oct 16, 2022
  The Glee Club Birmingham

Dallahan Folk Concert at Stapleford Granary

Oct 1, 2022
  Stapleford Granary


Dec 6, 2022
  The Glee Club Birmingham

Apartment House

Nov 19, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre


Nov 20, 2022
  The Glee Club Nottingham


Dec 15, 2022

Neil C. Young Trio

Oct 26, 2022
  Matt and Phreds

Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man & Shruti Rajasekar – Sarojini (World Premiere)

Oct 22, 2022
  St Albans Cathedral and Abbey Church


Nov 9, 2022
  The Jazz Cafe

Lady Maisery

Nov 11, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre


Nov 13, 2022
  The Glee Club Glasgow


Oct 2, 2022
  The Jazz Cafe


Oct 7, 2022
  Union Chapel

John Etheridge Sweet Chorus | Festival of French Jazz

Oct 8, 2022
  The Actors' Church

Faye Patton Nu Jazz Quartet + DJ After Party. Live @ Temple of Art and Music !

Oct 29, 2022
  Temple of Art and Music - Tam’s Vineyard & Jazz Club.

Cornelius Corkery Trio

Oct 9, 2022
  The Red Hedgehog

Violinist Chinara Sharshenova

Oct 2, 2022
  Jazz At The Elephant


Nov 30, 2022


Apr 9, 2023
  The Glee Club Cardiff

AfroCuba: Jazz Sessions Vol. III: MATT3RS

Oct 15, 2022
  Pizza Express Live


Nov 16, 2022
  The Jazz Cafe

Pixels Ensemble – Remembrance Sunday Concert at Stapleford Granary

Nov 13, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre

Bill Laurance Jazz Concert

Nov 4, 2022
  Stapleford Granary Arts Centre

Neil C. Young Trio

Oct 16, 2022
  The Bridge Bier Huis


Oct 10, 2022

Coloriage: The World of Richard Galliano | Festival of French Jazz

Oct 20, 2022
  The Actors' Church Covent Garden

Loz Speyer’s Time Machine | Million Square

Oct 31, 2022
  The Cockpit


Oct 13, 2022


Oct 9, 2022
  Stapleford Granary

Chris Laurence Quartet

Oct 6, 2022


Oct 4, 2022


Oct 8, 2022
  The 100 Club


Oct 6, 2022


Nov 18, 2022

Espen Eriksen Trio Concert at Stapleford Granary

Oct 14, 2022
  Stapleford Granary

Martin Roscoe Piano Concert at Stapleford Granary

Oct 22, 2022
  Stapleford Granary


A high energy sextet

Remi Harris

Jazz & Blues Guitarist based in the UK

Delta Saxophone Quartet

One of the UK’s leading new music ensembles

Mick Foster

One of the UK's foremost exponents of the baritone saxophone; woodwind player 

Jiannis Pavlidis

Jazz Guitarist, Composer, Principal lecturer

Max Barnard

Jazz Saxophone & Clarinet Player

Vladimira Krckova

singer | composer | bandleader | producer | poet | actress | dancer

World Jazz Collective

World Jazz Collective provides training and participation for aspiring jazz musicians

Duncan Laurence

 Dutch singer-songwriter

Alex Hutton


Liam Noble



English singer, songwriter and producer

Richard Sadler

Freelance double/electric bass player, loafer, composer


“...ISQ are a melting pot of genres – jazz, pop, acoustic and experimental – which all blend together to entrancing effect...” Time Out London Critics Choice

Beverley Beirne

Jazz Singer. Likes tea


A Portuguese Singer


Singer, actor, and a songwriter

Warren Benbow


Matheus Prado

Bass player, composer and band leader

Germana Stella La Sorsa

Jazzant-garde Singer and Storyteller
Artists Connects Pages
What's On
live and streamed
Industry Nuggets
Top Tips
Info you need to know
Interviews with Heavy Hitters
Watch & Listen
selected music and videos
by creators for creators and their audience - music community at its core