Ben Hockliffe is a Sussex singer / songwriter / guitarist who came to me with a pocketful of raw songs which I recorded and then
It all started in 1998 when I invested in a CD Duplicating machine and bought myself an 8-track Mini-Disc Recording Desk. As a musician I already had musical equipment like Mics, Stands, leads etc. so it was a new challenge to take all this equipment out in the field so to speak and visit anyone who wanted to be recorded and make them a CD.
My first efforts were very labour intensive and usually involved recording Sussex Folk Clubs with many different members taking part. The Six Bells Folk and Blues Club at Chiddingly was the first…The White Horse at Bodle Street Green was the second…thereafter came The Norfolk Arms Folk Club, Steyning, The Wellington Folk Club at Seaford and finally Songswappers, The Horsham Folk Club. These recordings are amazing…a lovely memory of many people who performed in them.
The CDs that I created were designed with a myriad of photos I took and I had great pride in individually designing, printing and cutting each CD on gloss and matt paper using my PC and CD Duplicator at home.
Following my Folk Club recordings Hat Records became well-known and many different local people (solo singers, duos, trios, bands etc.) approached me about making them a CD…my USP was that I was willing to produce small quantities of CDs for them at affordable prices…I have many lovely testimonials from them too…and so my small cottage industry grew and 56 CDs are my legacy.
My early CDs were mastered at Loophole Studios, Brighton…and many thanks to my friend Simon who did that…from 2002 I acquired a new PC for making my own music production, paid several people to teach me how to use Cubase and Wavelab to edit my own recordings at home and thereafter spent much time being really creative and doing more complicated productions which saved me time and gave me more satisfaction being able to exactly tailor-make CDs to a specific sound.
My production sounds were really appreciated by many of my clients and I am proud to have that as a legacy for Hat Records.
To this day I still have all my CD ‘Masters’ so if any of you want a copy of any Hat Records CD please get in touch through the ‘Contact’ details on this website.
Another CD for Musical Director Richard Baker and his new venture The (Brighton-based) Class Brass Big Band. I recorded this CD a special concert at
Terry Lees, Sussex-based guitarist asked me to record him and help him with producing a CD of which this is the result. I spent masses
Harveys Boys are me and my chum Barry Turner. We both share a passion for real ale especially our local Sussex Best Bitter “Harveys Best”
Martin Jeremiah’s 4th CD with me…still churning out those self-penned songs…he’s a machine! Artists on this CD are:MARTIN JEREMIAH = Vocals / Guitar / Co-ProductionVICKI
The Brighton Welsh Male Voice Choir had heard about my growing Hat Records Empire and rang me up and asked if I could make a
Kevin Barber and Mark Taylor, Brighton-based entertainers, guitarists and singers (and now songwriters too) did a gig at The Open House pub (formerley The Springfield)
Noel Dumbrell is one of the last truely Sussex-born unaccompanied folk singers around. He accompanies himself playing harmonica in the style of the late great
My third cd with this talented school orchestra and Richard Baker’s enthusiastic musical direction. THE SOUNDBITES ON THIS CD ARE: Track 13 WATERMELON MANTrack 10
The Horsham Accordion Band rang me and asked could I record them…no problem…we did the recording in two sessions in Horsham and everyone was delighted
Martin Jeremiah’s 2nd CD incorporating several extra local musicians and friends and a new batch of his self-penned songs. Track 9 “The Dragon Slayed George”
The Patcham Silver Band with musical director Richard Baker. A classy Brass Band from Brighton making their debut CD…really nice and punchy! THE SOUNDBITES ON
Mack James’ second cd done at a “live” gig at The King’s Head, Southwick, West Sussex. Mack had all his ‘groupies’ present and the atmosphere
Jo Hinchliff is a musician who has honed his art of playing a ‘mean’ accordion and singing popular songs over many years. He has had
Music Box are a local Sussex-based 60s pop / instrumental group…modelling themselves on The Shaddows. They are really good. A breath of fresh air…and they
Alan Wheeler and Anne Sartain, well-known Sussex folkies, with a lovely cd which shows off both their talents well.The cd cover design is from a