When record producer Dave Chapman acquired the old Crouch Hill recording studios in Londonís Stroud Green in 1994, he came across an old tea chest full of eight-track analogue tapes dating from the 1960s and 70s.
For want of a machine old enough to play the tapes, the tea chest sat in Chapmanís attic until 1998 when he bought an old Ampex tape recorder at an auction of professional recording equipment. He began listening to the tapes whenever he had time and, over several years, he catalogued the contents. As you might expect, all of the recordings turned out to be unremarkable demo tapes by largely unknown bands.
Then, one evening in May 2004, finally nearing the bottom of the chest, Chapman was listening to a track by a band called the New Flames. The only clues to the identity of the work were the name of the band and the date of the recording, 10th September 1970, which were scrawled on the tin.
Having heard enough, Chapman was going to turn the recorder off but left the tape running while he went to the toilet. Since he was the only one in the building at the time, he left the control room door open. As the New Flames tune ended, he discovered that a wild and emotional arrangement of the Welsh National anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, played on a distorted electric guitar, had been tacked onto the end of the tape. Although Chapman was from Essex, the playing caused the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up, especially as it sounded just like Jimi Hendrix.
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