It was December 1987. The studios hadn’t yet fully opened, the newly built facility was a tempting new space. WOMAD were touring The Drummers of Burundi. Thomas Brooman and I thought it would be good to record them and a deal, with the help of their French concert agent Yorrick Benoist, was duly done at the Cross Hands hotel on the A46 near Chipping Sodbury.
The next day we entered Real World with 20 Burundi drummers and set up in the Wooden Room. The control room was a couple of floors up connected by video link. We could see the group drumming and dancing on the screen and were waiting for the sound to come through. Dave Bottrill engineered the session; I shall never forget the shared delight in that room as he punched the tracks through one by one on the desk and a sonic firework display commenced. Dave was jumping up and down with glee as a succession of pounding drums came firing through in a dazzling array of thunderous rhythm. It was a beautiful moment and an awesome spectacle to behold!