Darkness star's new project

HE has worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Oasis and Ash to name just a few. But now producer Nick Brine has transferred his talents to rural East Anglia where he plans to lure current big names - not to mention local stars of the future - to a new multi-million pound recording complex set up with his friend, ex-Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins.

HE has worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Oasis and Ash to name just a few.

But now producer Nick Brine has transferred his talents to rural East Anglia where he plans to lure current big names - not to mention local stars of the future - to a new multi-million pound recording complex set up with his friend, ex-Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins.

Dan, who was raised in Lowestoft, bought a picture perfect 17th Century farmhouse three-and-a-half years ago and soon decided to convert one of the outbuildings into a rehearsal space for his band.

“We would spend a year or two on tour and come home for a couple of weeks before having to leave again to go to some dingy rehearsal space in London.

“I thought if I turned the barn into a rehearsal area the band could come and stay here in comfort,” he said.

But it was when Nick, whom he met while recording The Darkness' second album in Wales, came to visit Leeders Farm in Spooner Row, near Wymondham, that plans escalated and they decided to build a commercial studio.

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Now complete with a football pitch - and a lake with boat - the eight-bedroom complex offers everything a modern band could want but retains the cosy rustic farmhouse feel, mostly decorated by Dan and his dad, to make it a plush home from home.

And its stunning countryside setting means it also affords the peace and privacy that many artists are searching for.

“It is a multi-million pound complex. Staying in the house is almost like staying in a hotel as all the meals are cooked and people come in and do all the cleaning so the bands can just concentrate on the music,” added 31-year-old Dan.

It was his new band Stone Gods, made up of ex-Darkness members Ed Graham and Richie Edwards and new boy Toby MacFarlaine, bass player for former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, who were first to christen the new facilities when they worked on their new album.