Rubber gloves can come off for Bromhead Tim

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There is no end to Tim Hampton’s jobs – toilet cleaner, roofer, plumber, make-shift electrician and bricklayer, he does it all. Indeed, the ever-expanding currciculum vitae of Tim Hampton is nothing short of phenomenonal.

And that’s before you even get to his real work, which is, of course, producer, studio owner and frontman of Sheffield punk rock outfit Bromheads, who will be releasing their EP, Kerosene on July 7.

And as for the crash course in labouring, it’s paid off.

Over the past two years, with the help of a handful of people, Hampton has created what has to be one of Sheffield’s most buzzing studio complexes. Known as Crystal Ship, the complex constitutes four buildings – two of which are still being finished, though the majority of work is done.

Each building contains either smaller studios or rehearsal rooms. And each is fully insulated and dry.

But two years ago Crystal Ship was nothing more than a couple of semi-derelict post industrial buildings in Attercliffe.

“It’s to believe what it was like at first now,” he says. “I know we’ve broken the back of it now. In six months’ time the rest of the work will be done and I can then focus on improving what was put in when we first moved in.”

It’s not been easy, however. The Victorian roof which caps the main building in the complex was leaking, leading to a plethora of problems in the rest of the building.

“That roof kept me awake at night. We even had tarpaulin to direct the water into a bucket. It was like a waterfall. People would come in, look at the roof and say ‘wow, that’s amazing, you should keep it like that’ but all I thought about was the rot if it was left any longer.”

The roof is now rebuilt, thanks to Hampton and a roofer.

“I’m able to do a lot of this within a budget because I do a lot of the labouring myself.”

Thanks to Hampton’s multi-tasking, the studio now offers brand-new kitted out rehearsal spaces for bands. There are 17 groups renting rooms at Crystal Ship, a couple of whom share a space. But Hampton is keen to provide more than just rehearsal space.

“I’d like to build some accomodation for the bands as so many travel from London and they need somewhere cheap to stay.”

Hampton’s whole focus at Crystal Ship is improving the facilities band’s have.

“I know what it’s like working from a grotty damp and cold rehearsal room. We did it for a long time but we couldn’t spend any money on our room because we knew the landlord could kick us out any minute. That was the main reason I set up this place. We wanted somewhere to make our own music so I thought i may as well make that my business as well.”

And a quick wander around Crystal Ship is as good a barometer of Sheffield music as you get.

Among its residents are Ross Orton – who produced the Arctic Monkeys’ last album, AM – Hey Sholay, 65daysofstatic and Drenge.

“It’s a brilliant atmosphere here and it’s full of people I trust and – for the most part – have known for a long time.”

But there is one issue: the toilets.

“Bands don’t half make a mess of the toilet. That’s another job I do and if I’ve been away it’s disgusting when I get back.”

But he’s happy with this broad spectrum of jobs. “I love it. The things I take on vary so much it’s great.”

So off he goes, with his Marigolds.

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