• Studio Day
  • Room 5
  • Room 10
  • Room 1
  • console
  • studio night
  • Arty recording
  • Arty recording
  • Live room
  • Equipment
  • studio live room
  • studio centre
  • control room
  • behind desk
  • Room 7
  • Snug

Monthly archives: September, 2013

In the Studio…Saturday’s Kids

In The Studio…
Saturday’s Kids
Darren Lawson, Sion, Rhys, Ev (drummer David not pictured), Gethin Pearson.
Saturday’s Kids are hard rocking young men who claim to ‘break your ankles but take care of you afterwards’ (this is, in fact, the true story of a fan at a gig). Hailing from Abergavenny and Cardiff, they recorded ‘renaissance punk’ with production duo Gethin Pearson and Darren Lawson, aka Tough Luv.
After four brilliant EPs, 5 UK tours, one European tour, sessions for Jen Long, James Dean Bradfield, and BBC Radio 1 airplay – the four piece finally set about recording their first album.
Due to play the ever-cool SWN Festival and Bombed Out’s 15 year anniversary event in Leeds, the band are poised for deserved success.
Alongside their musical antics, their DIY music attitude extends to http://spacejunkiepress.tumblr.com/, their comic book project.
When producer Gethin Pearson’s mouth wasn’t full of nuts (of the peanut variety) he was giving wise producing advice, and Darren Lawson productively used his time to attempt to read the whole of the internet when he wasn’t co-producing.
They ate paprika chips, stuffed mushrooms and salad from the bag, and Sion thinks there must have been ghost in room six who moved two potted plants onto his bed.
Wild times at Monnow Valley for some hard rocking boys.
Catch them at SWN this October.

In the Studio… BASCA

In the Studio…



10 songwriters and BASCA members, including board member and session organiser Rita Campbell, came down for a song writing retreat at Monnow in late August.
Lovely weather, BBQs and full catering by Jo; the songwriters made the most of our many rooms and large spaces to write 15 songs, recording them too.
Working on rotation over the stay in groups of two and three, they were there to write but also network. For some members it was the chance to put aside all other commitments and simply write, producing 15 songs.
Whilst we host bands and artists for song writing sessions and pre-production all the time, this was the first of our specific song-writing retreats in association with BASCA, bringing members of the organisation together who would otherwise not have worked with one another.
Amongst the writers we had the composer of multiple children’s theme tunes including the Tellytubbies and Rosie and Jim, Andrew McCrorie-Shand, renowned West End MD (amongst many other things) John G Smith, rapper Influence, and Nashville export Kris Wilkinson Hughes. It was a hugely successful retreat, and we’re looking forward to having BASCA, and their writers, return.

In the Studio…. Noir|Noir

In the Studio…

Noir | Noir


Rob Ellis and engineer David Pye with the band and our two in-house engineers Liam and Stef.

Cork alt-rockers Noir | Noir decamped with us for the first two weeks in June to make their album. Firstly, they saw some of the hottest weather we’ve had, and secondly, they made very good use of our pool table.


Produced by Rob Ellis, the band rocked our live room; unafraid to try new sounds, they made the most of the beautiful sunshine for some outdoor recording. Rob had all of the band, his manager Claire, her partner Jo, Steff our engineer and even me stamping on some gravel like some crazed army.



Rob also had Eoin, (fag in hand, see below) throwing a children’s old Thomas the Tank engine soft ball at a sheet of scrap metal in the yard. See the photo below for the technical set up they used…

IMG_2475They also had the Vulcan string quartet in to record and even played some hubcaps in the live room – all in all, this album looks set to be one you don’t want to miss!BMwUhgECcAEMsh3.jpg-large


In the Studio…The Commander in Chief

In The Studio…

The Commander in Chief

monnow valley 1

Down to record her next single in the rainy beginning of August was 23 year old shred guitarist The Commander in Chief. The Norwegian singer/guitarist laid down some highly technical solos and vocals, producing the track herself with the aid of engineer James Mottershead. The track – 5 years in waiting – was finally finished at Monnow over a 2 day intensive period. The track is out today, along with an accompanying video featuring MMA fighters and carries a ‘very important message…[of] freedom of speech’.

“When you walk into Monnow Valley Studios you feel the atmosphere right away. I arrived the night before I started recording but I got so inspired by the place that I sat down by the piano and started to write a new song right away. There is something about that room at Monnow Valley that gave me total peace of mind. The combination of great equipment, the old building itself, the view and daylight flowing in from two sides – it was just fantastic! The live rooms are also incredible! When I did vocals…I was looking out of the big windows. All of a sudden a big hawk came flying and landed right in front of the window and looked straight at me. I took it as a sign and the vocals went really well! Everybody was very friendly and it was great to have bedrooms upstairs as well. It made it all so easy and practical. I am definitely coming back!”
The Commander in Chief

Only 23, she’s the official Ibanez artist, playing the prototype Falchion 7 string, the only one of its kind in the world. Support from MetalHammer, Firebrand and Revolver, as well as some major metal festival slots has put this talented young lady on the map.

See the video below by clicking on the image.

Cover for single

In the studio…Brother and Bones

In The Studio…

Brother and Bones
2013-08-01 22.20.09 HDR
Brother and Bones; L-R Engineer Gareth Cobb, Rob, Rich, James, Si, Yannis, cameraman Luke.
Bridging “the gap bridge the gap between the delicate and the destructive”, band Brother and Bones, originating (for the most part) from the South East of England and the beaches of Cornwall, came to us late on the Monday night for a week of sun and music. The band have been relentlessly touring for the past few years and released a few EPs so far, culminating in a successful trip to the US to play Teluride festival just the week before heading to us. The band supported BRIT award winner Ben Howard on his tour last year, we expect big things come 2014, and deservedly so.
They brought lots of eggs, lots of pasta, loads of Double Deckers and lots of good tunes. The drums especially sounded rather large. Much of the recording was done all together, with the glass partitioning doors allowing them to play live together without bleed from the drum room.
Breaks between takes were filled with sandwiches, a few weights in the gym and lots of tea, and come 6pm, lots of beers. Drummer Yannis cooked some incredible food, and also washed and released a small frog we found that had run in through the open back door late on the last night.
Along with their engineer and co-producer Gareth Cobb and camera man Luke Pilbeam (pro at all things ping pong too) the whole week was very lovely – we can’t wait to hear these tracks.
Here’s a live session filmed by Luke (www.rockingstonefilms.com) – late one night to fill the gap until its release, and be sure to catch them on their highly extensive UK tour this winter, they’ll be coming to a town near you for certain.

Tour tickets – http://www.brotherandbones.co.uk/live/