• 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

In The Studio…Funkestra

In The Studio…


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Funkestra avec toilet paper and masking tape from L-R; Rupert Christie, Dave Limina, Eran Kendler, Stefan Redtenbacher, Mike Sturges, Rob Taggart,

Three days to complete an entire album may seem ridiculous, but when you combine some of Europe and America’s busiest, most talented, successful and prolific musicians it all seems very easy.
Sitting in the control room listening it sounds like the finished product – and they’re playing live. However, it is album number seven together, so they’re well practiced.
The transatlantic funk/jazz/soul band is the brain child of Stefan Redtenbacher, who’s CV, like everyone in the band, reads like a who’s who in music over the last 20 years, Stefan writes all the tracks too. Without going into too much detail (and we could, the list is huge), Funkestra boast playing credits from Elton to Amy Winehouse to Ceeloo Green to B.B King to well, everyone. We had a live room full of very accomplished legends. Producing and engineering was Rupert Christie, who’s worked with some incredible people himself, and they all enjoyed home cooked food for the three days.
Find Funkestra related info here; www.redtenbachersfunkestra.com/

In The Studio….Future of The Left

In The Studio….

Made In Monnow

Future of The Left

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 We love to have return clients and even more so when they’re as talented and lovely as Future of the Left. The 2012 Welsh Music Prize winners returned to us at the end of June to record their next album with another Monnow Valley regular – producer Charlie Francis. They worked at an incredible rate, completing insane amounts of recording, writing, sampling colourful language from the vocal outtakes and also had time for a bit of a BBQ too. This band especially were all running fiends, legging it round the countryside most mornings or lifting weights in our gym – it’s a hard life.

Let’s combine our ‘In the Studio’ post with a little Made In Monnow throwback. Future of the Left have not only done work here before, but two albums worth of work.2013-06-19 14.33.52

First came the 2007 album –


“The Lord Hates a Coward” – 3:34
“Plague of Onces” – 3:03
“Fingers Become Thumbs!” – 1:50
“Manchasm” – 3:54
“Fuck the Countryside Alliance” – 2:06
“My Gymnastic Past” – 2:30
“Suddenly It’s a Folk Song” – 2:55
“Kept by Bees” – 1:54
“Small Bones Small Bodies” – 2:22
“Wrigley Scott” – 2:06
“Real Men Hunt in Packs” – 3:27
“Team:Seed” – 1:19
“adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood” – 3:09
“The Contrarian” – 3:02

Buy ‘Curses’ here.

They then followed this up with 2009’s ‘Travels with Myself and Another’

“Arming Eritrea” – 2:57
“Chin Music” – 1:56
“The Hope That House Built” – 3:41
“Throwing Bricks at Trains” – 2:36
“I Am Civil Service” – 2:17
“Land of My Formers” – 2:47
“You Need Satan More Than He Needs You” – 2:46
“That Damned Fly” – 2:07
“Stand by Your Manatee” – 2:08
“Yin / Post-Yin” – 2:54
“Drink Nike” – 2:33
“Lapsed Catholics” – 4:15

Buy ‘Travels with Myself and Another’ here.

Check out Future of the Left out on @shit_rock. We love their twitter handle.



Made in Monnow – Black Sabbath Month… Heaven and Hell

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath Month

Heaven and Hell

Back in 2010 following singer Ronnie James Dio’s death, Heaven and Hell‘s planned tour was cancelled, and the three remaining members of the performed a tribute to Dio at the High Voltage Festival on 24 July 2010 with three guest vocalists: former Black Sabbath andDeep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes, Norwegian singer Jørn Lande of Masterplan and former Pantera and Down vocalist Phil Anselmo.

‘Heaven and Hell’ were the members of the Dio Black Sabbath era, reuniting in 2005 after their years together in 1980 to 1982, and again from 1991 to 1992 as Black Sabbath.

You can see ‘Die Young’ here – click the image

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Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Monnow in ‘The Iron Man’ and ‘For Fact’s Sake’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath…Monnow in ‘The Iron Man’ and ‘For Fact’s Sake’

Monnow is featured in musical literature dotted around, but in regards to Sabbath and the Ozzy days, both Tony Iommi and Bob Daisley (from the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums with Ozzy) have mentioned Monnow very kindly in their memoirs.

In 2011 Tony Iommi wrote and released his much anticipated autobiography. Monnow Valley Studio and Monmouth get a good few mentions – it’s nice to know after he’s popping in and in the last five decades we’ve made it into the book.

Get a copy now; it’s a fascinating read for all fans of Black Sabbath and music in general. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iron-Man-Journey-Through-Sabbath/dp/0857201514

Black Sabbath.Tony Iommi.Iron Man.book cover.US.08-11

Bob Daisley’s memoir – ‘For Fact’s Sake’ is a more detailed look at the Blizzard/Diary and Randy Rhoads/Ozzy era, with a large focus on the writing process of the albums that took place here at Monnow. It is due for release this coming year – check his website for full details http://www.bobdaisley.com

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath – Rehearsals for Ozzfest

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath… 2005 Rehearsals for Ozzfest

Back once again to rehearse, have some home cooked food and stay together as a band ready for 2005’s Ozzfest in Donnington. This visit by the whole band was made whilst current owner Jo Riou was here at Monnow, seeing the whole band pass through the history of every owner at the studio.
Members of staff were given tickets to the show at Donnington. One of the guitar techs even brought some old photos of the boys from their early days at Monnow, featuring Ozzy on the upstairs landing in his boots and birthday suit…. It was quite the flash back (ahem).

Prior to Donnington they did a quick warm up gig in Aylesbury Civic Centre, a bizzarely small venue for the rock legends, but hugely successful all the same. Read the report here

Then they were on to Donnington. Here’s the fruit of their labours – the whole concert!

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 13.03.51Black Sabbath at Donnington for Ozzfest. Click the image to view the video.

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Tony Iommi ‘Fused’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath…Tony Iommi ‘Fused’



Pioneering guitarist Tony Iommi, the only member to be always consistent throughout the life of Black Sabbath, wasequally consistent in his relationship with Monnow too – he came here to record his own solo album, ‘Fused’ in 2004. Recorded with the mid-80s Black Sabbath front man Glenn Hughes, and produced by Bob Marlette, it also featured Marlette on keys and bass, and drummer Kenny Arnoff. Kenny left us his drumsticks too as a lovely memento too.

Track listing
1. “Dopamine” – 4:10
2. “Wasted Again” – 3:56
3. “Saviour of the Real” – 4:07
4. “Resolution Song” – 4:56
5. “Grace” – 5:13
6. “Deep Inside a Shell” – 3:42
7. “What You’re Living For” – 4:37
8. “Face Your Fear” – 4:36
9. “The Spell” – 4:57
10. “I Go Insane” – 9:13
Bonus tracks

Let It Down Easy (Japan bonus track)
The Innocence (iTunes bonus track)
Slip Away (Real.com bonus track)

Buy the album here; https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fused/id289310783

Find Iommi here; http://www.iommi.com

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Rehearsals and Heart Attacks of ’98

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath Month

Rehearsals and Heart Attacks of ’98

Black Sabbath’s next visit came in May 1998 prior to their reunion tour – over twenty years after their first visit as the original line up. Following two successful shows in Birmingham in 1997, the band decamped to rehearse for Ozzfest and the upcoming American tour as the original four again; Iommi, Osbourne, Butler and Ward.

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 11.58.21Here are the original four in October 1998 on Letterman playing ‘Paranoid. Click on the image for the video.

In an interview with Vintage Guitar below from 1999, Butler and Iommi explain how Monnow and its setting was important to the band, their beginnings and their early memories together – but also how things didn’t go to plan in the excitement…

“The house you rehearsed in, was that the same one you worked in when the band started?

Tony Iommi: That house [in Monmouth in Wales], it was where we used to rehearse when we first started. We went back and it was like going back to the beginning, to the same place we started.

Did it feel as if no time had been lost?

TI: It was really good. We took time and all lived together in the house and just got familiar again. We had a laugh, joked, and had food. Then we started playing again and it was great because it all fitted in.”

What was the first song you played?

Iommi and Butler; [simultaneously]: “War Pigs.”

Did the music naturally come back or did you have to work out any of the original parts?

GB: It was all natural, really. We hadn’t played together with Bill on a full set for 18 or 20 years from the original days. He had the most difficult job, so we had to go over stuff with Bill again just to make sure that he was alright with it.

What happened to Bill after the shows in Birmingham? There were reports he suffered a heart attack.

TI: We had done the two shows and recorded them, and that was fine. Then we were due to headline some European festivals. So we got back together in the house in Monmouth and started rehearsing. On the second day he had a heart attack.
GB: Because he was so shocked he got it right (laughs)!
TI: I’ll tell you, we were all shocked! Then we opened our mouths and said, “Oh, blimy. It’s going quicker than we expected!” And of course, the next thing, Bill had a bloody heart attack. We thought it was all going too good.

Read the full interview here; http://www.vintageguitar.com/2871/tony-iommi-and-geezer-butler/

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath; The Iommi Band

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath

1995 – The Iommi Band


In 1995, Tony Iommi and his band came and recorded, amongst other things,  a track for ‘Twang! -A Tribute to Hank Marvin & The Shadows’ released by Panagea Records on October 29th 1996. The record included some absolutely huge names, and Iommi chose ‘Wonderful Land’ to showcase his world-class playing.

The Iommi line up this time round included, Bev Bevan on drums, Don Airey on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass and Gordon Giltrap on acoustic guitar. It was produced and engineered by Kit Woolven.



1. Apache (Ritchie Blackmore)

2. F.B.I. (Brian May)

3. Wonderful Land (Tony Iommi)

4. The Savage (Steve Stevens)

5. The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt (Hank Marvin) (live)

6. Midnight (Peter Green)

7. Spring Is Nearly Here (Neil Young/Randy Bachman)

8. Atlantis (Mark Knopfler)

9. The Frightened City (Peter Frampton)

10. Dance On (Keith Urban/Stewart Copeland)

11. Stingray (Andy Summers)

12. The Stranger (Bela Fleck And The Flecktones)

Buy the album here; http://www.amazon.com/Twang-Tribute-Hank-Marvin-Shadows/dp/B00004S9AX

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath ‘Cross of Thorns’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath – Cross of Thorns

Let’s kick things off this week with some music – ‘Cross of Thorns’ from Sabbath’s album, ‘Cross Purposes’ recorded here in 1993. Click the picture to listen to the track.


Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath, ‘Cross Purposes’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath – Cross Purposes


To record their album ‘Cross Purposes’, Black Sabbath returned to us in 1993. ‘Cross Purposes’ was Sabbath’s 17th studio album – an impressive feat whilst most bands struggle to make it past that difficult third album without imploding. Ever changing, this Sabbath album line up was the constant Tony Iommi, along with Butler (not seen again on an album until their 2013 album, ‘13’) with Tony Martin and Bobby Rondinelli on vocals and drums respectively.

Buy the album here; http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Purposes-Black-Sabbath/dp/B000008DHS


Track Listing

1. “I Witness” 4:56
2. “Cross of Thorns” 4:32
3. “Psychophobia” 3:15
4. “Virtual Death” 5:49
5. “Immaculate Deception” 4:15
6. “Dying for Love” 5:53
7. “Back to Eden” 3:57
8. “Hand That Rocks the Cradle” 4:30
9. “Cardinal Sin” 4:21
10. “Evil Eye” 5:58
Japanese edition bonus track
11. “What’s the Use?”