The legendary Rockfield Studios situated in Rockfield, Monmouth in Wales has a detailed and varied history of musicians making the pilgrimage to its hallowed walls to record unforgettable music, some of the stories and music has now been compiled together in a documentary by Hannah Berryman from IE IE Productions. The film features the likes of The Stone Roses, Black Sabbath, The Charlatans and Manic Street Preachers, with interviews and archive material from all the aforementioned and more plus new interviews with Ozzy Osbourne, Time Burgess, Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield.
Kingsley and Charles Ward are depicted in the opening sequence with some crisp archive colour footage of them outside the farm in 1975, before fast forwarding to the present day with Kingsley and Charles asking the questions regarding this first steps in to the music business with delightful archive pictures and animated footage of the duo on their farm and their escapades on Emi and George Martin. It was from this meeting that the duo decided to convert their mighty barns into a music studio.
The studios first bands to record in what was an attic of one of the bands were beat combos of the mid 60’s including Heather Jones and the Charles Kingsley Combo. The film then goes into detail of how the studios become very much a family set up especially when the bands would watch children’s programme Trumpton with the bands including David Cassidy. The film then firmly focuses in the success of the late 90’s going through the 90’s and 80’s with Simple Minds, The Charlatans and The Manic Street Preachers all giving their highlights and lowlights on their time recording their own anthems in the walls that once contained pigs and cows.
It is however interesting hearing that a band from Manchester entitled The Stone Roses sort of saved the studio from oblivion when they recorded their debut album and their legendary Second Coming album at the farm with Geffen record label throwing wades of cash at the band who stayed at the studio for well over a year this was the life line the studios were looking for, who else should turn up to tell their tales of debauchery are Liam Gallagher and Bonehead who first visited the farm when they stole a tracker from a nearby field to spy on their rock gods, The Stone Roses.
Generally this a fun trip looking at the goings on at this, what looks like, a lovely part of the world, which it’s never ending fields and solemn setting, this probably sowed many seeds within the souls of all that visited and recorded in what is now pronounced as hallowed walls. With a premiere of the film now booked for Saturday 18th July at 9pm on BBC Four, this crisp, sharp, enthusiastic and precise film will find a place in people’s hearts of this dearly loved venue.
Further information regarding the film can be found here