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This is the unlikely tale of how two Welsh farming brothers turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time, producing four decades of legendary rock music.
Fifty years ago, deep in the Welsh countryside, brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward were starting out in the family dairy farming business. But they yearned to do something different – they wanted to make music. So they built a studio in the attic of their farmhouse and started recording with their friends. Kingsley’s new wife, Ann, left her job in the local bank to do the books, and they continued farming all the while. Animals were kicked out of barns and musicians were moved into Nan’s spare bedroom. Inadvertently, they’d launched the world’s first independent residential recording studio: Rockfield.
Rockfield’s reputation spread like wildfire, quickly garnering international acclaim as the place that bands wanted to record. From Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and Queen, to Simple Minds, Iggy Pop and Robert Plant, and later Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Manic Street Preachers and Coldplay – an unbelievable roll call of artists have recorded there over the decades.
‘Rockfield’ is an extraordinary story of rock and roll dreams intertwined with a family business’s struggle for survival in the face of an ever-changing music landscape. Amazingly Kingsley and his wife Ann, now in their 80’s are still at the helm today with daughter Lisa ‘front of house’. What is it about this small Welsh farm that made it a major competitor, holding its own against studios such as Abbey Road and Electric Lady. In this film the bands share with us tales of how they ended up at Rockfield, what it was like, and revisit some of the magical moments of musical genius that resulted in some of the best-known songs of our time. Director: Hannah Berryman (US 2020) 90 min.
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