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Infamous Welsh studio’s chart-topping history published



AN ICONIC Welsh music studio is set to go down in history books as part of a project by a group of young people from Monmouth Comprehensive. Rockfield studio, the first residential studio in the world, heard the recording of the arguably the most infamous opening lyrics in the history of music – “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”

A-list bands such as Queen, Simple Minds, Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, Coldplay and Kasabian have all been to Monmouth and experienced recording their music at the Rockfield Studio, making international music history whilst recording chart-toppers in rural Wales.

The piano which played an integral part in the recording of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is still in use in the studio today. The studio also contributed to filming the Super Furry Animals firing guns outside Rockfield for use in their track The Undefeated.

In a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, a crowd of Monmouth Comprehensive sixth formers are aiming to capture the many varied musical memories the studio has amassed during more than 50 years in the business.

The 13 A-Level students will be contacting musicians who relate to Rockfield’s colourful history and noting down their memories and stories of their time recording in Wales. Their findings will be collected and displayed in a book which will be named ‘From Stables to Studios: The Story of Rockfield, Monmouth and Music.’

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “The students involved in the project will receive training to help them undertake interviews, as well as create and market the exhibition, so they’ll be developing various life skills that will be valuable in later life.”

As part of their Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, students will be volunteering both after school and on weekends talking to local residents and collecting their memories of bumping into famous faces in the village.

Mr Bellamy continued: “The Rockfield studio history is fascinating in itself, but this project will go further by exploring its relationship with the local area and how that has impacted on its development.”

Joanne Davies, who is helping coordinate the exhibition, said: “Although Rockfield is known as one of the most influential recording studios in the UK, and indeed the world, surprisingly little is currently exhibited locally about this Monmouth gem.”

“Although it’s early days, we’re already overwhelmed by some of the funny and intriguing titbits that we’re unearthing including local residents who remember selling shoes to big name rock stars or playing pool with band members in the local pubs. It’s these kinds of stories that we want to dig up and share with others,” Ms. Davies continued.

The Rockfield visitor book has many of its own stories to tell, before even interviewing any of the famous bands. Liam Gallagher of Oasis was taken by the “charming Welsh location”, saying: “Thanks to Rockfield studios for the pleasant surroundings in this wonderful rural atmosphere!” Ian Brown of the Stone Roses had a more neutral experience in the studio, saying: “Put the heating on more often and I might one day come back.”

However, Rockfield’s “rural atmosphere” wasn’t always everyone’s cup of tea as Eddie Duffy from Simple Minds said: “It’s been a pleasure. Can’t wait to come back as long as you kill that cockerel, or at least set his watch to the right time!”

The jacuzzis in every room of the studios certainly seemed to please the stars, with Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals humorously saying: “We’d heard about Rockfield Studios and we wanted to record there because they had jacuzzis and you got three meals a day – all the wrong reasons for going to a studio. So we went there for 3 weeks and had jacuzzis every day and ate loads of food and we were usually too full to be arsed to record anything.”

Ms. Davies concluded: “I would like to encourage anyone with any anecdotes or memories about Rockfield to come forward and let us know how much it rocked you!”

‘From Stables to Studios: The Story of Rockfield, Monmouth and Music’ is due for launch in April this year.

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Ammanford suffer narrow loss against Newport



AMMANFORD suffered their third successive defeat at home to second placed Newport by the narrowest of margins, just three runs separating the sides in a 500 run thriller at the Park.

Newport won the toss and elected to take first knock. Their innings was defined by a 148 run middle order partnership between Imran Hassan (112no) and Mujahid Ilyas (57).

Ammanford were looking down the barrel of another 300+ target until the return of Saihaj Jaspal (3-26) and Dan Roberts (1-32) to the attack slowed down the run rate. Owen Davies and Josef Davies also picked up a wicket each as Newport closed on a hefty 259 for 6.

Ammanford’s response began perfectly with a 131 run opening partnership between Kurtis Marsh (78) and Andrew Salter (44).

Dan Roberts continued the good work but four wickets fell in quick succession before the arrival of skipper Alun Evans at the crease.

The match was well within Ammanford’s grasp had these two managed to stay together but the departure of Roberts (39) left the burden firmly on Evans’s experienced shoulders.

An unbeaten 43 from the captain wasn’t quite sufficient and Ammanford fell an agonising three runs short of their target on 256 for 8.

Ammanford have now lost against the top three clubs in Premier 1, but in each case have shown an
eagerness to challenge and the talent to support that eagerness.

The rest of the summer beckons encouragingly, beginning with a visit to Port Talbot Town next Saturday, May 28.

Ammanford seconds earn six wicket win

AMMANFORD seconds returned from Stradey Park with a straightforward 6 wicket victory over Llanelli.

Having put Llanelli in to bat, the Ammanford bowlers made short work of dismissing the Llanelli batters for 100 in 27 overs.

Sara Phillips (22) provided Llanelli’s main resistance. Chief wicket taker for Ammanford was Matthew Davies with 4 for 37, whilst Fin Jeffries, Sam Potter and Iwan Matthews picked up a couple each.

Ammanford overtook the Llanelli total within 23 overs for the loss of four wickets, thanks in the main to opener Eirian Morgan (25), with support from Fraser Benjamin (17) and Tiaan Evans (16no).

Player of the match was undoubtedly Llanelli’s Sara Phillips who crowned a fine all-round performance
with figures of 3 for 29.

Thirds suffer heavy defeat

AMMANFORD thirds suffered a heavy 135 run defeat at the hands of visiting Dyffryn at the Rec.

Dyffryn scored a formidable 245 from their 40 overs, due to fine knocks from Phil Paisey (95) and Rhodri Morgan (47).

Toby Davies took 3 wickets for Ammanford, whilst Jac Davies and Dafydd Evans picked up a couple

Ammanford’s reply never really got off the ground, and they collapsed to 110 all out in 27 overs, thanks to impressive bowling from Lloyd Jones with 7 for 22. Opener David Lumb top scored with 20.

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JON COURTENAY: Live in Carmarthen



The funniest show with a piano

Jon Courtenay’s 2021 UK Tour “WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT” which is coming to The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen on Monday 1st November.


Following his enormous success as the first Golden Buzzer act ever to win Britain’s Got Talent, Jon Courtenay is delighted to announce that he will be setting out on his debut tour of the UK in 2021.


Long before triumphing in the 2020 final, Jon was a powerhouse live performer with decades of experience touring the world. Become part of Jon’s journey of a lifetime where you will roar with laughter, maybe shed a few tears and definitely be inspired by his music and the hilarious tales of his family, relationships and life on tour. With a soundtrack including all his Britain’s Got Talent songs and music spanning the classics to rock n roll, Jon’s side-splitting show will leave you with a happy heart and a huge smile on your face.

This will definitely be a rip-roaring night of music and comedy that you’ll never forget!


Jon Courtenay originally hails from Ipswich but now lives in Mossley, Greater Manchester with his wife Emmah and two sons Nathan and Alfie. He started his stage career as a comedy magician but gradually the magic made way for the piano. Even before he won Britain’s Got Talent, Jon was already a powerhouse live performer with decades of experience touring the world. He is also one of the rare British performers to be asked time and time again to perform in America. His originality and remarkable stage presence have led to hugely successful shows in the corporate market as well as on all the major luxury cruise lines.

Although Jon’s show is continually evolving, his sense of humour remains the same and he has now created a truly original experience for every audience.


For more information go to or call 0345 226 3510

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Motorbikers urged to stay safe by Carmarthenshire County Council



MOTORBIKERS are being reminded to ride safely as part of a new campaign by Carmarthenshire County Council’s road safety team.

Yellow ‘Ride Safely’ signs have been installed at key locations around the county that are widely used by bikers, reminding them to take extra care.

They can be seen on routes including the A4069 Llandovery to Llangadog, the A484 Pwll to Burry Port, the B4304 at Penclacwydd, Llanelli, and the A4066 Laugharne to Pendine.

As well as a reminder about safety, the signs also display a grid reference sticker to help emergency services pinpoint an exact location in the event of a collision.

Everyone using our roads should do so responsibly, say police (Image: File)

Carmarthenshire County Council’s road safety team organises several road safety initiatives including free motorcycle training courses with Dragon Rider Cymru  and Biker Down Cymru.

Their latest initiative is in response to figures that show the high prevalence of motorcycle casualties on Wales’ roads – particularly in rural areas of Wales.

Between 2017 and 2019 there were 1,755 motorcyclist casualties across Wales with 743 killed or seriously injured.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for environment, said: “Everyone using our roads should do so responsibly, with respect for the environment, weather conditions and other road users. We know that some stretches of roads are particularly popular with bikers, so we’ve targeted these areas with new signage as a reminder to remember their safety. Every casualty is one too many – we all need to stay safe on our roads.”

For more information and availability on road safety courses, visit

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