Mysterious Monks

Mysterious Monks

The Monks hail from Coventry and have a mysterious, yet interesting history.

Graham Wale (keyboards, lead vocalist and composer) and Jon Lord. (lyricist and lead vocals) have been meeting every week to write songs together for over 45 years.

They recorded their demos on a very tight budget at Jacksons Studio in Rickmansworth,  run by Malcolm and John Jackson, sons of the bandleader and DJ Jack Jackson. The Monks recorded most of their work in the late sixties, with Graham on keyboards/vocals, and a session drummer and bass player. These tracks were overseen by engineer Vic Maile who went on to work with Elton John, Eddie and the Hotrods,  and record Motorhead’s Ace of spades.

They sent songs to all the major record companies and music publishers and drew a blank, until one day, whilst in London to talk to various record companies, Jon happened to spot the offices of Verulam Music. He knocked on the door, which was opened by a man who said he would take our demo and listen to it later.

Within the week Graham and Jon had signed a publishing contract and a song was selected for the debut album planned for Marsha Hunt following her huge success on the London stage in the musical “Hair”.

Unfortunately the song didn’t get included.

After persevering with their attempts to get a release on their own album Graham and Jon abandoned the project, and the ¼” reel to reel master tapes in their boxes lay forgotten in a cupboard at Jon`s house.

When Jon retired from his position running Cabin Studios in Coventry, he dug out the original tapes and asked local producer Paul Sampson if he could transfer the songs to cd if at all possible. Surprisingly, the quality of the recordings was excellent, and deemed worthy of release.

Thanks to the effort of Paul, who digitally restored the tracks where necessary, enhanced them with additional instrumentation, and the input of ideas from Chris Sidwell (Crokodile Tears) Graham and Jon are delighted with the end products – the cds NIL DESPERANDUM, TEMPUS FUGIT , LEGION OF THE LOST and VIVA VOCE all available from the retail shop.


Album/EP releases include –

Nil Desperandum – 2012

12 tracks of quirky 60’s original pop played and sung by Coventry’s own mysterious monks.  Features the single ‘Moneylender’.

Track list –

  1. The moneylender
  2. Dawn trustee
  3. Poor little rich girl
  4. When you smile
  5. The night clerk
  6. Lonely woman
  7. Love’s on the blink
  8. Rickshaw man
  9. Beat up buggy
  10. Spinster of the parish
  11. Oriental nights
  12. Marzipan man


The Legion of the Lost – 2013

A four track E.P – tracks include

  1. The Legion Of The Lost
  2. Strangely Strange
  3. Down The Ladder
  4. Time and Motion

Tempus Fugit – 2016

The 2016 release of 15 original tracks some digitally restored from recording’s at Rickmondsworth Studio in the late 60’s.

  1. Orphan Child
  2. Hush a bbye
  3. It’s that Kind Of Day
  4. Let’s Be Having You smile
  5. Mad Hatter
  6. Pittsburgh Steel
  7. Sinister Streets
  8. There’s A Fine Line
  9. Welcome Me Home
  10. Ornamental Gates (String Version)
  11. Fair Game
  12. Derranged
  13. Ferry To Kowloon
  14. How Was I To Know?
  15. Out Of Luck

Ornamental Gates features Ken Freeman and his ‘Freeman String Symphonizer’ which he built in 1969.

Viva Voce – 2017

The latest release includes 12 more original tracks penned by the Monks –

  1. First call at Dawn
  2. Ready for the taking
  3. It’s worth a lot
  4. Nothing to declare
  5. Fun Tonight
  6. Took the Bait
  7. I’m gonna make sure
  8. Urban Paradise
  9. I’m so Blue
  10. Let’s Get On The Move
  11. All I’ve Got Is Pain