Heaven and Hell: Award-winning sound engineer Cenzo Townshend

Cenzo Townsend, who has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Picture: Jamie Carter

Cenzo Townsend, who has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Picture: Jamie Carter - Credit: Archant

Cenzo Townshend, of Decoy Studios in Suffolk, has worked with Ed Sheeran, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Florence & the Machine, The Maccabees, George Ezra and many more.

Editors, Snow Patrol and The Maccabees are just a few of the bands who have recorded at Decoy Studio

Editors, Snow Patrol and The Maccabees are just a few of the bands who have recorded at Decoy Studios in Suffolk. Picture: Mike Banks - Credit: Archant

Cenzo Townshend is an award-winning sound engineer and mixer, at his world-renowned Decoy Studios in Suffolk. He began his career in the 80s working at Trident Studios. Over the last 20 years, Cenzo has been involved in mixing bestselling albums and singles with global recording artists, including Ed Sheeran, Everything Everything, Editors, U2, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Florence & the Machine, The Maccabees, George Ezra, Ben Howard, Jamie T, Bloc Party and Jake Bugg.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born in Italy but used to visit my grandmother here as a child.

What is your East Anglian Heaven?

The River Deben. There’s nothing better than waking up on a Sunday and walking the river walk with my family, grabbing a coffee on the way from Honey & Harvey. Summer Sundays at the Ramsholt Arms and winter weekends at The Ufford Crown. Oh, and sundowners at the Maybush. These places have been amazingly resilient in keeping us all going during these hard times and I feel honoured to be a part of such a beautiful place.

What’s your East Anglian Hell?

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The A12 on a Friday night.

What is your favourite East Anglian Landmark?

Can I say my local? The Ufford Crown. Great food, people and atmosphere. For me it’s unbeatable.

What is the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Latitude festival. A great opportunity for local bands to showcase their talent. Plus we love to make an event of it at Decoy, with friends stopping off at the studio on their way to perform. One of my proudest moments was seeing The Maccabees on the main stage.

What is your specialist Mastermind subject?

As geeky as it sounds, vintage recording equipment (check my Instagram) or the legend David Bowie.

What is always in your fridge?

Adnams White Burgundy and a huge block of Parmesan.

What’s your simple philosophy in life?

Good things come to those who work for them. And having a dream gives you something to strive for.

What’s your favourite film?

This week….. it’s the Life of Brian.

What was your first job?

After washing cars for my mate Guy Nicholls, tea boy at London’s Trident studios, whilst simultaneously failing to launch my career as a DJ.

What is your most treasured possession?

My late father’s watch, I’m never without it.

Who do you admire most?

I’d have to say my wife, Rachael.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Either trainers or vintage studio equipment.

What do you like most about yourself?

My strong work ethic.

What’s your worst trait?

Also my work ethic. And my wife says I get hangry.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

It’s hard to choose between Italy, where I was born, or Ibiza, where Rachael and I first went on holiday and we’ve been back most years ever since. It’s such a sanctuary for our family.

Best day of your life?

My wedding day. Or the day my youngest Luisa was born, it was also the day that Damon Hill won the British Grand Prix.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

I do love a home-cooked full English or an eggs benedict from Honey & Harvey.

What’s your favourite tipple?

A Negroni. Easy.

What’s your hidden talent?

Cooking. I love it, especially Italian.

What’s your earliest memory?

Learning to ride a bike.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I’m a hoarder. Again, check my Instagram.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?

Shall we do Sober October?

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?

Since coming here frequently since I was 10, it’s always felt like home. Even after living in a lot of places we’ve always been drawn back to Suffolk. And we’ve been lucky enough to live and raise our family here. This place is my best-kept secret.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

I am so proud to support the Ed Sheeran Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction. My prize is to welcome a band, or an individual aspiring musician to record or mix with me at Decoy Studios. Alternately I’d be happy to give a masterclass on recording or mixing at our state of the art facilities in east Suffolk.

The Legacy Auction is supporting two great charities, both of which have crucial legacy projects to fund. So please do get bidding, and hopefully the day will be one to remember. Find my lot at www.edsheeranmadein suffolklegacyauction.com (lot 93). And, if music is not your thing, there are over 200 other fantastic prizes. For more info visit: www.decoysound. com.

If you have a story, email gina@hallfarmfornham.com and follow on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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