The Room open doors to the big timeBy Linda Serck
January 17, 2013
Question. How does a bunch of ‘older lads’ from Woodley, Wokingham and Camberley get signed to a Florida record label?
Well, social networking is the answer – at least it was for The Room, recently signed to Melodic Revolution Records.
“We found a DJ on a large internet radio station and connected with him,” says bassist Andy Rowe.
“He listened to a promo of a couple of tracks and really liked what we were doing.
“He told us that a guy called Nick Katona of Melodic Revolution Records in Florida may be interested in hearing our work. He did, he liked it and he signed us! As a footnote to that story we also got offers from another US label, a French Label and one in the UK but it was Nick’s energy and passion for the music that swung the deal.”
The Room describe themselves as a melodic rock band with prog rock influences, and the founding members Martin Wilson and Andrew Rae actually met years ago when growing up in Scunthorpe.
A complex family rock tree united the four-piece and they recorded their debut album Open Fire in Hurst, and mastered it in Henley.
“The album has been getting some absolutely fantastic reviews,” says Andy. “It has featured in a couple of DJs’ album of the year and is getting airplay all over the world.”
The themes on the album are “quite dark” – perhaps unsurprisingly judging by the pistol-wielding bride on the album cover.
“They reflect life in the 21st century,” says Andy, “and pick up some exceptionally emotional issues. Quite personal really.
“They range from the open track Flesh and Bone which is a statement about war in the Middle East to a song about an actress that wanders into the world of dodgy movies.
“And there’s Screaming Through the Noise which is about Martin’s son’s battle with retinal cancer and the impact on the whole family.”
The band’s plans for the future include putting together a live show for a tour, and they are already planning album number two.
Here’s hoping they’ll be one of many local success stories on these here pages.
Find out more at www.theroom.eu.
One of Reading’s most exceptional bands, Amy’s Ghost, have announced the title of their forthcoming five-track EP.
The tribal folk band fronted by the angelic Amy Barton have been very successful on the pledgemusic website where fans fund the album in exchange for a copy once it is released.
“We decided to not go with Ninja Fingers in the end!” laughs Amy, “but Fragments.”
And fans are not only supporting Fragments in their droves, but also snapping up other pledge offers the band have put out there, including an acoustic cream tea party, where the band come in to your home and perform while you eat and drink.
A couple of fans who are getting married have bought the offer of an Amy’s Ghost wedding reception party!
Great news for Henley-on-Thames singer Danica Hunter. Click on this Radio 1 iPlayer link: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pctdz and you can listen to her perform on four tracks as chosen by the mighty music producers Skream and Benga on their Dubrocca mixtape.
Danica performed at the Reading Festival last year for BBC Introducing and I predict great things for this artist – four appearances in one Radio One show is only the beginning.
I couldn’t believe it when I went on the Crooked Billet’s website to check out its gigs. The legendary Geno Washington is performing there this coming Monday! I had the pleasure of speaking with him briefly at the Q Awards in October, as he handed over a Q icon award to Dexys (formerly Dexys Midnight Runners) who wrote the song Geno about him.
Now Geno is an eccentric character, with the most infectious raspy open-mouthed laugh you’ll hear. This is a man who enjoys life, and with his band the Ram Jam Band had two big-selling albums in the 1960s – Hipsters, Flipsters & Finger Poppin’ Daddies, and Hand Clappin’ Foot Stompin’ Funky-Butt.
He had retired from the music industry but was persuaded to make a comeback in 1980 thanks to Dexys, whose song about him became a hit.
He is one of the most engaging, charismatic, soulful, hypnotic, high-energy soul and blues singers – Crooked Billet owner Paul Clerehugh has got himself a cracker here.
South Street Arts Centre has an event happening this Saturday called Vocal Networking, which is a session developed to bring MCs, DJs, producers and critics face to face and to have the opportunity to make new contacts.
MCs can come with their best lyrics and take to the stage as well as networking to meet some of the best local producers to see if together they have what it takes to create that next smash hit.
Producers, for your chance to have your beats selected and spun on the night, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. See how the crowd react to some of your freshest sounds.
Tickets are £5 and doors are 7.30pm.
Listen to Linda Serck every Saturday at 8pm on BBC Radio Berkshire and email your music news to email@example.com