THE BEDROOM HOUR
I'm putting out features on some of the best bands i have discovered this year. One being London Lads THE BEDROOM HOUR who spellbound me with their stadium sounding epic rock. It's heartfelt, moving and very uplifting. With their love of 80's classic titans U2 ,Simple Minds, also newer more atmospheric bands like Doves, Death Cab For Cutie and Elbow, all influences that shine through in their excellent Debut Themes. I was given an opportunity to review it, so here it is:
Being a lover of alternative 80's music and stadium sounding guitar bands, it was a pleasure to be asked to review the debut E.P from this band who tick all those boxes.
Track 1 - Shadow Boxer
A slow build up eases the listener in to nearly two minutes of 'Killing Joke' - Love like blood sounding, chiming, atmospheric guitar riffs. Main man Stu Drummond then introduces us to his smooth as a single malt whisky vocal range, taking us in to big room chorus “Tell me what you see, when you look at yourself and see the enemy?” he bellows. Promising beginning
Track 2 - Tyrannosaur
Joy Division – Transmission, Bass riff and a touch of 'The Cure' - A forest to begin, with a Morissey vocal style. Frantic keyboard melody with a more restrained chorus, dark but uplifting. So much going on and all blended together to a moody finish seamlessly moving in to Track 3 - 'Themes'. 'Doves' like piano and dreamy vocals on this short interlude.
Track 4 - Midnight game
Gorgeous 'Coldplay' style guitar picking with ethereal choir like backing and another big epic chorus “Your the light in the darkness”. I’m imagining Stu reaching out to a love one who's helping him out of his dark place (metaphorical speaking ) This could easily be their ' Fix you' with it's stunning stadium sounding finish.
Track 5 - X marks the spot
Simple minds Charlie Burchill guitar riff's and soaring synth, Guy Garvey vocals, rousing infectious chorus, a guaranteed sure fire hit live and what would likely be their big single. A tune which I've heard many times of late but which treats the listener to something new every time. Beautiful indie/pop
Track 6 - Slow motion Cinema
Very Elbow and a touch of Gene on this end track. Melancholic, soothing ballad and very very Epic, if Sergio Leone made songs it would sound like this. The chorus “I close my eyes” repeated over and over along with the melodic guitar hook, taking it down in to a 80's keyboard finish
A very enjoyable well produced debut which warrants repeat listens and enjoyed best in it's entirety. Only complaint, it's not an album. I'll have to wait for that, but their ever increasing fan-base and buzz around these lads will sure push money their way to get their first of many album's out very soon.
Don't worry guys, the big guns will keep the Arena's warm until you get there.
You get in to a band and want to test your love for the music by seeing them live and singing along; in the summer they touched down here in Scotland for a mini tour of Glasgow , Edinburgh and Bathgate, i know not as glamorous but it's the home of their lovely Manager, and it was her birthday. Of course i went along, review book in hand:
DREADNOUGHT ROCK - BATHGATE 14/06/13
Having recently gained a love for this band and reviewing their Debut E.P : 'Themes', I must admit I was very pleased to be seeing the lads live, especially since we all share a love for classic Stadium bands, one in particular being early Simple Minds.
The band all take their positions on the stage to an intro tape of the classic Celtic stars instrumental : Theme from great cities http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FfCxLvV2nc except for lead man Stu Drummond? I’m excited now! The band ease into their E.P's opening tune Shadow Boxer, post punk sounding guitar chimes out and Stu takes his place center stage. Leaning slowly into the mic like a young Bono, he's confident, vocals tight, faultless and visually not unlike Elbow's Guy Garvey. Joining the league of the working class gentlemen.
'Tyrannosaur ' with it's frantic Joy Division keys intro lead guitarist Rob Payne breaks it down into a U2's Edge riff. Lead man Drummond singing with huge passion, pounding on his chest like a guerilla protecting his patch.'No key' with it's big 'Coldplay' keys and drumming vocally reminds me of a Soft Cell tune, very arena pop and very 80's (not a bad thing at all! )
Another tune 'Sapphires' with it's haunting heartfelt sound is preceded by Stu saying “Thanks for having us in gods country” a cover version of the U2 album track wouldn't have gone out of place in this set of tight, polished wide-screen guitar pop.'Slow motion cinema' follows, prior to the gig I got an exclusive from the lead man telling me his mother passed away after an illness last year and he wrote it for her. Hearing it live and seeing the feelings flooding through makes the song ever more poignant and emotional.
'X marks the spot' definitely hit's the spot live with it's Simple minds intro, catchy uplifting chorus. If bands still released singles this would surely be a top 40 hit. At one point Drummond perches on the edge of the drum kit, I was hoping he would jump up and let loose a Jim Kerr trademark kick but no, not even a wave (one for Minds fans)
'Heart will haunt a track which wasn't on the E.P in it's entirety, though Rob tells me a sample was used at the beginning of 'Shadow Boxer'. At this point it sounds like the volume has been turned up a notch on the vocals and I feel the passion reverberating through me.
Last track 'Nocturnal' reminds me of Siouxsie and the banshees with it's alternative 80's sound.
An all round great gig and really thoroughly enjoyed, only complaint was the venue was too small to carry their huge sound, I can only hope they make it to move up to bigger venue's that command and carry their epic tunes and with influences like Elbow, Coldplay, U2 and Simple Minds how could they not.
Afterwards i got an interview with the lads and a bit of a laugh to finish.
Me : What's your name's and where do you come from? Stu Drummond from West London, Mark Dudley from west London , Rob Payne from Uxbridge in Middlesex.
Me: Theme tunes? Favorite theme tune: Minder or Only fools and horses? A unanimous vote for Minder. They tell me while they made the video for X marks the spot they came across a montage from Minder, Stu jokes they might use the theme as a walk music
Me: Seriously, Themes for title of E.P? Rob: I'm a massive Simple Minds fan, and obviously their track 'Themes from great cities' took it from that .If we released an album on vinyl we would like one side Morning ( more chilled ) and Night ( more upbeat ).
Me: Stu, do you write the lyrics or is it more a group effort? Stu: I write the lyrics and all the guys add their parts, but I believe the lyrics are no more important than the music.
Me: So as a band if you could have written: U2- The Joshua Tree or Coldplay's -Rush of blood to your head what one? Rob: Joshua Tree Stu: I don't know, both have great songs on them. Lewis ( drummer ) who joins us “I wasn't around for The Joshua Tree “
Me: Favorite Simple Minds track between Belfast Child and I travel? Rob: I travel - definitely
Me: First ever Arena gig experience? Rob: Oasis ( be here now tour ) Earls court. Stu: Don't know, but best gig; Prodigy ( Brixton academy ) Mark : I've seen Kings of Leon at Wembley Arena.
Me: If you got invited to play any festival in the world? Rob and Mark 'Cochella ' Stu: T in the park with having Scottish Family.
Me: You've all seen Nevermind the Buzzcocks, I've called this Nevermind The Bedroom Hour. Name the song from the lyrics 'Lights will guide you and ignite you home' Band: Coldplay- Fix You ( correct)
'You turn me on, you lift me up, like a sweetest cup' Band: Simple Minds- Alive and kicking (correct )
'Feeling around for question marks, but you won't respond to me' Band : Us! Finger on the pulse ( correct )
'Well my heart is where it's always been, my head is somewhere in-between' Band: Don't no? It was U2-even better than the real thing (wrong)
'Whisper what you feel, my body strung declaration to you' Band: Elbow, but can't think of the song.
3 and a half out of five.
This week i managed to get an Exclusive follow up interview with Stu and Rob:
Q. So we last spoke after your Bathgate gig in june. What's been happening in The Bedroom Hour camp since then? STU: Its been busy we played a guerilla gig in edinburgh at bannermans a few days after we spoke, played mosborough music festival with Reverend and the makers and shared a stage with Alan Mcgee's latest protege John Lennon McCullagh in that month, a couple of top gigs in Manchester which was a mind blowing experience just pretty much plan to keep building the fan base and plans to do a lot more in 2014 and get to places we have yet to get play
Q. You had Simple Minds as a intro walk on piece, you joked you might use Minder theme tune, still possible? ROB: Good memory Malcom!! As much as it was good to have Themes by the mighty Minds I've decided to call the album Corrie and have the Coronation Street theme tune as a walk on but with some strippers on stage (ME: He's joking, right? ) Q. Your excellent debut E.P Themes was very epic. A lot of bands tend to build up to that kind of sound through the years, can we expect more of the same for your new material, or will this be your stripped back , cardigan's on and acoustic's out period? ROB:
Ha! No no no All we wanna do is make an album that not only puts the fear in other bands but makes us happy. Judging by all the feedback we've had and the fact people have gotten up from the sofa to see us and buy it has made it a great year. All I know is that since we've started to record it, it's taken a life of it's own. The only problem I think we will have is what goes on and in what order!! We've got songs that are 4-5 years old that we've never finished and I like that because now we are in a position to record these and with the line up they can have the love they need, On Themes there was a lot of links to these songs so I'm hoping that people can play Themes, then the album and it should all make sense I want this band to release chapters rather than albums. If that makes sense Q. Previously you mentioned a double A side of Sapphires, is it still coming? Also the album ,still penciled for a March/April release? ROB: Well I would love to say yeah that's still gonna happen but with some of the new songs we've all said the same thing about one and that should be the first single so maybe the double A will have to wait a bit Regarding the release date that's still the plan and we have a bulk of the songs that are left to record floating around It's just a case of picking them out and saying "yeah that's going in for sure" Q. Any support slot's been offered to you? ROB: No, nothing really, and to be fair I wouldn't want to go on after us After the Manchester shows! Q. If you could support one new band, who would it be? STU: New bands? I would never turn down an opportunity to support anyone at this level we are at, we just want exposure and an opportunity but I can honestly say no band in the last 12 months are doing anything we could not be doing if we had exactly the same opportunities they have had. Q. There's been a resurgence in Vinyl buying, what was the first vinyl single or album you remember buying? ROB: I brought Led Zep III because I remember seeing my brother with one and it had a spinning wheel front cover And like a lot of people once you get one record the rest is like an addiction! Q. If you guys made a Late Night Tales album ( you aware of them? ) each give me a tune you would contribute to it? STU: the cedar room by doves ROB: Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie (7:56 of pure build up) Q. American T.V seems to be the new Film. If The Bedroom Hour could have one of their tunes used, which one IE. Breaking bad etc? STU: I think our music is very universal and can have many different meanings to many different people, so I think we could really benefit TV in many ways and I think TV could benefit greatly from our music, if you put me on the spot I would say Grey's Anatomy would be perfect for us with the emotional scenes from the show and the emotion of our songs would marry together well. Q. You've been up and down touring, from London to Manchester, plans to play Scotland ( god's country ) again? STU: Without a doubt and hopefully we can take a few more places in. Aberdeen and Irvine we seem to have a really healthy following growing there, so fingers crossed we can come and say thank you. Q. Any funny experiences at one of your gigs? ROB: Normally the banter on the way to the gigs but we've not had anything go wrong with stalkers or amps blowing up........yet Q. Nearly crimbo, If you could record one classic Xmas hit, which one? STU: If we can get rob dressed up as Buddy the Elf it's well worth it, I wouldn't want to do anything to obvious maybe take a Christmas carol as oppose to a song something like silent night and make it eerie and alternative? ROB: The best lyrics I've ever heard are "Look to the future now, it's only just begun" Sums it up really There you have it, a band with drive, ambition and bag's of talent. One band you should own in your collection and definitely one to stick on your live radar list for 2014. Like the mighty Slade said Look to the future, it's only just begun for THE BEDROOM HOUR. Merry Xmas Everybody.