Saturday, March 2, 2024


Described by ‘Firebrand Roxx’ magazine as being one of the best ‘live’ bands on the circuit and who should be on more major festival circuits, The Room provided further evidence of this opinion with a coruscating gig at the Robin 2, Bilston. In 2016, The Room were nominated in the ‘best new band’ category at the Classic Rock Society awards and on this DVD, they show exactly why the CRS rates them so highly.

The gig takes place before an appreciative crowd at one of the country’s premier Prog rock venues, a stopping-off point for many bands on the prog circuit. The Robin 2, Bilston, is a small, intimate little venue and the audience are close enough to the stage to really feel the atmosphere. The Room are a melodic rock band who bring a wide range of influences into their music. They play tunes rather than epics, and what they play is not riff-based, rather, it’s based on good song structures, sound performing and an ability to make what they perform pleasing to the ear.

Their music is melodic but it also has a prog twist to it. Just listen to ‘My Friend Jack’ (no, not that one. He ate sugar lumps, this one’s gone crazy !). They employ all the usual stops and starts and key changes and it works. Tracks like ‘Full Circle’ suggests an almost Marillion influence with some delightful keyboard and Guitar playing. ‘Casual Believer’ is one of the standout tracks on the DVD. The intro, which sounds like tingling bells, gives way to the band playing full-on, and they show they can rock as well as be melodic.

One of the impressive things about The Room on stage is, while the instrumentation is sublime, they don’t engage on any long-drawn-out stage noodling, and only two tracks exceed the six-minute mark. Any instrumental break fits nicely into the song being played, is wholly appropriate and never outstays its welcome.

They bring a very enjoyable set to a rousing close with ‘Bedlam’, which sees a replacement drummer as Chris York dresses up as an old time religious preacher and goes about haranguing the audience. They encore with the somewhat left-field choice of ‘16 Tons’ and are joined onstage by female choir The Roommates singing the chorus, and they conclude their set with a storming ‘I see you’, a set deserving of appealing to an audience beyond the rock fraternity.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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