After a lengthy hiatus, Liverpool post-punk / indie rock stalwarts The Room are back to release the first new music recorded in 38 years. Originally formed in 1979 by singer Dave Jackson and bassist Becky Stringer, their new ‘Restless Fate’ LP was recorded and mixed at Ark Studios in Liverpool. Co-produced by Steve Powell (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band, Autour De Lucie, Echo & The Bunnymen), the album was released on 9×9 Records.
‘Restless Fate’ picks up where the band left off. At times shimmering, at times haunting, their melodic blend of progressive, alternative pop and sultry post-punk is just as relevant and captivating now as when they broke up in 1985. An exploration of man’s search for meaning and the dysfunction of the human condition, there is still a relentless optimism at the core of this record.
The Room also present the video for the album’s lead single ‘The Drift’, created by Mark Jordan. Inspired by long peaceful walks during lockdown, contrasted with a sense of inevitable drifting apart and loss, Jackson reflects on how people come and go from our lives over the years in a beautiful melancholic tale of slow loss.
The Room earned the support of John Peel, with whom they recorded four sessions (Strange Fruit eventually released ‘The Peel Session’), an appearance on ‘The Whistle Test’ show, and production support from Television‘s Tom Verlaine and John Porter (Roxy Music, The Smiths, Billy Bragg, Microdisney) on their ‘In Evil Hour’ LP (1984). Recordings from their two sessions for Janice Long‘s BBC Radio One programme and Saturday Live would be used for the band’s final release while together – the ‘Jackpot Jack’ EP (1985). In 2004, the LTM label released the ‘No Dream (Best Of)’ compilation, followed by the ‘Indoor Fireworks’ LP, recorded in 1982 and released via Red Flame Records in 2005.
Past members include Robyn Oldlum, Clive Thomas, Alan Wills, Paul Cavanagh and Peter Baker. Having toured the UK and the USA, The Room has performed with The Fall, The Birthday Party, Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult, Violent Femmes, Tom Verlaine, John Foxx and The Red Guitars.
Following the band’s split, Becky and Dave went on to form several other bands: Benny Profane, Dust and Dead Cowboys. Dave has also recorded under his own name and, most recently, he issued a string of releases as The Room in the Wood (with Paul Cavanagh).
Since lockdown, Dave and Becky reunited to record their new album under their original name, joined by guitarist Darren Brown, Becky’s son Ethan Kyme on keyboards and drummer Tom McCabe.
“It’s great to be working with Becky Stringer again and the infusion of new blood has produced an album we’re proud of. Live reaction to the new songs has been amazing. A recent trip to Manila to perform old songs by The Room with Filipino musicians at Sneak Attack was the first time I’d sung them since 1985. It’s great to revisit old stuff, but writing new songs as The Room is where the excitement really lies. New Dreams from an island cursed by Restless Fate,” says Dave Jackson.
“‘Sleepless’ is about addiction to media that keeps us on our phones and obsessed by trivia. ‘Red Admiral’ is a reflection on childhood with an implied murder mystery hidden in the picture. ‘Kingdom’ is an atheists hymn. ‘Crying Face’ is about a Facebook troll I know. ‘Bull in the Doorway’ is about the paintings of Francis Bacon. ‘Mirror World’ is an oblique response to a misinformation in the media. ‘Cursed Islands’ is about an island off the coast of Napoli and also the redundant World Islands in Dubai. ‘Time Comes’ was another response to lockdown. ‘The Reeds’ is about a bereaved swan on Prince’s Park Lake.”
The ‘Restless Fate’ album is out now, available digitally across fine music platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon. It can also be obtained on CD and as a vinyl record via Liverpool-based 9×9 Records.
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