Those of you who couldn’t get to my birthday bash have a second chance to see The Room return along with The Gift in a double headline at The Talking Heads next May. Mike Morton of the Gift (and tribute band “Book of Genesis” at the time) had originally agreed to sing a tune or two with the Birthday band before circumstances made him unavailable.
As most of you know – the guitarist from the “Birthday band” had an accident the evening before the event. The guys from The Room offered to get to rehearsals early on the day and prepared a longer set – which saved the evening.
(We must try to get Credo back as well because Mark Colton was ready to sing until that last minute disaster hit – and I have already said to the other “Birthday vocalist” Stu Nicholson of Galahad that they should play Southampton again sometime)
Until recently, The Gift were regarded by those in the know as ‘the best kept secret’ in progressive rock. Back in 2006, their first album ‘Awake And Dreaming’ wowed the ‘Prognoscenti’ with its heady mixture of ‘70s style and contemporary soundscapes. Then there was silence…until the band reformed a few years ago. Originally signed to Cyclops Records, the band joined the ever growing Bad Elephant Music roster in 2013. Then their long-awaited second album “Land of Shadows” emerged on the 5th of May 2014. It was another ambitious song suite packed with strong melodies, incisive lyrics and instrumental ‘tours de force’. The album took the listener on a true musical journey with tracks like “The Comforting Cold”, an ambitious epic about the near-death experience. As vocalist and songwriter Mike Morton said upon its release: “Don’t come to us for songs about cars and girls.”
BEM re-released ‘Awake And Dreaming’ in February 2016 to mark its 10th anniversary, re-mastered and repackaged with stunning new artwork. It caused a real stir in the UK, and The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy (in particular) were quick to join the growing calls for ‘more Gift’! In October 2016 The Gift released their 3rd album, ‘Why The Sea Is Salt’. Now, with the arrival of new keyboard player Gabriele Baldocci, a world renowned classical pianist, and original guitarist Leroy James returning to the fold, the music has risen to a whole new level. Add to this key contributions from both Steve Hackett and Antony Phillips of Genesis fame, both close friends and supporters of the band, and you have a force to be reckoned with.
There is a Progressive Renaissance happening right now and The Gift are at its vanguard.
Lineup – Mike Morton (vocals), David Lloyd (guitar), Leroy James (guitar), Stefan Dickers (bass), Gabriele Baldocci (keyboards) and Neil Hayman(drums).
The Room are a melodic rock band from the Southeast of the UK. The five band members bring together a broad range of musical influences which has helped form The Room’s distinctive style. Smart songs with great melodies are the essence of the bands progressive AOR sound. Formed in 2010 with Martin Wilson and Steve Anderson from neo-prog rock band GLD were joined by Andy Rowe, Andrew Rae and Steve Checkley. The band started writing their first album over the winter 2011, recording it at Platform Studios in the summer of 2012. Melodic Revolution Records signed The Room on an album deal and Open Fire was released in Dec 2012.
March 2014 saw the arrival of new drummer Chris York. The band signed a deal for album two with UK label Bad Elephant Music in 2015 and the album, Beyond The Gates of Bedlam was released in November 2015 to further critical acclaim. The band are advised by ex BBC TV and Live Aid presenter Steve Blacknell.
Nominated in the Best New Band category at the 2016 Classic Rock Society awards The Room always deliver an outstanding show.
Following a series of highly successful supports for Inglorious, Lifesigns and Soft Machine, a busy festival season and some headline shows, The Room filmed their final show of 2016 at The Robin 2 for release on DVD in Jan / Feb 2017.