The Bedroom Hour. It was the promisingly sultry name that initially enticed me to check this band out when they popped up on Twitter. First hearing and they’ve got me hooked. There’s an intensity to this five-piece West London band, an immersive quality, a moodiness which draws you in. Their songs have that ability to transport you – if they were to write a soundtrack, it would be for a David Lynch film, something with an air of longing, a vague feeling of tension and menace bubbling under the surface. It’s down to the soaring guitar from Rob Payne and emotion-drenched vocals of Stuart Drummond – and some seriously good songwriting skills.
The Finsbury pub, London, 5th July. It’s a swelteringly hot evening and the potential audience are chilling en masse at tables outside the pub, not obligingly clustered around the stage. Can The Bedroom Hour lure everyone into the gloom of the back of the pub? Right now there’s a punk band on stage, and there’s a smoke machine puffing out toxic clouds at inappropriate moments.
The Bedroom Hour take to the stage, and prove they can deliver a powerful live set. Much of the material is from recent EP Themes. Stuart Drummond is an intense vocalist, giving the band a distinctive sound which commands you to listen to him. There’s a touch of Simple Minds, or Elbow perhaps.
X Marks the Spot perfectly encapsulates the band’s style: the dreamy vocals overladen with sweet rippling guitar work from Rob Payne, a perfect symbiotic relationship. Heart will Haunt starts slowly with a drummed heartbeat, gradually building, very much built around Stu’s soaring vocals with the verses flowing into the chorus.
Submarine is perhaps my favourite number: a beautifully-structured ballad with a gut-wrenchingly beautiful intro which reminds me of Chris Isaak, and a pefectly-balanced interplay between vocals and guitar, with keyboard skilfully deployed by Mark Dudley.
A sizeable crowd gather round the stage as the set gathers pace. Hopefully The Bedroom Hour have succeeded in making a fair few more fans. This is one band who definitely deserve it.
The Bedroom Hour played at The Finsbury, 336 Green Lanes, London N4. www.thefinsbury.co.uk
EP Themes, available on download: Amazon, iTunes