Last year, we introduced you to an intriguing Liverpool outfit called The Room in The Wood, born from the ashes of 1980s post-punk band The Room and involving two of its core members, Dave Jackson and Paul Cavanaugh. The band had split back in 1985, so it’s great to see them working together again.
Today we have the pleasure of premiering their latest single ‘Charmed’, which foreshadows their sophomore album album ‘We’re The Martians, Now’. The new long-play is expected for release in late January 2020 via A Turntable Friend Records. The melody is addictive with a stylistic mix of French romanticism, sing-along punch-drunk style and Jethro Tull-inspired flute fancy towards the end. Highly attractive, featuring cleverly intertwining of music and vocals, and with both a convincing delivery and important message.
‘Charmed’ is a perfect catch of the track, especially timely for today with the election looming. Britain is at a critical moment in its history and exposing some of the realities that the masses have been duped into believing is an important element of our country’s ability to move forward.
The video for this track is a kickback to decades past, when the naïve expectations of an easy life accessible to the masses mixed with balls conceptions about progress, leadership, the elite, power and societal well-being. The video shows a lackadaisical the duo that is The Room in the Wood lounging around, intermingled with imagery of posh parties, tuxedo dress banquets, and the star-struck fantasy-filled optimism that was fed to the masses.
This single features ace drumming by Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), charming flute by Simon James and heavenly backing vocals by Helena Jacks. Recorded and mixed by Steve Powell (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band) at his Liverpool-based Ark Studios, it was mastered by Pete Maher (Barry Adamson, The Alarm).
“Charmed is about the entitled arrogance of the privately educated rich. It’s about disaster capitalism as pursued by the Moggs & Johnsons of the world, who use jingoism as a mask for self-interest – effectively fiddling while our culture collapses. The music references faux sixties optimism,” explains Dave Jackson.
The accompanying video was created by Mark Jordan and features footage of Dave Jackson and Paul Cavanagh filmed by Sarah Ryan.
This single follows their their sci-fi inspired ‘Mars EP’, released in late 2018. Prior to this, the Liverpool outfit released their debut album ‘The Room in the Wood’ and the ‘Magical Thinking’ EP earlier that same year.
Dave Jackson has been writing and recording since his teens – with The Room, 051, Benny Profane, Dust, Dead Cowboys, as Dave Jackson & The Cathedral Mountaineers, and also with former Shack guitarist John Head. He has recorded and released 10 albums with these various incarnations, notched up 7 John Peel sessions with The Room and Benny Profane, and has also appeared on the Whistle Test, Janice Long and Saturday Live.
Jackson has also toured the UK, Europe and the USA extensively with The Fall, The Violent Femmes, Aztec Camera, The Lemonheads and The Wedding Present. He currently teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University and has developed his novel ‘Violet City’ as a low-budget fantasy feature film.
Paul Cavanagh has performed as a solo instrumentalist as Cabin in the Woods and as one of Mike Badger’s Shady Trio. He worked with The Room drummer Alan Wills at Deltasonic Records with The Coral and The Zutons. Paul has also recorded 4 John Peel sessions and released albums with Top, It’s Immaterial, Moongoose, as well as critically acclaimed singles with Gloss. He also played guitar for Chinese Religion, The Balcony and Ludus.
A Turntable Friend Records is an independent record label. currently in its second life. Based in Germany with distribution through SRD (Southern Record Distributors) and Rough Trade, their mission is to keep vinyl alive while casting light on sonic gems of yesteryear and today. 1990s peers of Sarah Records and Slumberland Records, this label’s roster includes Secret Shine, The Wolfhounds, Boyracer (with Even As We Speak), The Claim, The Ropers, the Hellfire Sermons, Lorelei, Bradford, Easy and Dose.
On November 15, ‘Charmed’ will be released across music stores and streaming platforms such as Spotify. It will also be available via Bandcamp. Liverpool residents can catch The Room in The Wood live next on Saturday, November 16 at 81 Renshaw with Blue Orchids.
Written by Paul Cavanagh and Dave Jackson
Paul Cavanagh – guitars and bass
Dave Jackson – lyrics and vocals
Colin George Lamont – drums
Simon James – flute
Helena Jacks – backing vocals
Song recorded and mixed at Ark Studio by Steve Powell
Mastered by Pete Maher
Video by Mark Jordan. Footage by Sarah Ryan
Photos by Sarah Ryan
Also check out their two most recent videos prior to the new single
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.