Martin Wilson ~ vocals
Andrew Rae ~ drums
Andy Rowe ~ bass & backing vocals
Steve Anderson ~ guitars
Steve Checkley ~ keyboards
A little background...
TheRoom are a melodic rock band hailing from the Southeast of England. Formed in 2010 the band finalised their line up in 2011. Martin Wilson and Steve Anderson from progressive rock band GLD were joined by Andy Rowe, Andrew Rae and Steve Checkley.
The five band members brought together a broad range of musical influences which has helped form TheRoom's distinctive style. Smart songs with great melodies are the essence of the bands material.
Four highly successful launch shows were played in October 2011 to coincide with the release of the promotional single 'A Casual Believer' / 'A Multitude of Angels'. Audience reaction was superb and the band was thrilled with the response.
The band's debut album, 'Open Fire' was released in December 2012.
Martin Wilson began treading boards at very young age, his mother was an avid Am Dram enthusiast and ran the Little theatre group in Scunthorpe, North Lincs. Martin played many parts and also appeared on the local radio with a production of 'An Inspector Calls', acting not being to his taste he looked for an alternative outlet. After he left school, Martin drifted from one local band to another, most not lasting more than a rehearsal or two. It was when he was 19 that he bumped into Andrew Rae and his brother Stuart and with the help of a few friends Legacy was born.
Legacy quickly became a favourite in their home town, a rise fuelled by the progressive rock revival of the early 80's with bands such as Marillion and IQ. The band moved to Sheffield to concentrate on 'getting a deal' and the unreleased album 'A million to One' was recorded, however with no deal on the horizon the band Split after two years.
Martin pretty much retired from the music biz and in the mid 80's moved to London. Andrew Rae and Martin shared a flat in the east end of London where Martin met his partner Linda.
In 1990 Martin through ex-Legacy guitarist Sam Smith met the keyboard wizard Louis David in Oxford, it became apparent that their styles married very well and writing began. Sam left soon after and Julian Hunt was drafted in on Guitars, Martin Invited ex-Legacy stalwarts, Andrew Rae (drums) and Stuart Ellerington (bass) to join and Shadowland was formed.
After two years of writing and gigging Andrew and Stuart left due to logistical and personal reasons. Mark Robotham (drums) and Sean Spear (bass) where drafted in, and Grey Lady Down was born.
The Band went on to bigger and better things and with four studio albums, a live album and European and US tours under their belts the band went on until 1998 when they split only to reform two years later with new drummer Phil Millichamp. The album 'Star-Crossed' was recorded a tour completed, but the band was finally laid to rest in 2002.
It was around this time that Martin was forced away from the music scene due to his son developing Retinoblastoma (Retinal Cancer). The fight to save Joshua's sight would last for 8 years; unfortunately, even with pioneering treatment in the USA, Joshua lost his sight in 2009.
During Joshua's illness Martin kept his hand in after being invited by ex-Camberwick Green and Mud keyboard player Andy Ball to join a 14 piece soul band The Inevitables, with Ex 80's band Breathe guitarist Marcus Lillington. They went on play a 10 sell out shows, mainly raising cash and awareness for Eye cancer charities. This project is still on going.
Martin uses a Peavey 8 channel desk, hand built Speakers, AKG Radio and Shure SM58 microphones.
Andrew Rae. What can you say about him that hasn't already been said? Well, very little actually, because his musical career has hardly been noteworthy up to the present. That, however, is all about to change.
Andrew was born in Rome, brought up in Kenya and his family moved to England in the mid 70's – beautiful Kenyan sunshine one day to miserable British weather the next. Ma and Pa had to choose December to return. Anyway, after enduring a few harsh Lincolnshire winters, Andrew met Stuart Ellerington at college and they decided to become rock stars. Drums were an eclectic mix of colours and creed, supported ably by robust dining chairs and the largest pans to hand. In 1982 Andrew and his brother, keyboardist Stuart, together with bassist Stuart Ellerington, moved to Sheffield where fame beckoned and more importantly, free bus travel. Equipment was bought on loan and the search for a vocalist and guitarist began.
By sheer coincidence, at a Genesis concert in Birmingham Andrew and the two Stuarts bumped into Martin who had sang originally with the band in Scunthorpe but, for reasons we won't go into, wasn't invited to the Kibbutz in Sheffield. It was clear then and has been ever since, that Martin was the singer for Legacy. When Sam Smith joined, the band went on to write songs which, sadly, were never backed by publishing or marketing. Legacy was the start and despite geographical and career changes that beset the Five, friendships were forged that are still as strong to this day.
For a couple of years, Shadowland played in and around Oxford with Julian Hunt and Louis David playing alongside former Legacy members Stuart Ellerington, Martin and Andrew. Andrew finally left the band in the early 90's – commuting from Oxford to London whilst bringing up a young family and being the world's top Shipbroker (hem hem) all proved impossible to maintain. The first reason was born in 1990 and is now 20 and playing drums in Hello Mexico, a rock band which undoubtedly has a chance of success. Well, dad just had to go out and buy himself a six-piece Pearl Masters kit, some Cobra pedals and Zildjian cymbals.
And so nothing has really changed. We're all just a little older and what little hair we have left is just a little greyer, but drumming is something that just doesn't go away. Andrew and Andy Rowe have been the rhythm for a couple of years now and even though Andy doesn't say it too often, he's thrilled.
theRoom is a space where musical tastes of the 70's, 80's, 90's and present are thrown in, smashed on the head, beaten to a pulp, chewed, spat out and stamped upon. Andrew grew up with Purple, was forced into Genesis, makes no apologies for following Richie Blackmore around the UK in 1982 with Rainbow which included playing football with the band and back stage passes to 10 gigs, but now savours all from Linkin Park and The Used to Michael Buble. Ok, Buble is a lie. We may as well put Manilow and kick this thing in the head right now.
Andy Rowe started playing bass guitar whilst at school in the 1970's. Joining forces with two local mates they formed a 'Punk' style outfit and performed at the school and local parties. After leaving full time education, Andy joined Reading NWOBHM band Firebird who became hugely popular in the area and with their single release in 1979, (produced by Ian Gillan from Deep Purple) they climbed the Rock Charts to number 8.
Firebird split as the guitarists left for university and Andy joined ex The Nice drummer Brian (Blinky) Davison in London based band Prime Cut. The band was a massive success in the London club scene and started touring further afield encouraging record company interest. However, 'musical differences' saw Andy leave the band and join Reading based rock band 'One Way Street'. This project was short lived and Andy retired from the business for some 25 years.
Andy got the bug for playing again in 2008 and joined Rock covers band TheScam. This rekindled Andy's passion for playing live and in the studio and he joined forces with ex Grey Lady Down vocalist Martin Wilson in the BigFish project. The rest is history.
Andy Plays Overwater Bass Guitars with Strings from Elite. Amplification is MarkBass and Ashdown.
Steve's initial interest in guitar started whilst still at school with a TV programme featuring a performance of 'Cavatina' by John Williams. His first paycheck from a saturday temp job was spent on a black yamaha electric, and the musical journey began in earnest.
After a couple of years at sixth form, starting to write and play with a number of friends, an advert placed in the newspaper 'Loot' yielded a meeting with keyboard-playing scientist Neil Durant, and the seeds of all things Sphere³ical started to take shape.
More about GLD can be found here.
Steve plays Parker, Ovation and Patrick Eggle guitars, Roland V-Guitar systems and Atomic Amps.
Whilst the other band members of The Room had already enjoyed various music successes, Steve only first picked up a keyboard in 1993, age 16. Armed with a copy of Queen's Greatest Hits, he set about teaching himself how to play the songs that he loved.
After leaving school, Steve got more into music programming than playing live, sequencing a string of backing tracks for a local singer in the Worcestershire area. A few years later and with a qualification in the bag, Steve looked for his first proper gigging band.
Although bigger opportunities were offered, Steve decided to focus on his career and so was pretty much content with local pub and function bands. Playing everything from New Wave to Motown, from chart hits to Classic Rock, success was really just gigging around the West Midlands, playing regularly and making some good friends.
Things changed somewhat in 2004 when Steve's career took a backseat and he joined Trigger, an original big-hair, power chord mad, six piece rock band from Bromsgrove with big plans. Sadly, the record deal never materialised - had it been 1986, things would surely have been different. That said, by the time Steve left the band, they'd recorded two kick-ass albums, been placed on the soundtrack of a British independent film, rocked out a few theatres in the West Midlands (complete with support bands, video screens and nine foot skull), played to 20,000 people, were showcased on Virgin Radio and landed third place in a national competition to support Bon Jovi at the Milton Keynes’ mega bowl. The band are still going with a new line up and are heavier than ever!
But life moves on. New work opportunities and promotions pretty much put an end to music for a few years and after a move from Worcestershire to Berkshire, Steve was quick to get back into music.
And so enter The Room and the rest is history.
Steve will never give up his old Technics keyboard no matter how battered and shagged it is and supplements its rich sounds with an equally ancient but rather better worn Korg synthesizer. He's also fallen in love with the new Roland Ax Synth keytar and is over the moon that he can finally crack out guitar riffs on the wrong instrument.