Theatre Royal is the perfect example of a music band in which every song, every detail and every step has been carefully worked. Their music, lyrics and performances combine, with extraordinary coherence, open atmospheres full of hope and happiness, with the dark worlds of an Ingmar Bergman inspiration. An excellent English band from Rochester to follow and discover.
The Velvet Undergorund, Love, The Beatles, Shack, The Smiths
Rochester’s Theatre Royal were formed after breaking in and performing in Chatham’s derelict Victorian theatre of the same name in 2009, alongside cult icons and fellow Medway residents Billy Childish and Lupen Crook. The band released debut album ‘from rubble rises…’ (‘heads straight for the melodic jugular’ –Artrocker) in 2010 swiftly followed by the ‘Spit and a Dream’ EP both on The Preservation Society Presents label. With both records receiving national airplay and critical recognition. 2011 saw the Theatre Royal play listed on Virgin Radio in Europe whilst the band spent time gigging extensively, writing and recording their 2nd album ‘at the end of a river, the sea…’ to be released summer 2012.
The bands first release of 2012 was ‘Katherine’s Sleeping’ a very ltd non-album split 7” vinyl with label mates Kids Unique that found it’s way onto BBC 6music, XFM and Amazing Radio in the UK. Next up is ‘The Story Of My Life’, the first single to be taken from their sophomore effort once again receiving strong support from taste maker radio DJs.
From rubble rises (The Preservation Society Presents, 2010)
At the end of a river, the sea…(The Preservation Society Presents, 2012)
Spit & A Dream (The Preservation Society Presents, 2010)
If You Could Stand Up (you’d walk away) (The Preservation Society Presents, 2011)
The Story Of My Life (The Preservation Society Presents, 2012)
Will England Rain Itself Dry (The Preservation Society Presents, 2012) Free
A Hundred Thousand Tears (The Preservation Society Presents, 2012)
Katherine’s Sleeping (The Preservation Society Presents, 2012)
1. How did the band begin?
Me (Oliver) and Robbie started writing a batch of new songs around 2009 after the break up of a previous band. Around that time we spent a day breaking into a beautiful but derelict Victorian ‘Theatre Royal’ with artists and musicians Billy Childish and Lupen Crook for one final performance before it was knocked down. The performances were used for a documentary/protest film and we took the name of the theatre for the band we were forming, it ended up inspiring the title for our debut album as well ‘from rubble rises…’ Me, Robbie and Jon are old school friends and we found Brendan working in the analogue recording studio we use to record.
2. How would you define the sound of the band?
We’ve been described as heading ‘straight for the melodic jugular’ which I suppose means that our songs are very direct and melodic. The first thing we always think about is whether the song is strong melodically and lyrically and go from there. We love all sorts genres which find their way into our recordings; psychedelia, garage, country, 60’s beat, punk, new wave, indie, pop…The songs usually sound quite bright and poppy, but there is usually a darker side to the lyrics which is a contrast we like.
3. Talk us about your last work.
We’ve released two singles this year. ‘Katherine’s Sleeping’ was a vinyl only release with label mates Kids Unique, it’s quite a dark, intense song with a definite psyche element. It’s a tale of a weird experience. We wanted to try and convey a feeling of confusion. Our most recent release is very different to ‘Katherine’s Sleeping’, new single ‘The Story Of My Life’ is a big slab of melodic new wave pop, with lots of hooks and harmonies, one of it’s b-sides ‘Bonechild’ is noisy and intense and the other ‘All I Need’ is very tender love song and was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. The only one of these tracks that will appear on our next album is ‘The Story Of My Life’.
4. How are your concerts? What can we find there that we wont find on your studio records?
Our concerts are very energetic, more intense and aggressive than the studio records, but still staying quite true to the essence and structure of the recording.
5. What do you think about the music industry and what do you think is your place within it?
I think the music industry is really exciting, it’s what I’ve always wanted to be involved with, but it can also be extremely frustrating. We’re signed to an independent label, which is good because we have lots of control of what we do, but we obviously don’t get the big budget and perks of larger labels and it can be difficult to get through to people sometimes. But our place is as songwriters and performers, making music we really believe in. I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself and believe in what you’re doing, which we certainly do.
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