Room - Pre-Flight (1970)

Room - "Pre-Flight" (1970) Room was an obscure British group who released a promising debut-album, and then disappeared into oblivion. They played a quite rough, unpolished and guitar-dominated style of early 70's progressive rock mainly influenced by jazz and blues, but they also gave the music a symphonic side by using lots of strings and brass. They were fronted by a female-singer, and her voice fitted well into their often melo-dramatic and complex songs. The title-track and the instrumental "Cemetery Junction" are both solid progressive rock tracks in several sections, and reveals a tight and technical very competent band. "Andromeda" shows the band from their most dramatic and grandiose side, while the more blues-inflected tracks "Where Did I Go Wrong" and "Big John Blues" are more modest and basic. The quiet parts of "No Warmth in My Life" tend to remind me of Affinity, and that's not a bad thing at all. "Pre-Flight" is an album with lots of qualities, and should be well worth checking out.

Responsible for another extremely rare one-off album on Deram, Room offers progressive rock with strong bluesy overtones and even some excursions into jazzy territory, without ever leaving their rock foundations. A host of instruments, both strings and brass enliven the music, though at times it tends to get a bit too brassy. Jane Kevern sings well, but without much ability for different moods. Luckily the guitar parts are good too, so although more diversity in atmosphere would have made the record excellent, it is now not more than plain good. The arrangement of the final track Cemetery Junction with its unexpected foray into late 19th century symphonical, lifts this cut above the rest. This in fact refers to the major traffic crossroads in central Bournemouth (where the band were resident at the time). A Blandford Forum band, they won an NME 'Beat Contest'. Shortly after Pre-Flight was released John Hutcheson, who'd been in Ginger Man with drummer Bob Jenkins, joined the band on organ. -

01 - Pre-Flight - Parts I & II - 8.56
02 - Where Did I Go Wrong - 5.27
03 - No Warmth In My Life - 4.34
04 - Big John Blues - 2.33
05 - Andromeda - 5.07
06 - War - 4.33
07 - Cemetery Junction - Parts I & II - 8.31


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