|Origin||Reading, Berkshire, England|
|Members||Nigel Weston, Ryan Cook, Richard King, Alex Bowen|
Sleep Room are an English alternative rock band from Reading, Berkshire who have attracted attention from Berkshire's music community Josaka and the BBC who have noted them for their original sound, epic soundscapes and emotive style.
Sleep Room are a relatively reclusive band whose sporadic and extraordinary live performances have won them much acclaim and a small cult following. To date, Sleep Room have made 3 albums attracting endorsement by Planet Sound and BBC radio, while winning praise for their performance at the chartiy event Oxjam Festival in Reading. Their influences include a diverse range of bands, most notably Joy Division, Sigur Rós, Elbow and Pink Floyd. Sleep Room take their name from the conspiratorial brainwashing technique allegedly used by the CIA in the early 70's which involved sensory deprivation and sub-conscious behavioural response to sound.
- Nigel Weston – guitar 1, synths
- Ryan Cook – guitar 2, vocals
- Richard King – drums and percussion
- Alex Bowen – bass guitar
- Jonathan Amphlett - guitar 2, synths
Rat's May Dream Of Maze (2002)
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong"
- "Smile Show"
- "Hearing Sunlight"
Shut Windows, Draw Curtains (2004)
- "Dave & Sarah"
- "Monkey Board"
- "Brand New Day"
It Still Moves All The Same (2007)
- "The Souvenir"
- "Toy Boy"
- "The 12th of Spring"
- "Mechanical Republic"
- "Temper Temper"
- "Wipe That Smile Off Your Face"
- "People Turning On Each Other"
- "Quietly Turning Pages"
- "Origin Of Species"
The founding members of Sleep Room, Nigel Weston and Ryan Cook, met on Berkshire's online music community Josaka, and following the break-up of Weston's earlier unnamed band, the two auditioned for drummers and bassists, eventually being impressed by Richard King's John Bonham-esque dynamics.
Formation and first recording (2001–2002)
Along with then bass player Oli Griffiths, Sleep Room made their debut performance at The Grey Horse in Kingston, earning a return headline booking.
Following a number of gigs in and around Berkshire, Sleep Room embarked on a not so successful recording project at Sound Machine Studio's in Fleet, owned a run by a friend of Griffith's.
While the record Rat's May Dream Of Maze was good enough to be given a rave review on Planet Sound, band members Weston, Cook and King felt let down by the quality and effort of the studio, feeling Griffiths and compatriot were more interested in intoxication than recording.
Despite this, the record sold well, and Sleep Room began to refine their sound, working hard on new music and gigging in Guildford, Reading and Bracknell. In 2003 however, after an extended period of tension and artistic differences, Sleep Room and Oli Griffiths parted company.
Weston, Cook and King overhauled the Sleep Room sound and began developing a more challenging catalogue of sounds while keeping an eye out for a replacement bass player.
Shut Window's, Draw Curtain's, and a New Found Fame (2003–2006)
While drinking in The Hope and Anchor, a pub in Wokingham, Cook came in contact with Griffiths' replacement David Treasure; a talented session musician who was then dating Cook's close friend and successful folk singer Dorie Jackson. Treasure joined the band, and following a short live stint in Reading, Sleep Room were ready with their developed sound, and new progressive material. In 2004 Sleep Room once again stepped into the recording studio, this time opting for the professional services of producer and engineer Lewis Childs and Earth Terminal in Odiham.
The record, Shut Windows, Draw Curtains, was received to critical acclaim, attracting attention from BBC radio, getting regular airplay on BBC Radio Berkshire and even Gideon Coe's radio show on BBC Radio 6 where their song "Patriot" won "Download of the month" With a darker and more complex sound, the record housed some long pieces, notably the outstandingly accomplished tracks "Dave & Sarah", and "Brand New Day".
Sleep Room were on a roll, and after another successful if sporadic run of live performances, they were back in the studio to record their new collection of tracks, the album - It Still Moves All The Same. This proved to be their breakthrough, and amongst even more critical acclaim, Sleep Room attracted support gigs for then signed Reading act The Cooper Temple Clause among others, and a chance to feature in the national music event The Oxjam Festival and even selling albums in America.
The now distinct Sleep Room sound was captured fantastically by Childs once again at Earth Terminal, featuring some strange recording techniques. In their single "The Souvenir", a song penned in reference to the anxiety suffered by Treasure in his break-up with Jackson, Cook was made to stand in the roof of the barn to sing into the rafters, while Weston had his guitar kicked to spark strange atmospherics. Cook sang the entire lead vocal to the haunting "Mechanical Republic" standing outside in a field, buffeted by wind and rain.
Lost Treasure & Found Sound (2007–2008)
However, in 2006 Sleep Room were to lose their second bass player. Treasure, who had not fully came to terms with the collapse of his relationship disappeared off the radar. Cook, Weston and King were only to hear on the grapevine rumours that he had "hung up his bass" and run off to Australia. Despite the strong friendship that had developed between them, Sleep Room were never to hear of Dave Treasure again.
Distressed by the disappearance of their friend and colleague, Sleep Room continued to write and perform as a three piece, feeling replacing their troubled bassist was a tough task to face. Re-writing much of their catalogue to incorporate the bass-lines into Weston's and Cook's guitar pieces, Sleep Room's sound began to evolve this time through necessity rather than choice. Weston's usually free guitar was now slightly restrained by bass duties, and Cook's guitar sound was worked on to produce deeper and fuller tones. However, rather than hamper the sound, the band grew stronger for it. Weston was inspired to write razor-sharp and technical riffs as opposed to the liberated atmospherics of previous albums, and Cook managed to engineer a sound for his guitar that ended up more resembling a distorted string section in an orchestra than a guitar. Peculiarly, both Weston and Cook began to swap roles, Weston rooting the songs with rhythmic riffery while Cook provided overdubs of solo-esque instrumental sections and atmospherics. The band continued to exist as a three piece until late 2008, when they finally decided that while it worked without a bass, it would only be better with one.
Three Become Four Again (2008-2009)
Alex Bowen auditioned for the band and the band was instantly impressed, for he learned most of the catalogue in a very short space of time and applied his own unique style to the music. Bowen tightened up the newly written, previously bass-less tracks, and inspired several new songs with music of his own. Bowen made his live debut in The Three Bee's, Reading and the gig was a success. Following a number of gigs around Reading, Bowen and Sleep Room began to write their fourth studio album.
Entering Earth Terminal for a third time, Lewis Childs and Sleep Room recorded and mixed the five song EP 'Gone' in three days. The album features a honed Sleep Room style; while the epic and progressive nature is retained, the songs have become more compact. Still experimental in structure, and unique in sound, Sleep Room have produced something which is accessible as well as thought provoking.
- Hefferan, Mike (03-06-2007), 'It Still Moves All The Same' by Sleep Room - CD review, Josaka Check date values in:
- Thomas, Andy (05-02-2005), Sleep Room - 'Shut Windows, Draw Curtains' EP - February 2006, Josaka Check date values in:
- ">Zane, Henry (01-08-2004), Sleep Room @ The Cellar Bar, South Hill Park, Bracknell - 1 August 2004, Josaka Check date values in:
- ">Serck, Lynda (10-02-2006), Review: Bukandskit gig @ Phatz Bar, BBC Check date values in:
- Serck, Lynda (06-09-2006), Local Band Feature - Sleep Room, BBC Check date values in:
- Serck, Lynda (05-10-2007), Sleep Room Live at 'The Session', BBC Check date values in:
- Stint, David (2006-10-25), Oxjam, BBC
- Coe, Gideon (2006-10-25), 'Download of the Month' Broadcast, BBC Radio 6[dead link]