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20th September 2023

The Redroom: “The music is the most important thing”

The Redroom sit down with The Mancunion to talk about their upcoming headline show at the Deaf Insitute, moving cities, and Sam Fender
The Redroom: “The music is the most important thing”
Credit: Chloe Dunscombe

“And on your beside table there will be / that lukewarm half drunken cup of tea.” Love, memories, nostalgia; The Redroom are the perfect narration to student life as you navigate the highs and lows of a beautiful, intensely formative time. Taking influence from the likes of Mac DeMarco and Amy Winehouse, as well as John Cooper Clarke and Alex Turner, The Manchester-based band, who moved down as a unit from their native Newcastle, will headline The Lodge at the Deaf Institute on the 29th September.

The band have freshly released their new single, ‘Coffee (What It Feels Like To Fall In Love)’, a song that has been in the back pocket of lead singer Jess Lewis-Ward for some time. “I actually wrote it during the first lockdown. Post-lockdown I revisited the song and the guys were starting to write different parts for it. It went through many different stages. When I listen to the lyrics now, I think that they’re a load of nonsense but kind of in a fond way, like when you hear something that you said when you were sixteen. It’s sweet to me, it’s kind of like a romanticisation of falling in love. There’s nothing really outlandish or in your face about it, but it’s a feel-good, upbeat, happy song.” 

Lewis-Ward had an experience like no other in 2020, when she got on stage with Sam Fender at his homecoming show. “I was 17, and I literally just had a sign. I’m a very confident young woman […] he couldn’t say no because it would’ve been too awkward.” The pair sang ‘Saturday’ together. “It’s a core memory. It’s one of those that I’ll just never forget.”

The Redroom evoke emotion in every element of the music, with songs crafted for that purpose and the band’s ambitions being not on growing larger, but achieving a dedicated following. “Obviously ideally we’d play bigger shows but I think that comes with a following, and the way to get a following is to write good music. The music is the most important thing.” Build it and they will come; the case in point being that the band are on their way to play the newly opened 400-capacity venue The Grove in Newcastle as I speak to them.

The Red Room photographed by The Red Room
Credit: The Redroom Press

The band moved to Manchester for university, yet Lewis-Ward now works full-time. “A lot of funding is being cut for creative degrees by the government, and I had a bit of a realisation that I can still stay in the city and work full time, and pursue music, but I don’t need to pay all this money for a degree […] I just realised with gigging, writing, and recording, that’s all that we needed to do in order to pursue this career. I didn’t need a qualification, which I think is a pretty important message.”

Since then, The Redroom have gone from strength to strength, and Manchester is the perfect environment for the band to thrive in. “The further down South you go, I feel that the more diverse the [musical] environment is […] We’re still adjusting to Manchester which is great, I feel like you never want to be so comfortable in a place that you just know everything. It’s a really nice, honest environment.”

The Redroom and Manchester is a match made in heaven; they will continue to climb the venues of the city, with the next step being the Deaf Institute. The name of the band is apt; as they develop, a bigger picture for the band reveals itself.

The Redroom will play the Deaf Insitute on the 29th September, supported by Idle Hands. Tickets here.

Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Head Music Editor and Writer for the Mancunion. Once walked past Nick Cave in Zagreb. Enquiries: [email protected]

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