Room At The Top started out as a venture between Dave Penprase and Pete Bawden. Dave and Pete had both played in The Staggerlees a few years earlier and set about running a club together. A venue was sourced at 25 King St, located right in the heart of Truro. RATT occupied the space above a wallpaper shop, which was located at street level. The upper level was accessed by a door on the side of the shop, and being the only way in and out would give any health & safety officer palpitations these days.
As the club didn't serve alcohol it only required a music license, it also was classed as a 'members club' so didn't require a license for it to be run as a nightclub. RATT opened as a discothèque, with Dave, Pete and Mo Jackson playing the records. To make it more interesting for the patrons they also had liquid oil projectors and projected silent movies onto the wall, creating a psychedelic multimedia environment.
The opening of the club was announced in the West Briton on 29th September 1967 and it would soon become one of the hottest night spots in Truro and was drawing in big crowds. Despite being a disco the venue did have one band play, St Valentines Day Massacre (aka The Artwoods).
RATT did however plan on putting on a gig by Status Quo & pre-Wishbone Ash band, The Empty Vessels. This was billed under the RATT name but to take place in the larger TA Hall on Moresk Rd on 2nd March 1968. Unfortunately this gig didn't take place. No contract was signed with the band and shortly after the date was set the single Pictures of Matchstick Men started flying up the charts. When the tour dates were printed in the national music press there was no mention of the Truro gig! A last minute replacement had to be sought out and Brain Augers Trinity was brought in as replacement.
Unfortunately for the club it was located a stones throw from Truro Cathedral and was possibly viewed as not fitting for the area by some, it wasn't hugely popular with the powers that be in the city at the time. In early 1968 the council introduced new laws, meaning the club would have to apply for a license to operate. The club was denied a license and within a month of the new law being introduced had to close its doors, despite its huge popularity. The last advert for RATT appeared in the West Briton at the end of January 1968 and the club closed its doors soon after, lasting no more than six months.
After the club fell apart Dave and Pete would go their separate ways, with Pete opening up PJ's at the other end of town. Dave would continue the RATT name, moving the club to Redruth.
The site of the 25 King St was at one time occupied by Burton's and now houses Animal. The building remains much as it did at the time.
Click here for the Redruth Room at the Top
Thanks to queenincornwall for the quo image and for date information