After leaving school, Rob started an apprenticeship in the engine shop with Chrysler near in Ryton-on-Dunsmore near Coventry, where the factory was producing cars such as Avengers and Alpines, but didn’t enjoy it so packed it in and moved to Birmingham where he did session work as a drummer and vocalist.
Whilst in Birmingham, he joined a band who put loads of effort in on the local scene, but were victims of bad management and the band didn’t take off. Shortly after this, Rob turned professional, aged 22.
Left: Rob in 1986.
In the late ‘80s, Rob was a member of Ultravox shortly after Midge Ure left – but only for one week! This didn’t become a permanent position mainly because the band were based in London.
Also in the late 80s, Rob worked as part of a songwriting team for Warner-Chappell for 3 years. The trio composed a number of songs of which 8 songs were recorded by minor artists on the label, and unfortunately none of these were commercially released.
In the early 90s, Rob recorded and toured with Alvin Stardust for 6 years, and it was at this time that he first met SWW. During this time he was offered a position with Shakin’ Stevens’ band (Alvin and Shakey shared the same manager), but it was not convenient for Rob with it being based in London.
After leaving Alvin’s band, Rob then worked in other bands including an Abba tribute and a Bowie tribute (as guitarist) called Jean Genie, and also worked with Edwin Starr for a period.
As well as drums, Rob is also a talented guitarist – an instrument he really started getting into when drum machines were being introduced, and getting frustrated with the technology, and he played guitar in a touring ‘80s tribute show.
In the autumn of 2005, Rob joined Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash to get back on drums. This came about as he was working with Keith Buck, who knew Martin Turner, and Martin and Keith decided to get ‘Wishone Ash’ back on the road – Rob was approached to join as the drummer. He played with MTWA for 5 years, leaving the band in 2010.
12 months later Rob joined Showaddywaddy. It was originally suggested by Danny Willson that Rob replaced him in the band, with Danny about to move the other way to play with MTWA on a permanent basis, but Rob felt he could not step into Danny’s shoes at that time.
Rob was later approached by Dave Bartram to join SWW, but was initially unable to accept the position due to having damaged his vocal chords. But he was soon on the mend and was asked to do a one off Showaddywaddy gig at Summer Sundae in Leicester in August 2011. Not long after this, Dave asked Rob to join full time, and he didn’t have to be asked twice, and played his next gig with the band on 28th January 2012 at Dorchester Abbey!
Also during 2012 he played in a covers band with Bison (SWW sound man) and Dean Loach.
Rob remembers Showaddywaddy breaking onto scene in the 70s, as the band were fairly local to him, and he has always been a fan of rock ‘n’ roll.
Asked about his favourite gig so far, Rob says Summer Sundae, with it being his first one.
Rob’s music influences are Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), John Coghlan (Status Quo), and when he was a younger drummer, it was Ringo Starr and Charlie Watts that inspired him, as well as Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa.
His current kit – a Tama Star Classic - is best one he’s had - Rob favours Ludwig snares and is fond of Paiste Formula 602 cymbals.