I can now reveal the second of my special guests for Bike to The Future, at the Rondo Theatre in Bath on 29th October. Rob Whale: a consummate musician and a keen cyclist too!
Rob is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, educator and performer. We first met as music students at Middlesex Polytechnic in the late 1980s. There, we performed together in numerous shows, bands and ensembles. Notable among these – if only for its glorious name – was Rob’s own band ‘Rob Whale and The Marleys’. This variously featured Jason Yard (Jazz Warriors) and Lisa Walsingham (Jools Holland) on sax, as well as Charlie Round-Turner (Midge Ure) on keys.
Rob created arrangements for my own degree final recital, which – in addition to Charlie and Lisa – also featured Dawne Adams (Pet Shop Boys, Lionel Ritchie, etc.) on percussion. Later, I recorded drums for Rob’s African-influenced project ‘Super Rhythm Express’. He then went on to become a regular member of the folk outfit Jake’s Rake, with whom he still performs.
Perhaps more significantly, Rob is a mad keen cyclist. A member of Holmfirth Cycle Club, he clocks up impressive mileage on a near-daily basis and is Local Legend of Jackson’s Back Passage (anyone familiar with Strava might understand what that means)! Rob and his daughter Jasmin also accompanied me and my son Florian on fund-raising cycle rides to Paris and across Wales to their home in West Yorkshire.
Rob’s energetic, folk-tinged fiddle playing, vocal harmonies and stage presence bring extra flare to any performance. So, I’m delighted that he’ll be travelling down to Bath to make a special guest appearance. We hope he’ll also be able to accompany me on sections of the planned cycle-based tour beginning next Spring.
Previously, Rob and I have appeared together at Bracknell and Glastonbury festivals, as well as numerous gigs and shows. It will be wonderful to rekindle this musical partnership for you at the Rondo. And, with Rob on board, we’re guaranteed a Whale of a time!
See you there.