with Janne GuitarGirl
Rob Whelan was born in Whangarei, and lived in Manchester for many years. Now back in New Zealand, he‘s performing gigs at pubs and clubs in Wellington, and enjoying writing and performing original songs.
His recently released debut EP ‘Search and Rescue', recorded with a seven-piece backing band, has resulted in an invitation to perform at the Cuba Dupa Festival in Wellington later this year.
Rob works at Music Planet, selling guitars and other musical ‘toys' just as he did at various music shops when in Manchester. He remembers selling an amplifier to the late great Gary Moore, and almost met his idol Slash, who had arranged to check out some Marshall Amps. Unfortunately, his guitar technician turned up at the shop instead. “Gutted” was Rob's reaction.
Rob started playing electric guitar at age 18, and like Slash, has developed a penchant for hats and ‘shades'. He got into the grunge scene, and also played synthesisers.
After injuring his hand six months later Rob returned to playing guitar in various rock bands, recording an album in 2011 with the band Speedbird.
Then Rob was inspired by watching Chris Cornell perform an acoustic set, which prompted his decision to return to NZ to embark on a solo career. He was asked to play at a Sofar Sounds show to a select crowd in Wellington. Rob's had fantastic feedback on his captivating songs, and has been likened to Neil Finn of Crowded House.
Rob is planning to visit Tauranga to perform at the Brew Craft Beer Pub on The Strand on Friday, May 12.