Present location: United Kingdom.
Although hailing originally from Durban, Rob spent quite a period of time in Rhodesia after playing residencies with a couple of bands at CLUB TOMORROW Salisbury. The first of these bands was FLAGSHIP and, later, WIZARD. Both bands were quick to establish themselves on the local scene and well very popular with clubbers. Throughout his life Rob has had a passion for music and his interest has taken him into many musical spheres, from participation in rock bands and duets to theatre musicals. His earliest influences came from ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) with Emerson’s skills on the keyboard appealing deeply to Rob’s music instincts. So much so that he launched himself with a single-minded determination into the world of keyboards! His first band was FLAGSHIP which, in turn, gave way to WIZARD. Rob then formed the duo, ANTHEM, with another former WIZARD member, GEORG VOROS. After a year of gigs Rob and Georg decided to relocate to Leeds in the United Kingdom where they linked up with two friends, GEORGE VAN DYK and GRAHAM CLIFFORD.
Out of this liaison was born WOZANI, a Zulu word meaning “come and join”. The band produced produced music which Rob describes as being a meeting of “African rock and British pop”. George and Graham penned most of the band’s material. Much of their songs’ content related to the injustices of Apartheid, stories of life in Africa and were politically relevant. The band toured and played extensively, recording an album in London. The “big break”, however, never came for reasons still being debated by the band’s former members. The band later regrouped in South Africa – without Rob who had remained in the United Kingdom – and achieved modest success.
Rob’s next “band” was a duo with TIM DELANEY called SAMPLE THIS. Inspired by being in full control of his creations in SAMPLE THIS he stepped into the world of stage musicals and wrote the script for a show called THE GARDEN OF EDEN which was set in South Africa. He returned to South Africa to promote this work and witnessed its premiere at the Durban Playhouse in 1995. After returning to the UK Rob joined a rock ‘n roll band called BLONDIN before going out solo under the name of ROB RUSSELL. He chose to use this name as there was already a Rob Davies on the scene who had been a member of the 70’s band, MUD. Since then Rob has continued to build his skills, particularly in the songwriting sphere, and has steadily consolidated his career and build a reputation for himself. He maintains a very interesting and entertaining website at: www.robrusmusic.com
(With acknowledgements to Rob Davies and his website for the content appearing here.)