Robert McVey – Artist info
Rob McVey’s musical epiphany came in the back of a taxi in America. Sat between his bandmates whilst on tour across the US, a John Lennon song came on the radio, “and for a split second the whole world made sense,” he remembers. It chimed exactly with how he felt in that moment, and Rob knew instantly that this connection between musician and listener was what he wanted to achieve with his own music.
Music has been central to Rob’s life from a young age; he started playing the violin aged four, and the guitar at six. His mum - who’d dance around the house to records as varied as Bob Dylan and Bach - encouraged him, and worked night shifts at the local care home to pay for his guitar lessons. By the time he was 16, Rob had won a sought-after musical scholarship. On top of guitar, he was now learning the piano and singing in the choir, and this classical training continued right up until he left university at 22. Everyone assumed Rob was going to be a concert guitarist, but the music he discovered as a young teenager - Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton - had set the wheels in motion towards a different dream: a songwriter. “The beauty and simplicity of those songs really hit me: I just about-turned and got in a rock band.”
So after graduating with first class honours in Jazz Harmonies, Rob turned down an offer to study guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and chose instead to live in a Manchester bedsit, go on the dole, and write music. Within a few short months, he and his band Longview had signed a seven-figure record deal with Warner Music, and the next few years were a whirlwind of gigs, interviews, and life on the road.
But sat in the taxi listening to Lennon, Rob knew he had aspired to something more authentic than what he had. Longview split, Rob taught guitar for a few years, and he never stopped writing songs. Aged 30, he took stock: he was an accomplished guitarist, touring the world playing for Marianne Faithfull, Tom McCrae, and with Warren Ellis. But the urge to record his own music was still there, and thanks to a connection with Paul Corkett (who’s produced and engineered Nick Cave, Patti Smith, the Cure and Bjork, to name a few), Rob made his first solo album in the way his favourites did before him: real instruments, no overproduction, just live to tape. Rob McVey is a genuine artist whose music is honest, warm, and full of soul.
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Paradise live // 100 Club, ONLY UK SHOW happening TONIGHT• I'd love to see you there. R