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Big Time Beckons for Rob and His Band

 

When it comes to music, 26-year-old Rob Harrison (pictured above) is hitting all the right notes on a path to rock stardom. 

Rob, who was born in Norwich and moved to Hethersett with his family when he was just five years old, is rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist with a four piece London-based group that was acclaimed the best unsigned band at the Music Live 2007 event at Birmingham’s NEC arena. The competition was sponsored by Vox Amps and Total Guitar Magazine 

Carlotti have been together for about 18 months and at present play mostly around the London circuit, although they are hoping to undertake an independent UK tour in the New Year. 

Rob, who goes by the first name of Bobby when playing with the band, is a founder member of Carlotti. There is nothing greatly significant in the band’s name as he explained: 

“I found the name after seeing it on the back of someone's jumper when I was walking through Camden. It turns out Carlotti is a sports brand who sponsor football teams, one of which is Scunthorpe United. Our singer supports them but we didn’t know that at the time.” 

Winning the competition at Birmingham could be just the break that Carlotti have been looking for: 

“I received an e-mail looking for bands to enter the Vox unsigned 2007 competition. We sent in a clip of ourselves playing live and then got invited along to the event. It’s the biggest music exhibition in Europe and we played on the main stage in an arena that holds 1,600 people.” 

One of the judges was Steve Craddock of chart topping Birmingham band Ocean Colour Scene. Carlotti’s prize was a new Vox Amp and a day’s all expenses recording session at the famous Toerag Studios where the White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have both recorded albums.   

Winning the competition is only the start for Rob and Carlotti, however. They are currently practicing hard and have had one of their songs played on XFM Radio in London. They also have their own section on the My Space web site where they have included a number of tracks and videos.  

XFM described their music as “Oasis like singalongs with Libertine like guitars” and the music website Aloud.com described them as “Honest British rock and roll for the everyman.” 

“We have appeared in The Fly magazine under the names to watch section. We have a music lawyer looking after us and she is helping us to find a manager and possibly a publishing and record deal,” Rob said adding that Carlotti’s music is a mix of rock n’ roll, blues, punk and folk. 

“Our fan base has built up after playing gigs in pretty much every London venue, beginning with our friends and families in dank Camden backrooms, and going right through to Gibson showcases in Mayfair and gigs at the likes of Birmingham NEC, Turnmills, The Isle of Wight Festival, V Festival, Dublin Castle and many other large music venues around the UK.” 

When not on stage Rob is a runner with Virgin Radio and that has brought him into contact with the likes of Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart who have both received copies of the band’s demo tape. 

“As a runner I generally work all round the station on different shows, helping collect audio clips and looking after important guests.  I would like to progress into different parts of the company like programming or the more technical side of production,” he said.  

Rob was born in Hethersett and attended Woodside First School, Hethersett Middle School and Hethersett High School before moving to Norwich City College and London Metropolitan University where he studied music and Media Management. He has lived in London since 2001. He only took up the guitar about two years ago and Carlotti is his first real band outside of what he describes as “bedroom bands that weren’t really serious.” 

During his time in the Hethersett, Rob was also an accomplished footballer, playing regularly for a number of village youth teams. His parents – Ian and June – live in Wymondham and June is a well known local soprano, proving that music runs in the family. 

The Carlotti web site is at www.myspace.com/carlottiband