“I like supporting music early. It’s not like ‘ooh, check me out’ but it’s nice that I’ve been one of the first to play Florence And The Machine, Black Kids, Ting Tings – we had them in session a year before they were in the charts.”
Rob da Bank's shows are a colourful corner of the musical universe where you’re as likely to stumble into stripped down motorway techno as you are woozy weird folk or a bootleg electro cover of an obscure David Bowie tune. Rob presides over four hours of weekly radio in his current Sunday night slot of midnight 'til 4am.
The first two hours feature anything from brand new dubstep to folk to oddball electronica plus sessions from emerging artists, the second two hours - Rob da Bank & Friends - features special guests from High Contrast to Lily Allen to Bobby Gillespie and his patented A-Z shows.
Rob grew up in Warsash, Hampshire, playing trombone in brass bands as his GP dad listened to The Beatles. He started playing hip-hop and funk under the DJ name of Rob The Bank, moved to London in the early ‘90s to study French and History of Art at Goldsmiths, and met his future wife and co-pilot Josie in the student union.
They formed a romantic and raving union, putting their energy into nights out at now-legendary clubs like Rage and eventually putting on their own parties. He now runs his own festival - Bestival - which began with a Sunday Best tent at Glastonbury and started at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight with an audience of 7,000 people in 2004.
This year 40,000 people went to the summer’s final fling, packed with ukulele players, physics demonstrations, laughter clubs and a killer line-up.
Between 2002 and 2006 on Radio 1 Rob da Bank and Chris Coco hosted the cult Blue Room show. It broadcast between 5 and 7am on Saturday mornings, wowing milkmen and depleted ravers with its happily wonky playlists, sneaking ambient, spaced-out dub and electro on the airwaves. Rob was lined up as holiday cover for John Peel when he died, held the fort and filled Peel’s Thursday night slot for 18 months.
Rob also runs his own record label - Sunday Best - it launched Groove Armada and Lemon Jelly back in the late ‘90s and is currently home to Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.
There’s also his musical alter ego, Lazyboy. He and producer Mr Dan (Franz Ferdinand, Kylie, Emiliana Torrini) are close to finishing the follow-up to 2004’s Penguin Rock, with the dream team of vocalists soon to be unveiled.