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ROB COTTINGHAM

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Rob Cottingham picture
Rob Cottingham biography
Born in Peterborough, UK in ????

UK composer and musician Rob COTTINGHAM has an extensive history as a musician, from his earliest exploits with school band Telpa Europa, his tenure in rock band Cinema in the 1980's, regular gigs with The Waterbreakers in the early 1990's and later the samne decade with his band Ghost. But the arguably most prolific part of his career came to be due to his first solo album, "Behind the Orchard Tree". Released in 2001, it was while he put together a band to perform the material from this album live that UK band TOUCHSTONE was born.

A decade later Cottingham had assembled a substantial amount of material that wasn't really suited to his main band. This lead to Cottingham reviving his solo career, and in 2013 his second solo album "Captain Blue" was released by this seasoned UK artist.

See also: CAIRO

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ROB COTTINGHAM discography


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ROB COTTINGHAM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Behind The Orchard Tree
2002
2.44 | 9 ratings
Captain Blue
2013
4.19 | 17 ratings
Back Behind The Orchard Tree
2019

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ROB COTTINGHAM Reviews


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 Back Behind The Orchard Tree by COTTINGHAM, ROB album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.19 | 17 ratings

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Back Behind The Orchard Tree
Rob Cottingham Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars These days Rob Cottingham is fairly well-known within the prog scene, having been involved in a few bands over the years, and indeed we have known each other since he sent me Touchstone's debut EP 'Curious Angel' which I reviewed back towards the beginning of 2005. What I wasn't aware of was that he had recorded a solo album a few years earlier, 'Behind The Orchard Tree', and that Touchstone was the band he pulled together initially to be able to perform some of the music live. Indeed, it is only now when I look that I can see "Hear Me", which was on the second EP I heard from Touchstone, 'Mad Hatters", originally appeared on the other album. But, like many artists who have stayed working in the scene over the years, Rob has an itch he needed to scratch, and for him it was all the things on the debut album which he wished he had been able to undertake with the benefit of his experience and what he had learned over the years. So, the only thing to do in his case, was totally re-record it! This time he asked John Mitchell, multi-award-winning guitarist with Kino, Frost*, Arena, It Bites and his own solo project, Lonely Robot, to become involved. Apparently, he said to him, "John, this album is just you and me against the world!!"

Rob undertook most of the work himself, including lead vocals of course, but in a nice tie in with the original album, Andy Wildman (drums and cover art) may not be there this time, but his daughter Esther provides some backing vocals and Rob's own daughter Kerry duets with Rob on an orchestral version of "Hero" while also providing backing. The only other person involved was saxophonist Anatoliy Vyacheslavov who plays on the track "Find Me". I honestly thought Touchstone were going to be a huge act in the UK, and really wished I had caught them in concert, but moving to the other side of the world does have quite an impact on that sort of thing. The last thing I heard from Rob was Cairo's 'Say" album in 2016, which I awarded maximum marks to, and rightly so, and this is another strong contender. I love his John Wetton/Greg Lake style of singing, and the understated approach he has, combined with simply wonderful songs. The more I play this album the more I love it, and I look forward to him re- recording the whole thing again in the near future as a duet with his daughter. Their song together, which closes the album, is a thing of sheer beauty, and knowing the relationship it makes the words even more special. There can't be anything left to say about the guitar playing of John Mitchell, but his picked classical guitar on this song is perfection.

Contrast this to the opening number such as "Hear Me", and one realises this is an album of incredible depth and power, all based around Rob's superb vocals and songs. His voice is always front and centre, with the music designed to provide the perfect accompaniment, whether it is layered keyboards or John bringing in the aggression. While "Hero" ends the album gently, this is the perfect introduction, as gradually it becomes more dynamic and full of strength.

An album of majesty and might, this re-recording of an album originally released back in 2002 is going to find Rob a whole new series of fans. Awesome.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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