Rob Skipper, guitarist and founding member of North London indie rock group, The Holloways, has died at 28. The news was confirmed today via Instagram by their former agent, Matt Bates of Primary Talent International. “One of my first ever acts. I’m so sorry to hear the terrible news today. Rob was always a true gentleman,” wrote Bates. Skipper’s cause of death has not yet been reported.
Skipper formed The Holloways in 2004 with fellow members David ‘Alfie’ Jackson (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Bryn Fowler (bass, backing vocals). Jackson and Fowler first discovered Skipper at Nambucca, a live music venue on Holloway Road in North London. The three began jamming in their friend Dave Danger’s room, which was situated above the club. After just an hour together, they had written six songs, each with harmonizing vocals, guitar parts, and fiddle parts. Impressed by their abilities, Danger joined the group as their drummer. In 2009, Mike Baker (guitar, backing vocals) was added to the ensemble, and Edward D. Harris took over the percussion.
In their 7-year-run, The Holloways released two albums: So This is Great Britain? in 2006, and No Smoke, No Mirrors in 2009. They also put out a string of singles that topped the UK charts, including “Generator,” “Dancefloor,” and “Two Left Feet.” In total, they had five No. 1 singles on the UK Indie Chart, as well as several Top 40 hits. They toured with many well-known groups, including Babyshambles, CSS, The Kooks, The Pigeon Detectives, The Pogues, The Rakes, and The Wombats. The Holloways also helped launch the careers of various artists by inviting them to tour with them, including Frank Turner, Kid Harpoon, and Johnny Lloyd of Tribes.
After a series of successful performances at Glastonbury, V Festival, Lovebox, Ibiza Rocks, Amsterdam’s London Calling, and the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, the group disbanded in 2011. Skipper briefly focused on a side project called Rob Skipper & The Musical Differences, then went on to become the frontman for the band HARES.
Many of Skipper’s friends and colleagues are now paying tribute to the artist over social media. Blaine Harrison of Mystery Jets wrote the following on Facebook: “Beautiful Rob you will be missed by all of us who knew and loved you, and had the honour of sharing a stage with you. See you at the great gig in the sky Skip xxx.” Other artists who have expressed their condolences online include The Pigeon Detectives, Theo Hutchcraft of Hurts, Luke Pritchard of The Kooks, and many more.