Where are they now? Robin Bottrell's musical journey

Home-grown talent: With four singles under his belt Robin and his band are about to record and release their first debut album. Photo: Supplied.
Home-grown talent: With four singles under his belt Robin and his band are about to record and release their first debut album. Photo: Supplied.

With a myriad of indi-rock bands out there in the musical world what better way, when starting a new band, to capture instant attention and interest than give yourself a unique, somewhat abstract name, one that no-one else is ever likely to think of, such as - 'Roobs and the Washing Line Economy'.

No doubt the four members of the band are frequently asked the derivation of their name and for those who may have wondered but never asked, Roobs is the nickname of the band's founder and former Esperance local, Robin Bottrell who came up with the name when, in his first share house, he found only a small space left on the Hills Hoist to hang his clothes and five pegs with which to attach them. While pondering his predicament he wondered to himself, "What could I call this situation?" and Roobs and the Washing Line Economy was born.

Anyone who knew Robin in his years at Esperance Primary School would not find those lateral thinking skills surprising. The shy, intelligent, conscientious lad prided himself on always giving his best in all that he did, with his proudest achievement being voted Head Boy in Year 7.

Robin was born in Esperance in 1997 to parents, Jan and Greg Bottrell, sibling to Gregory, Kira and Ellen. With both parents also born in Esperance the family knew all the best spots to enjoy their favourite activities of swimming, camping, fishing, canoeing on Lake Windabout and walking along Observatory Beach, activities which a young Robin took for granted but typically as an adult, now realises how special they were.

Living the dream: Robin performing with Roobs and the Washing Line Economy. Photo: Supplied.

Living the dream: Robin performing with Roobs and the Washing Line Economy. Photo: Supplied.

This idyllic family life changed when, at the end of Year 7, Robin applied for and won a prestigious music scholarship to attend Guildford Grammar School for his high school years. Only one student per cohort received the scholarship which paid for half the tuition fees and all music lessons.

Robin's interest in music began at an early age when his father taught him the basics of guitar and infused in him a love of such bands as Boney M and Pink Floyd. At school he learned to play the trumpet and sang in choirs.

Although a wonderful opportunity it was a real wrench for Robin to leave his family and friends and even while living with caring relatives the first two years away were difficult with homesickness, loneliness and some bullying making the adjustment to a large, all boys school even more challenging.

With such an emphasis on music, perhaps Robin' s teachers envisaged for him a career as a soloist in a symphony orchestra but in his early teenage years he first discovered pop music, then some indie- alternative bands such as Ball Park Music, Arctic Monkeys and Alt-J became the inspiration that absorbs him still.

Life improved for Robin in Year 10 when his family moved to Perth and by then he had also made friends and adapted to, and enjoyed, the variety of subjects and options available at Guildford. After five years of study Robin returned to Esperance for a gap year of freedom. Jamming with some mates resulted in the formation of a band called Masters in Lunacy which comprised Robin, Joe Franzone, Boden Bosworth, Alex Richardson and Lawrence Maloney.

Fate stepped in when Robin accompanied Joe to the 30th birthday of local music identity, Kyron Smithson and it was through Kyron that the Masters in Lunacy first took to the stage - something for which Robin will be forever grateful, describing Kyron as a "legend". In turn, Kyron expresses admiration, not only for Robin's motivation and desire to follow the music path, but also for his positive, kind and empathetic personality.

All fun things must come to an end and the following year Robin returned to Perth to study Marine Science at UWA and with three mates from high school formed the band, Roobs and the Washing Line Economy, writing and performing music with tunes ranging from chill to danceable, with lyrics that will relate to any millenial and influenced by real life situations with general themes of growing up, love and heartbreak.

Inspired by bands such as Mac Demarco their first single was released in 2018 and that summer the band performed in Esperance to sell out crowds. Now with four singles released the band is about to record and release their first debut album/EP, with accompanying video clips.

Between his uni commitments, performing at various gigs and readying for the big launch Robin doesn't return to Esperance as much as he would like. At times still feeling like a country kid lost in the big smoke he acknowledges how fortunate he was to spend his early years in Esperance.

Country life taught him to appreciate the little things but most of all to be kind, friendly and genuine as he believes that one act of kindness can change someone' s life. His advice to young children is to try your best and always dream. If the dream becomes reality, you win.

Robin Bottrell is on his way to living his dream but one thing is certain, no matter what heights he and his band may reach, Robin will remember where his journey began.