Rob began dabbling with music when he joined his brother Steven Charlton and cousin Math Charlton in a pre-cursor to Prime back in 1989. With new instruments, Rob played keyboards on their first effort: a cover of I Want to Break Free by Queen. He bought himself a drum kit by the middle of the year and the three rehearsed together. He moved onto guitars and keyboards when Paul Smith joined the band as a new drummer at the end of that year.
Prime finally played a number of gigs in 1995 and 1996, with Rob playing mostly guitar. Later that year, he played a couple of support gigs as The Invisible Brothers with James Newcombe before moving to Oxford where he has lived ever since.
He joined Bronxcheer as bass guitarist in 1997 and they recorded an EP. After their disbandment in 2004, he became involved with folk music and learned to play more instruments (including accordion, mandolin and fiddle), returning to his origins as an instrumentalist journeyman.
In 2004 he formed Rodney Quakes with another ex-Bronxcheer member Chris Frewin, playing all sorts of stuff with a folky element.