Rog Patterson first appeared on the early 1980’s progressive music scene as the less hairy half of Nottingham‐based Heavy Wood duo Twice Bitten (with fellow Philosophy graduate Greg Smith), whose frequent appearances at the Marquee in London in support of various proggy luminaries (Twelfth Night, Solstice, Pendragon and so on) had built them a loyal, if slightly baffled, following.
Rog’s contribution – 12‐string guitar and yelling, on broadly political and philosophical themes from a humanist perspective – continued in a solo vein after TB’s demise in 1986, with fairly constant touring in UK and mainland Europe leading to the release of The Unexpected EP in 1988, followed in 1989 by the Flightless album, which received glowing reviews in the progressive fanzines around Europe (no Prog or Classic Rock Society in those days!)
Right from the start, Rog combined his twangy behaviour with a parallel interest in sound engineering and tour management, initially with Pendragon; in due course, this strand of musical activity would become rather more time‐consuming than originally intended…
Extensive touring followed the release of Flightless, including support slots with Roy Harper, Fairport Convention, John Martyn and many others, as well as radio and production collaborations with Anthony Phillips. Rog also became a member of reclusive pastoral proggies Coltsfoot, appearing on the albums Action at a Distance (featuring a young Steven Wilson) and A Winter Harvest; further Coltsfoot releases cannot entirely be ruled out… He also made guest appearances on albums by Skyclad and Nigel Mazlyn Jones.
During the 1990’s, the tiresome requirement to earn a living saw a lurch further towards sound engineering, tour and production management, and Rog’s anarcho‐acoustic nonsense took a back seat to long and enjoyable years of touring with socio-politically like‐minded folk, primarily Rage Against the Machine, Skunk Anansie, Therapy?, Faith No More, and many others.
In 2001, RATM split up, and Rog came off the road, with a view to releasing a “new” album (i.e. the one that he wrote in 1990 and hadn’t quite got around to recording.) Instead, he resumed his association with Nigel Mazlyn Jones, with various live collaborations and recordings, the most recent of which found him playing guitar, Chapman Stick and fretless bass on NMJ’s Raft album (2014). There have also been several Twice Bitten reunion gigs, leading to the release (by Bad Elephant) of their Late Cut CD in 2015.
In a last‐ditch attempt to avoid recording his “new” solo album, Rog somehow persuaded those fine but rather silly folk at Bad Elephant to release the old one again, re‐mastered (not that the original release was actually mastered in the first place) along with recently-unearthed demo versions (from the same period) of three tracks which would have been on the new album had he ever got around to recording it. Which, of course, he still claims is imminent: however, “30 years late” is intrinsically funnier than “28 years late”, so breath‐holding is not recommended…
Stylistically, Rog describes his music as “gluten‐free Jethro Tull”, or possibly “the soundtrack to a play by Samuel Beckett about Billy Bragg meeting Roy Harper in the pub and talking about cricket…” Not overly keen on the phrase “singer-songwriter”, he regards himself simply as a lyricist who owns some guitars; he takes his lyrics very seriously, and himself not even slightly seriously.
Rog’s other strategies for avoiding recording include raising a family, playing cricket (for Anthony Phillips’s Send Occasionals CC) and writing (his current book, if his recording history is anything to go by, is likely to be published sometime in the late 2040’s.)