Rob Shirlow has lived in Hamilton since 2005. He played bass guitar in Sora Shima (2007-2010), Ancient Tapes from its inception in 2014 until they ceased playing in July 2017, and more recently is fronting Bitter Defeat (2016-present). In August 2016 he played floor tom and snare drum in Bandfandango band Hippo Crypts. In his home country of Wales, Shirlow played bass in various bands, most notably Giraffe, an indie band who supported the likes of Stereolab, Do Make Say Think, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
In 2013 he founded Gravel Streak Records, with the release of Sora Shima's Empress EP on 10" lathecut, and in March 2015 he founded Hamilton Underground Press, an organization which writes about music in Hamilton, records podcasts, prints zines, and organizes live shows.