It's not often that the phrases ‘heavy metal performer' and ‘LNER Customer Experience leader' come together in one sentence.
But Robb Weir, one of LNER's Customer Experience team members, leads a double life – working not only for the train operating company but also as lead guitarist and songwriter for The Tygers of Pan Tang, one of Britain's leading heavy metal rock bands.
His love of music and guitar playing began when he was a child growing up in a household surrounded by rock and roll. He says that his two sisters gave him a lifelong love of songwriting and performing.
In 1978, he decided to start a band and placed an advertisement in a local newspaper seeking a bass player to jam with – and so The Tygers of Pan Tang came about.
Robb is now well known to heavy metal fans across the world and has played gigs in places as far apart as Japan, Colombia and Paraguay. He's rubbed shoulders with rock gods, including Ozzy Osborne, Lemmy from Motorhead and the late Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy.
Robb recently returned from ‘70 Thousand Tons of Metal' the world's biggest heavy metal cruise. The Tygers played to 3,000 fans while sailing from Miami to the Dominican Republic and back.
He is also part of a railway family. Robb's daughter recently qualified as an LNER train driver and his son-in-law also works on board the trains.
Robb said: “I never get stage fright. I'm pretty level-headed and don't get stressed easily, which comes in very handy in the day job. I love the camaraderie with the people I work with onboard, and I love looking after customers. I enjoy speaking to people from all walks of life, many of whom will share their life stories with you. There's something about travelling that makes people open up and tell you the most interesting things about themselves. It sounds cliched, but no two days are alike.
“I love every show we play, from the smallest club to the biggest auditorium, I get such a buzz. To me, music is the heartbeat of life.
“One of the most amazing things I've ever experienced is when we co-headlined the Reading Festival back in 1982 with Iron Maiden and played to over 70,000 people. It was unbelievable. There were so many people, you couldn't see where the crowd ended.”
Kate Davidson, LNER Head of On Train North said: “Our Customer Experience colleagues bring so many varied skills to the role, and Robb is no exception. Not only is he an integral part of The Tygers entertaining thousands with his music, he's also an important part of the LNER team, looking after thousands of customers as they travel with us.
“We're really proud of everything Robb has achieved, both onboard with LNER and on stage with The Tygers and wish him continued success!”