The Mildura RSL is a lovely venue. The Lounge, where Darren played is perfect for country music performances. Now, I am going to be extremely biased with this review as most of you know, Darren is one of my favourites. However, credit where credit is due. He was just damned fine. Darren played to a room of mainly fans who did not know his work and by the end of the gig, he had converted many of them.
It had been a tough day for Darren. It was the anniversary of his father’s death and also he had been in a fire that morning. To be able to get up on stage and sing his songs (and many requests) with consummate ease, was a tribute to him and his Dad.
He displayed humour and grit and sang his songs with great emotion and heart. He took up many challenges from the crowd as he sang songs that they requested as diverse as “House of the Rising Sun” and “Bird on a Wire” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes”. The inevitable request for a Johnny Cash song was cleverly translated into the song that the Highwaymen took their name from.
The strength of Darren’s performance, however, was measured in his own songs and stories, including: Riverbend Jack, Fly Away, On the bend by the willow, Moving the Mullock (my Dad’s favourite) and Come by Chance.
He also sang new songs from his album, including the poignant and timely “Leave Me There”, “She’s not you” and “Happiness Tree”.
Darren has the most unique voice. It covers many octaves and it has a life of its own. Not only has he got a magical voice, but he produced a magic trick when he made a glass of water fly across the room. (You had to be there.)
From stand alone to sing-a-longs, Darren put smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes.
An awesome evening and just what the doctor ordered.