Darren Middleton

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Darren Middleton

His distinctive guitar playing led the way for a generation in the ’90s Australian music scene. From the likes of ‘My Happiness’ to ‘These Days’ and ‘Baby I’ve Got You On My Mind’, Darren Middleton is a legend of the Australian music scene. Having released his debut album Translations in November 2013, Middleton is about to head out on the road with Guy Pearce. Ahead of a big 2015, we begin our conversation with a chat about the infamous Woodford Folk Festival.
Playing two spots over the festival, as Middleton relates it was good to get back to the festival, as it is a surreal experience to head along as a punter as well as performer. “Woodford is quite a sprawling yet contained experience. It’s really nice and the gigs that I played were absolutely awesome, I have to tell you mate. I played in one of the big tops and it was filled with seats, so there must have been at least 1000 people watching me. As a songwriter, that’s all you can really ask for, to have a captive audience throughout your performance.”
As a member of Powderfinger for 20 years and with so many classic hits, there must be a ’Finger tune thrown in a setlist here or there, right? “There could very well be. I started to do a track last year and I played it at Woodford as well. I did a stripped-back version of The Metre and another obscure track called Drifting Further Away.
“It’s been really interesting doing that. I ask fans what they think before I play it, but I’ve also been asking whether I’m performing a cover or a tribute. It was always the five of us on those tracks at the end of the day, so I’m still wondering what to classify it as.”
After Powderfinger disbanded in 2010, Middleton went on a journey of self-discovery and after a period of 18 months began work on Translations. “I was going through a bit of an emotional wasteland. I was depressed and starting things and not finishing them. When I finally turned the corner emotionally, I realised that there was a reason for a record there and began work. I had to fall in love with music all over again, but I am so glad I did.”
Over the course of the next month, Darren Middleton is teaming with Guy Pearce to do a lap of the country in support of their respective solo albums. Through ten dates in both regional and major city centres, complete with a full six-piece band, these shows are going to be unmissable – and Middleton can’t wait for the opportunity to play his songs with such a big line-up.
“I like Guy’s record and he can really sing live and we were just chatting about what we would like to do. We are on stage together the whole time and taking this out on the road will be very fun. It’s a small tour but I think that every show will be spectacular. It’s a theatre show more than rock and roll and I think it will be intimate and a warming experience for all.”
With a new record to be released later in the year, we are sure to see a lot more of Darren Middleton in 2015. Get along to these double headline shows whilst you can.
When&Where: The Capital, Bendigo – January 31; Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne – February 7; and GPAC, Geelong – February 28
Written by Tex Miller, Photo by Iska Photography