The Garden Of Unearthly Delights – The Spiegeltent, Sun 21 Feb
Darren Middleton, post Powderfinger, appears to be just as busy and productive as he ever was in terms of songwriting. Perhaps he’s also slightly less restricted in terms of song style? There was no evidence of electric guitar, though the acoustic was augmented with a loop pedal used quite sparingly.
Darren started this set solo, before adding Kelly, whose violin, keys and voice decorated the rest of the songs played and along the way we learned that she performs and travels the most with Darren (who plays between duo, trio and full band mode as each gig and opportunity provides). A couple more songs on and Tali was introduced, who added an extra guitar as well as an exquisite voice that carried several of the songs, and a lively sense of banter to play off the relatively more serious chat from Darren.
Personally, I really enjoy a songwriter talking about their songs prior to playing them, providing insight into the writing of them (whether it’s the 3am call to Kelly in a nearby hotel room to come and help, or insight into how a song began). Also there was some personal banter between Darren’s friends in the audience which added some fun, colour and the feeling that we were all part of the family.
While we heard plenty of Darren’s newer songs, the final song, the Powderfinger classic The Metre had the audience singing along. Exiting, there were Powderfinger / Darren Middleton fans who were quite blissed out at the experience of being relatively up close and personal with one of their local musical heroes – something that an intimate gig can provide!