Darren’s music blog
News, reviews, interviews and more. From classic rock to contemporary folk.
Welcome to my music blog. I have fairly varied tastes in music: folk, rock, glam, heavy metal and more. My first ever gig was the Donington Monsters of Rock festival (Slade, Whitesnake, AC/DC… written up here) back in 1981, aged 15. Live music has been an important part of my life ever since. However, back in Spring 2014 when I began this blog, I found I had many more free evenings than I used to after stepping down from a lengthy stint as a local councillor. One of the things I was determined to do with those freed up evenings was see more live bands. I use this blog to post my reviews of many of the gigs I’ve been to, as well as occasional album reviews and other music-related posts. Feedback is welcome so do please feel free to leave any comments and do share anything you like on social media.
For those bemused by the eclectic nature of the artists covered here, let me try and explain. Since being a teenager I have always enjoyed discovering and exploring different genres, but when I did chance upon a new discovery I was always adding to what I liked already rather than discarding anything. As a teenager, I started off getting into rock/metal around in the early 80s (Status Quo, AC/DC, Rainbow) but, prompted by the revival of Slade’s fortunes in 80/81, I was soon also exploring 70s glam rock bands (Slade, Sweet, T-Rex and so on). The pop-rock of the previous decade sounded so much more exciting than that of the 80s, which I had little interest in.
Delving back into the 70s prompted me to start exploring the 60s, too, (The Stones, The Small Faces and notably The Byrds). As well as my love of glam rock and heavy metal, I acquired a love of the folk-rock sounds of The Byrds. But having, bit by bit, bought up the entire back catalogue of The Byrds, I decided that if I enjoyed American folk-rock so much it might be time to start exploring British folk-rock, too (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and so on). And through enjoying those bands so much it actually led to me to begin an appreciation of more traditional folk, too.
On the rock side I got pretty disenchanted with much of what was being re-released as the 80s progressed. All those synthesizers and tinny, compressed 80s production techniques left me cold. It wasn’t just the new bands but by the mid 80s it seemed that almost every veteran artist of the 60s and 70s became like kids in a sweetshop with the new technology and making horribly over-produced records. Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ still sends me cold now. I switched off more and more from what was going on at the time and continued to explore the second-hand shops and the back catalogues. It was only with the arrival of Britpop in the early to mid 90s that I began to take notice of new music again and you’ll find a number of bands from that era covered on this blog.
As far as heavy metal went, my original love, there was a time not too long ago when anything described as a ‘new’ metal band I simply did not get at all. I played my classic albums still but all those weirdly-named sub-genres and even weirder-sounding vocals that came about in the 90s and 00s just left me feeling old and confused. However, the so-called New Wave Of Classic Rock fired me up again and I reconnected, discovering many great new bands.
Which pretty much explains my journey of musical discovery over the years and the eclectic range of reviews you will find on this blog.
You can read some more about Darren’s music blog in this interview I did for fellow music blogger Jason at the Rockin’ Chair Blog here.
Feel free to quote from, link to or re-blog any of the reviews on this site but a credit would be nice. Again, you are equally welcome to use and share the photos from this site as long as you credit them. Unless otherwise credited all the live photos are by me. Copyright images of album covers, tour posters and other promotional material are reproduced under ‘Fair Use’ considerations. Please get in touch if any queries.
And if you do enjoy reading anything here then do comment/follow/share etc. It’s the interaction with other music lovers that makes music blogging so much fun.
Thanks for visiting.
PS: Information about my book ‘The Sweet in the 1970s’ part of Sonicbond Publishing’s ‘Decades’ series – available here