It’s in the music: Darrell Bath, 1966 - 2021
I was stunned by the news, yesterday evening, that Darrell Bath has died. It doesn’t seem possible. Darrell was a constant.
I first stumbled across Darrell in '91. The Crybabys (such a great, ego-popping name for a band) were playing a support slot at the Marquee on London’s Charing Cross Road, and I fell for them straight away. They had it all: the Keef-esque swagger, the dual-frontmen thing, and a bunch of well-crafted songs with lyrics that winked at me. When it came to boozy, Brit-flavoured, good-time rock ‘n’ roll I thought they were perfect, and Darrell soon became a guitar hero of mine.
Over three decades I saw him play more than 30 times, in around a dozen different bands, on stages big and small, and I always loved watching him. His playing seemed so intuitive - as if he was making it all up as he went along, in the best possible sense - and I was struck by the purity of that. He made playing the guitar look like the most natural thing in the world.
His guitar was clearly his voice, though his actual voice was great too. Heartfelt and a bit cracked, it carried both sincerity and cheekiness very well, giving his records a real sense of character.
Darrell was an important piece of my musical journey, a source of surprise and delight on many occasions, and the reason I once missed the last Tube out of Tottenham Court Road (so unlike me). It’s strange to think he’s gone. I’m going to miss him.
My heart goes out to his family and friends.