Darren Stockford

What’s all this, then?

Hello, there. I’m Darren, and this is a collection of stuff I’ve written over the years, mainly about music but there’s some other stuff too, such as film, TV and merch. You’ll also find the odd bit of promo for videos and music I’ve made. Thanks for dropping by.

Martian rock opera: The War Of The Worlds live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 18 April 2006

Jeff Wayne's The War Of The Worlds album"No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space…"

As a kid, I often heard these words, spoken by actor Richard Burton, rattling out of the speaker of a mono tape recorder in my bedroom. The cassette it was playing was an orange-labelled BASF C120. For the full, immersive experience, I’d go downstairs and play it on my dad’s music centre, which had a lovely rich sound and plenty of...

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A night of words and music with Nick Hornby and Marah - Lock 17, London, 6 April 2006

Marah live at Lock 17, London, 6 April 2006Last night I went to a gig. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with live music for some time now. I love seeing bands but hate the fact that I have no control over whether the experience will be enjoyable, due to other people - but I’ll save my thoughts on this subject for another time.

I only mention it now because I’ve been so down on gigs recently that I very nearly didn’t bother buying a ticket for last night’s show. And when the band on stage is Marah, that is so...

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Heartbreaker: A review of Valor Del Corazón by Ginger

Valor Del Corazón by GingerDown the decades, entire libraries’ worth of words have been written about rock ‘n’ roll’s life-affirming properties.

I’ve read some of it. I’ve enjoyed some of it. But I’ve also yet to read a single line that sums it up better than the closing line of Valor Del Corazón, the first fully-fledged solo album from Ginger, creator and creative of The Wildhearts, whose last proper long player, 2003’s The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed!, sounded like the work of a band who’d found something...

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Both feet in the honky tonk: Jason Ringenberg live in London and Brighton, 11/20 November 2004

Jason Ringenberg live at the Hanbury Ballroom, Brighton, 20 November 2004Earlier this year, Tara and I were in a Nashville bar, Robert’s Western World, sipping cokes and watching the resident covers act. We’d only been sat down for 30 seconds when a voice came from the stage: “Who’s your favourite country singer?” All eyes in the room turned to us. It was obviously the newcomers’ turn to request a song.

“Jason and the Scorchers?” asked Tara, hopefully. “Sorry, who?” came the reply. The name was repeated for clarity...

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Hail Hale! Rock ‘n’ roll: Tommy Hale and The Snakes - live at The Verge, London, 23 October 2003

Far From Grace by Tommy HaleHearing American musicians talk about their travels around the UK always makes me smile. Tonight, it’s Tommy Hale who sets the corners of my mouth twitching. When an American accent starts snaking its way around the names of some of this country’s towns and cities, I start mentally rewriting the first verse of Chuck Berry’s Promised Land. Substituting Wigan and Leicester for Raleigh and Caroline turns the song’s road-mythologising poetry into a battered RAC route map.

A Dallas resident who’s...

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Darrell of fun: Darrell Bath live at the 12 Bar Club, London, 12 August 2001

Darrell Bath live at the 12 Bar Club, 12 August 2001Well, he did it again. Darrell Bath’s ability to pop up in my favourite places never fails to amaze. Ian Hunter, Dan Baird, Dogs D’Amour, Quireboys - he’s cranked it out with 'em all down the years, each new collaboration adding weight both to my enjoyment of these artists, and to my theory that Mr Bath is sneaking round my flat when I’m tucked up in bed, rifling through my fave records, and systematically hooking up with the people who made 'em. Either that or he just...

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Garage daze revisited: The Quireboys live at the Garage, London, 18/19 July 2001

Spike, Nigel Mogg and Luke Bossendorfer live at the Garage, London, 18 July 2001

“Closed my eyes, heard a Marshall stack /
Swear to God, I had a heart attack”
- C’mon by the Quireboys

So, they finally sold out. Well, as near as damn it. There might be a few tickets left, but the Garage can’t be far off a capacity crowd for these two shows. Who’d have thought it, eh?

The last time I saw the Quireboys, at the old Bottom Line in Shepherd’s Bush in 1995, there was hardly...

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There they go again: The Quireboys are back!

Flyer advertising This Is Rock 'N' Roll by the QuireboysWell, that was a nice surprise.

Last night (13 June 2001) was the final night of Cheap Trick’s three-gig London Garage residency. I was waiting for the support band to come on, wondering who it would be (Monday night we had the singer from Urge Overkill - very good; Tuesday was some dirgey English band I never caught the name of - not so good), when out wandered Spike and Griff.

“'Allo, remember us?”

Yeah I do, as it happens. Nice to see ya,...

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Nights of Mister B: Dan Baird & Darrell Bath live in South Shields, Newcastle & London, June 2001

Darrell Bath and Dan Baird live at Trillians, Newcastle, 6 June 2001

“I get the feeling that most of ya here have seen the Big Three-O. If you haven’t, what the fuck are you doing watching some old man on a Friday night?”

Rock ‘n’ roll, someone once said, is a young man’s game. Absolute rubbish, of course. But it’s led to all kinds of nonsense down the years, such as the predictable “Strolling Bones” quips that tabloid newspapers wheel out every time the Stones - still one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands out there -...

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Pray for me mama (I’m a Geordie now): In the studio with Jason Ringenberg and The Wildhearts

Jason Ringenberg and The Wildhearts, Blackwing Studios, 20 May 2001It’s like something from a movie. A fantasy sequence in High Fidelity, perhaps?

The camera, in a low shot, glides through the studio door and into the control room. On the floor lies Danny McCormack, curled up in the foetal position, purring like a cat. Pan up over a table strewn with empty beer cans: Special Brew, Guinness, Tennent’s Super, K, Becks.

Nearby, there’s a tray of stewed coffee and a stack of unused mugs.

Tilt up to see Ginger...

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