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.

Top secret clown business: Meeting Sid Haig at HorrorConUK, 13 May 2017

Me with Sid Haig at HorrorConUK, 13 May 2017

Last Saturday I trundled up to Sheffield to attend the third annual HorrorConUK, a convention for lovers of all things bowel-loosening, held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre. One of the guests was Sid Haig - aka Captain Spaulding, the serial-killing clown from House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects - and as a big admirer of the latter film especially, I thought I’d go and say hello, as well as nab a signed 8x10 for my slowly growing collection of cast...

Read more

Just doin’ it: Tommy Hale on touring, performing, friendship and the future

Nick Beere, John O'Sullivan and Tommy Hale, live at The Star Inn, Guildford, 18 April 2017

It’s 7pm on a balmy spring evening, and I’m wandering up Orsman Road in Hoxton, towards The Stag’s Head. I have no idea why I expect to find a tranquil beer garden on a Friday night in London’s East End, but my awakening is far from rude. As I enter the pub I’m immediately greeted by Tommy Hale, who’s standing just inside the doorway nursing a large wooden spoon bearing the number five.

The singer, songwriter and sometime guitarist...

Read more

Director’s cut: John Carpenter live in London and Brighton, Oct/Nov 2016

Cody Carpenter and John Carpenter live at the Troxy, London, 1 November 2016

“Please be aware no food, drink or chewing gum is allowed in the venue. Thank you.”

The printed sign, one of a handful dotted around the entrance and foyer area of the Troxy, is trying its polite best to look after the venue’s interests, but it doesn’t seem to have caught the attention of tonight’s performer, John Carpenter, who’s happily chewing away.

It’s hard not to think of Roddy Piper in They Live: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and...

Read more

The Gates of ‘Hello’! Meeting Fabio Frizzi and Catriona MacColl

Me with Fabio Frizzi and Catriona MaColl at Union Chapel, 29 October 2016

Here’s one for fans of '70s and '80s Italian exploitation films. From left to right we have composer Fabio Frizzi, some interloping no-mark, and actress Catriona MacColl.

Last night Fabio and his six-piece band played a wonderful gig at Union Chapel in Islington, performing suites of music from throughout Fabio’s career as a composer for film and television.

It was his third London show since 2013, and he’d reworked his set since his last visit...

Read more

Signal to noise: A review of Transmissions From Oblivion by Last Great Dreamers

Transmissions From Oblivion by Last Great Dreamers

It’s been a busy couple of years for Last Great Dreamers. From a nostalgic comeback in 2014 - a reunion after nearly two decades of retirement - they steadily rebuilt their empire with singles, videos, tours and festival appearances, before announcing that they were recording an album, to be funded via their fans through PledgeMusic: a confident move, which appears to have paid off.

The finished record is called Transmissions From Oblivion. It’s a title...

Read more

Expletive completed: Magnificent Bastard by Tommy Hale

Magnificent Bastard by Tommy Hale

There’s an unwritten rule in the music industry that goes something like this: whatever the date on which you’re planning to put out your new record, add at least three months - and then, when you’ve finally got that date, add an extra week. The wheels of design, manufacture and publicity can move slower than anticipated, and it’s impossible to cheat the system by anticipating delays from the outset - a problem I like to call the Release Date Paradox - so don’t...

Read more

He scores! Meeting film composer John Scott

With John Scott at the Camden Film Fair, 3 September 2016

“Rest the toe by not walking or standing for too long, and not putting weight on the toe. You can begin normal activity once the swelling has gone down.”

That was the advice I got from the NHS website after I whacked my little toe on the corner of my built-in wardrobe on Friday afternoon. Over the years, I’d stubbed the same toe many times before, often in the same manner, and I’d never suffered any ill effects beyond an initial yelp and a brief...

Read more

Transmission statement: In the recording studio with Last Great Dreamers, July 2016

Last Great Dreamers at Foel Studio, summer 2016

They can be dangerous places, recording studios. Cables to trip over; microphones poised to knock your teeth out; a mountain of electrical equipment waiting to catch fire - some of it heavy too, so watch your back when lifting. If you have a wannabe Phil Spector producing, you might even find yourself dodging bullets as you reach for that high harmony.

Thankfully, today at Foel Studio, Tony Harris isn’t packing heat - it’s Sunday and he doesn’t carry at weekends - but that still...

Read more

Simple facts: Case Hardin live at C2C: Country to Country, the O2, London, March 2016

Jim Maving and Pete Gow of Case Hardin, live at the Brooklyn Bowl, Greenwich, 13 March 2016

“This next song," says Pete Gow, “is probably the only reason we were invited to play Country to Country.”

It’s 11.45am on Sunday 13 March, and I’m in Greenwich, at the O2 - or the Millennium Dome, as I hope history will remember it - for a brief look in on what’s being billed as ‘Europe’s largest country music festival’.

The three-day bash has gathered together some of the genre’s current big names - the...

Read more

Maybe it’s the lateness: Tommy Hale talks about his “emotionally difficult” new album

Tommy Hale at Mooncalf Studio, 27 November 2015

“It seems I let time slip away…”
- Magnificent Bastard by Tommy Hale

Time is many things - some prosaic, some poetic. To the young it’s a comfort; to the grieving it’s a healer; to the toiling it’s a currency; to the creative it’s a storyteller. Albert Einstein once said that the separation between past, present and future is an illusion, which has got to be worth a shot the next time your mortgage payment is late.

The one universal,...

Read more