Of Tides and Summer Sounds – a chat with Darren Middleton

With a resume that boasts 20 years as part of the iconic Australian band, Powderfinger, Darren Middleton could be excused for riding off into the sunset, when the band called it quits back in 2010. He instead chose to explore life as a solo artist, and the results add another dimension to an already incredible career.

Middleton’s latest album, Tides – his third release since 2013 – expands upon his lush, melodic stylings, providing a little more guitar and groove to a sound that is all his own.

Bringing that sound to Hobsons Bay, as part of the Summer Sounds concert series, Darren is looking forward to wearing in his new songs, in a place he has yet to explore, “I’ve lived in Melbourne for six years now . . . we tend to stay on our side of the river . . . I have never been to Williamstown, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Despite the Powderfinger pedigree, Middleton has enjoyed the freedom to explore his sound, owing to his partial anonymity as the lead guitarist, “No one really associates my voice with Powderfinger . . . unlike Bern (Bernard Fanning) they don’t know what my voice sounds like.”

When Fanning and Middleton decided to pursue solo careers, they were both keen to move away from their past, but Middleton is now happy to embrace where he has been, “why wouldn’t you? It was really good.” An understatement, if ever there was.

Listening to his solo work, it is clear that Middleton is a Crowded House fan and despite a long list of collaborations, including Nic Cester, Missy Higgins, Claire Bowditch, Paul Dempsey, Pete Murray and of course, Bernard Fanning – the list is incomplete. “The people I’ve collaborated with are my friends. I have toured with them over the years – we know each other…. Neil Finn is someone I would love to work with. I have sent Neil my stuff, but the timing has never been right. Hopefully one day. . .”

Hobsons Bay will be turning our neighbourhood into a music festival of sorts, with the Summer Sounds series kicking off on Sunday January 13th and running through to Saturday February 16th. Darren Middleton will be taking over the Commonwealth Reserve in Williamstown, on Sunday January 20, from 2pm to 5pm, alongside Indie artist, Alice Skye.williamstown rotundra

With a diverse range of musical performers popping up all over the Bay area – Altona, Laverton and Seabrook included – it is definitely worthwhile checking out the full program.

Free music is best paired with a picnic, so pack your favourite cheese, a rug and be prepared to enjoy the Sounds of Summer in Hobsons Bay.

*Photos provided by Penney & Logan





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