WARNING: This blog post contains spoilers about Club Delicacy – so please resist temptation if you don’t want to know what happens on these very special Darren Hayes showcase nights…
"Gobsmacked", "Inspiring", "Utterly Amazing", "The Prince Of Re-Invention". These were just some of the choice words and phrases that we overheard after watching Darren Hayes first public preview of new material from his epic double-disc album "This Delicate Thing We’ve Made" which is rumoured to delight our hungry little ears near August.
Standing in the queue at the Soho Revue Bar, it almost felt like a family affair. Darren Hayes super fans were in eager attendance while specially selected MySpace friends were revelling in the privilege of being the first ones selected to hear his hot new tunes before anyone else. This certainly wasn’t your normal Darren Hayes show. Maybe 200 fans were lucky enough to get to attend this special evening. Such a special show to the extent, that we wish all pop concerts were like this. At a ticket cost of 12 quid, we most certainly would have paid 100 pounds for the pleasure of being entertained in the intimate surroundings that Team Darren had created for us.
What can you expect? Well, very cool electro music for a starter, especially selected by Darren (we heard) will warm you up into a frenzy of anticipation and electronic hunger while you wait in the cushy seating of the Soho Revue Bar. If you fancy standing you can hang out right by the stage or up by the poles to enjoy the view from a pole dancer’s perspective (who we noted had the evening off last night). 9pm – Darren casually takes to the stage. No grand entrance, no special effects. Just Darren and his hunky guitarist Steve Young , the drummer Keith Prior and Justin Shave making all the glorious bleeps and noises throughout the night. Darren also has a few laptops on stage in which he jokingly admits that he has some of his new lyrics on a PowerPoint presentation to help him along with his new songs. "What did you expect for ten quid?" he jokes and in true Darren Hayes style, his commentary and love for the audience is prevalent all the way through.
If only we knew all the names of the new songs, we’d report a setlist, but we don’t. That’s ok though – the shroud of mystery is in heavy effect tonight – Darren wants you to hear his new stuff on offer and he wants to shock you with his mastery of electronic re-invention. The first surprise. Wait for it…"Carry On Dancing" is performed after a few lovely new electro songs as openers. Not only does Darren treat us to the classic Savage Garden song, he mixes in the chorus of "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco towards the end! Were not joking – it will make you wet your pants. Darren exclaims at the end that he "always wanted to sing that song". It’s truly a treat for the ears. A new song called "Step Into The Light" was up next and this song definitely has single potential – it’s one of those songs you can tell Darren is extremley proud of and if "Darkness" had a seqeul or a happy ending, this would be the song. What comes up next? Well how about a light and playful version of "Unlovable" for ya? We almost didn’t recognise this song, as the music is completely re-done in a happy and joyful way, which makes you forget how heavy the lyrics to this song actually are.
A short story session is up next on the agenda with Darren singing "How To Build A Time Machine" which was one of the most amazing stopmers of the evening. This song is explained as being about his father and is very touching and tre cool all at the same time – you literally feel like you are doing the time warp with Darren as the crazy scientist flight attendant, making you feel comfortable on your journey. "I Like The Way" is done in a very suprising accoustic style with just Darren and the guitarist. What we liked most about this re-worked song is that Darren slightly altered the words at the end which gave it a whole new meaning – we were almost wondering if he was singing this song about his hubby Richard who was proudly sitting amongst the audience with a special proud glint in his eye the entire night.
"On the Verge of Something Wonderful" was a spectacular treat – a very fun and touching track that in our eyes truly defines electronic music. Darren also treated us to new a new ballad called "Words" which is extremley poignant and will have all super fans squealing with romance. Up next, a trip down memory lane again with "I Want You". Darren never seems to amaze us with how easily he re-invents this song everytime we hear it live – and the crowd went absolutley bezerk as soon as the first memorable chords were played by Shave on the keys. Darren then sang "Baby I’m A Star" by Prince, and mashed up those ever so popular lyrics to "Pop!ular" into it which made the crowd very very happy – it was nice to see everyone sing along and interact during this new tune.
All in all – this wonderful show lasted about an hour and the big finale of the night was "Void" which was completely re-invented and incorporates Bjork’s "All Is Full Of Love" at the very end – which is quite evident and fitting as a closing note. You can tell that Darren’s marriage to Richard has truly been an amazing life defining experience for him and that at this moment, his heart truly is full of love.
Thank you Darren for inviting us to "Club Delicacy" last night – we will do whatever we can to score tickets again to this amazing treat as we are sure you will mix things up a bit on the upcoming shows as the album comes closer to fruition. The only disappointing part of the evening was knowing that we’ll have to wait another five months or so to hear these vivid new electronic tunes on our iPods.
More Club Delicacy dates at the Soho Revue Bar: April 16th and 19th, May 12th and June 9th and 30th.
Side notes: We apologise for not getting any good photos of Darren – we only wish our photog skills were a lot better, but if you have any photos – email them over and we’ll feature them on EQ. Instead – here are a few candids of us crazy Darren fans (Megan, Noemi, Madison, and the EQ) enjoying the show. And the lovely Antigone even chatted to us for a bit – we can’t wait to go to Club Delicacy again to see her open the show. What a pleasure to finally meet super fan Joyce as well – who had permagrin the entire night and even a small tear in her eye afterwards – precious! And as if by strange premonition, on the way to Soho Revue Bar, we spotted Imogen Heap eating a sandwich and looking amazing on Oxford Street – we knew it was going to be a great evening.