Woodford Folk Festival will this year see the return of former Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton, who’ll take the stage as a solo artist after last performing there 18 years ago. Middleton is thrilled to be part of this year’s Woodford, which is renowned as one of the best music festivals in the world.
“It’s special because, on one hand, I’ve only ever played at it once before and that was 18 years ago. It’s pretty laid back and has a real community feel to it.”
Middleton will showcase his exquisite original songs in a stripped back acoustic setting with Kelly Lane on violin and keyboards. While he admits there have been challenges performing in such an intimate mode, he says it’s also been a personally rewarding experience.
“I’ve really kind of grown into the role of, I suppose, a troubadour who gets up there and tells stories and people get to know me through my songs and my songs through me. I’m really big on the idea of connection not just performing but connecting with people.”
Human connection is important to Middleton who, as a songwriter, draws his inspiration from everyday life. It’s a theme that will be present on his next solo album, which he is considering releasing in two separate halves during 2015.
“I think if you can write about yourself or what’s going on in your life honestly enough then you’ll find we’re not so different, people will just relate to it”, he says. “There’s been quite a bit of turmoil in my life over the last couple of years so there’s plenty of things to draw from.”
Besides new solo material, Middleton will also be hitting the road for a tour with Guy Pearce early next year.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Guy as an actor. He makes good choices and does his job really well but he’s also a real good musician. He knows what he’s doing. He hasn’t just thrown money at a project and gone, ‘Here, I’ve got an album’. He really put the work into it and he can sing.”
While he admits he hasn’t planned too far into next year, Middleton agrees that it is shaping up to be a very prolific start.
Catch Darren Middleton at Woodford this New Year’s Eve, and touring with Guy Pearce in January/February 2015. Details below.
Watch: Darren Middleton – Let Go
Woodford Folk Festival
Saturday, 27th December 2014 – Tuesday, 1st January 2015
Tickets: Woodford Folk Festival
Guy Pearce + Darren Middleton Broken / Translations Tour
Saturday, 31st January
The Capital, Bendigo
Tickets: The Capital
Saturday, 7th February
Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets: Thornbury Theatre
Sunday, 8th February
Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh
Tickets: Caravan Music Club
Thursday, 12th February
Friday, 13th February
Nambour Civic Centre, Sunshine Coast
Tickets: SC Venues And Events
Tuesday, 17th February
The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide
Tickets: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Thursday, 19th February
Lizotte’s Restaurant | Newcastle
Friday, 20th February
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Factory Theatre
Saturday, 28th February