Stewart Darkin
This is me - Stewart Darkin

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In my youth, I was drawn to the colourful melody of Oliver Postgate’s Ivor the Engine theme tune, although that was quickly usurped by the seductive psychedelia (and bubble writing) of Sesame Street. After a brief flirtation with The Theme from Mash, next to catch my eye was the dressing up required to be in Dexy’s Midnight Runners or the Human League. I was seven, I got over it.

In 1987 (kids) something called Sally Cinnamon happened and nothing would ever be the same again. Ole Sally sashayed in with the confidence of someone who’d been there from the start and stole our hearts. In 1989, Madchester blossomed and I had a fringe.

Then I moved to Manchester and fell in love with its (OK, I admit it) slightly tiresome but wonderful musical heritage all over again. That said, I still think it is Yorkshire that has gifted us the most complete album of the last twenty years, but that’s just my opinion; no need to make it yours.

Right now, I am supplementing the indie and punk with the distinctly Human League-ish synth pop of my youth that a noughties recession has seen fit to resurrect. It’s a heady brew. Imagine Jamie T and Little Boots playing Hungry Hippos for money at Alex Turner’s house, with Pete Doherty refereeing.

Despite substantial and compelling evidence to the contrary, I am a grown-up who wants to read (and write) grown-up things about music and culture. Loving something that is supposedly uncool and saying so, and being convincing, is so much harder than just slagging off everything except New Order.

Maybe, as the one-ties dawn, my musical odyssey will complete its orbit and I‘ll find myself writing about the evocative, haunting and transcendental nature of the Ivor the Engine theme tune. I do hope so.

Recent Articles

Cody Simpson
 
Cody Simpson reschedules his autumn UK tour to Feb/Mar 2013
  • Around fifteen years ago, the 'pre-teen' pop music market meant nursery rhyme-like novelty songs or, at a push, the broad appeal of stars like Michael Jackson. At about the same time, in Queensland, A...
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Cesar Millan
 
Trust Your Instincts with Cesar Millan's 2013 UK tour
  • Dogs, then. Anyone who has tried to coax a hyperactive cocker spaniel into the house on a cold rainy night when said dog seems intent only on digging under the shed looking for God-knows-what, while t...
  • More
Seussical - Image: www.selladoor.com
 
Seussical the Musical comes to London in December 2012
  • Set your toes to 'tap' - the Cat in the Hat is about to lead you through your imagination. This Christmas, the Tony Award-winning duo of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens bring their Dr Seuss musical t...
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The Stranglers - Feel it Live
 
The Stranglers announce spring 2013 tour
  • Forty years or so after forming and more than two decades after shrugging off the departure of former lead vocalist Hugh Cornwell, the Stranglers are still ripping it up and making new music. The band...
  • More
Les Misérables - Image: www.lesmis.com
 
Les Misérables in the West End - now booking until October 2013
  • When discussing Les Misérables, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alan Boublil's musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, few superlatives remain that have not already been used to de...
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Reviews:

Glee+-+Glee+-+The+Music+Volume+2+Album+ReviewGlee - Glee - The Music Volume 2 Album Review
  • Whilst it seems highly unlikely that fashionable television guilty pleasure Glee will ever do a Lost and descend into tales of the most unexpected, the novelty will inevitably wear...
  • More
Push+It%21+Classic+Party+and+Dance+Tracks+Album+ReviewPush It! Classic Party and Dance Tracks Album Review
  • Lets party like its 1989. Universal have raided their back catalogue and assembled a double-disc compilation neatly divided into classic and party trax, although in truth theres no...
  • More
Chris Addison @ Middleton Arena - 14/02/2010 - Live Review
  • Looks can be deceiving. Chris Addison star of BBC2 shows The Thick Of It and Lab Rats, amongst others - is 38 years old, which is hard to believe. On stage at Middleton he looks l...
  • More
Jamie T @ Academy [1, 2, 3 and Club Academy] Live Review
  • Whilst The Libertines knock about the idea of reforming as if it were some sort of company HR project (Well have to sit down and see if we can do something in 2011), there is a new...
  • More
Miike+Snow+-+Miike+Snow+Album+ReviewMiike Snow - Miike Snow Album Review
  • Miike Snow are three electropoppers from Sweden. The cover of their self-titled debut album is steel-grey and minimal and carries an image of an ice block, within which is the silh...
  • More
Foo+Fighters+-+Greatest+Hits+Album+ReviewFoo Fighters - Greatest Hits Album Review
  • Foo Fighter songs are unstoppable express trains tearing through a crowded station. Rails hum with the distant rumble of the intro and, without ceremony, Dave Grohl and his band ex...
  • More
Fleetwood+Mac+-+The+Very+Best+Of+Fleetwood+Mac+Album+ReviewFleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac Album Review
  • Fleetwood Mac are, and have always been, a bit screwed up. Like a tawdry soap opera dynasty, their story is one of intrigue, hedonism, depression and addiction. And of music this ...
  • More
The+Enemy+-+Be+Somebody+Single+ReviewThe Enemy - Be Somebody Single Review
  • You know theres no such thing as a free meal, and theyre aint no future in British steel. The opening line of the latest single taken from the Enemys second album, Music For The Pe...
  • More
Jet+-+Shaka+Rock+Album+ReviewJet - Shaka Rock Album Review
  • WHEN Get Born, Jets first studio album, was released in 2003, the world of new music was being held in the vice-like grip of the Strokes and the Libertines and seemingly endless wa...
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Beyoncé - Diva (Remixes) Single Review
  • There was a time when extended remixes of chart hits were elusive and highly sought-after. Often, if not exclusively, reserved for the vinyl EP or 12 single, a remix of Billie Jean...
  • More
Preston+-+Dressed+To+Kill+Single+ReviewPreston - Dressed To Kill Single Review
  • Sam Preston has been keeping his head below the parapet. Following the turbulent rise and fall of The Ordinary Boys, his Celebrity Big Brother joyride and the subsequent car-crash ...
  • More
Green+Day+-+21+Guns+Single+ReviewGreen Day - 21 Guns Single Review
  • Oh dear. Whatever has happened to Green Day? 21 Guns is the second single from their eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, and given that it is five years since a spectacula...
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Sonic+Boom+Six+-+The+Concrete+We%E2%80%99re+Trapped+Within+%28it%E2%80%99s+yours%29+Single+ReviewSonic Boom Six - The Concrete We’re Trapped Within (it’s yours) Single Review
  • Thankfully, you dont always get what you expect and Sonic Boom Six are a delicious example of why the unexpected can be so welcome. Firstly there are not six of them (theres five)....
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R.E.M.+-+Reckoning+Album+ReviewR.E.M. - Reckoning Album Review
  • Its 1984. An actor is in the White House (trying to be President) and the future Governor of California is starring in the years hit movie (trying to be an actor). Prince is puttin...
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The Lovely Eggs @ tv21 Manchester - 20/06/2009 - Live Review
  • The Lovely Eggs are one part Holly Ross, one part David Blackwell and one part complete and utter, asylum-grade, madness.All too frequently, musicians try to play the oblique, barm...
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