There is something ethereal about the music of Cat Stevens. He inspired generations, and his music still has as much impact today as it did when he first penned songs such as Peace Train, Moonshadow, Wild World, Morning Has Broken, Where Do The Children Play and Father and Son. Celebrating the music of Cat Stevens has never been far from revered performer Darren Coggan’s heart. As the star of Peace Train – The Cat Stevens Story, Darren received rave reviews for his portrayal of the music that shaped the world. He spent the past decade touring some of the world’s most prestigious theatres, such as Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, Glasgow Concert Hall and Liverpool Philharmonic, embodying the work of Cat Stevens and was even invited to meet the prolific songwriter himself.
Darren Coggan is a masterful storyteller who is considered one of Australia’s most exciting and diverse artists. He has carved an impressive career in the Australian country music industry with a swag of Golden Guitars under his belt. He kicked off his career winning the coveted Toyota Star Maker in 1996 and hasn’t looked back. Darren is equally at home in musicals and on screen, currently presenting the lifestyle TV program Sydney Weekender.
For Darren, paying homage to a performer such as Cat is a privilege. “I was inspired by his story and his incredible catalogue of timeless songs and felt that it would also inspire others,” he says. “The songs say something, ask questions, make statements, they have intelligent, poetic lyrics, and musically, while simplistic in presentation, they are very complex and always fun and challenging to perform. I do love this show and never tire of performing the songs. I love how I can continue to find new interpretations of his lyrics. I love seeing the reaction from the audience each night and seeing them all stand up with an ovation – something I’ll never take for granted.”
Creating Remember The days of Cat Stevens, Darren felt a weight of responsibility to do justice to Cat Stevens’ music and his story. It is with this respect that he approaches every show. “The performance is very intimate and personal and the inclusion on this tour of a stringed quartet will bring another beautiful dimension to these already exquisite songs,” says Darren. “There are some personal reflections on the experience I had being invited to London to meet with the great Cat Stevens in 2007, where I heard first-hand some of the many anecdotes and stories that I have enjoyed sharing with our audiences over the past ten years. This new production also highlights how relevant Cat’s timeless songs and messages of peace, tolerance and understanding are in our world today, perhaps even more relevant than when they were first written back in the seventies. Our audiences obviously come expecting to hear those timeless songs of Cat Stevens, but I think they walk away with so much more, a real insight and understanding of who he was and his eternal spiritual search for fulfillment.”
Darren believes there is more than just the music to inspire about Cat Stevens, it is his story and his outlook on life. It is this that he reflects on daily. “Perhaps the greatest thing I took home from my meeting Cat Stevens was the realisation that we all have the ability to make changes in our lives, should we not be content with who we are or where we are,” he says. “At the height of his career in the late 70’s, he was very discontent with the excesses of fame and fortune and he did something about it, he put down his guitar and walked away. Every generation has the chance to change their world, and I pray that we have the courage to face up to the realities of our time and let ourselves feel deeply enough so that it transforms us and our children’s future.”
Tickets to Darren Coggan’s Remember The Days of Cat Stevens are on sale now. Additional tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Saturday 27th March 2021
The J Theatre, NOOSA QLD
For more information, please visit www.darrencoggan.com