Gig review – Darren Hanlon, Metro Theatre, 2007


The amiable figure of Darren Hanlon seems an unlikely source of anger, but for one irate caller to Triple J recently he was the perpetrator of a most grievous offence: plagiarising the theme tune ofDegrassi Junior High for the titular track of his last record, Fingertips and Mountaintops. Understandably bemused by the claim, he confesses only to copying the teacher’s daggy uniforms from the show.


Tonight’s set includes a treat for the devoted: the early, rarely-heard Simpletons tune ‘Buzz Aldrin’ as well more familiar delights such as ‘The Kickstand Song’, ‘Hold On’ and ‘Elbows’, his song “about globalisation and stalking”, which features the typically clever couplet, “Why I felt so alive I can’t quite determine/There could be a word to explain it in German”. ‘Punk’s Not Dead’ also proves a crowd pleaser, with its amusing, if now familiar, segue into ‘Anarchy in the UK’.


On the first night of a series of farewell concerts to Candle Records, the little label that could, there’s the inevitable encore with an indie-folk cast of thousands pouring back on stage for a hilariously cheesy ‘We Are The World’. In the triumphant afterglow, however, it’s Hanlon’s own songs that linger like an old dream. Literate, charming and whimsical, there’s nobody writing songs quite like them, not even the songwriting supremos behind the Degrassi theme.

Originally appeared in: Mess and Noise