Once predicted by the Head Choirmaster at Westminster Abbey to be the next Aled Jones, Darren’s musical career hit the rails when his voice broke. His ‘Pie Jesu’ never recovered and he was left trying to find a musical genre that would suit his new vocal pitch.
He sang with a punk band called The Slashed Arses for a while which contributed a track to a punk compilation album entitled ‘Why Don’t You F*** O**, You Complete Kn******?’. This reached number 87 in the charts in Azerbaijan in 1978, sliding out the charts the following week.
Darren got into the 2-Tone scene in 1979 and fell in love with The Specials, and Madness in particular. A lifelong admiration of Suggs culminated in him meeting his hero after a Madness gig in 1996. The words he spoke on that occasion inspired Darren to write his own ska song for the band, “Get Off My Toe, You Idiot!” (available on iTunes for £0.69).