Pop Idol singer swings with the old school now

PUBLISHED: 20:54 05 October 2010

Darius Campbell

Darius Campbell


Darius Campbell, once a goateed runner-up on Pop Idol, the first of oh-so many TV talent shows, has assumed a more mature image in recent years, and his new sound is old school.

The 30-year-old Scot, who has appeared in Chicago, dated Natasha Henstridge and published a best-seller about the music industry, will demonstrate his appreciation of swing when he comes to the Churchill Theatre, Bromley in November.

With his show The History of the Big Bands, Campbell will belt out hits like Fly Me to the Moon, Under My Skin and Face the Music and Dance, taking on the mantle of greats of the Duke Ellington ilk.

“We have researched the sheet music of each of the big band leaders and they each had their own sound. A lot were either great arrangers or great composers,” said Campbell.

“We have managed to piece the fragments of their music together so that it can be performed as it was back in the day.”

The show will demonstrate the styles of musicians including Benny Goodman the wailing clarinettist, thundering trumpeter Harry James and legendary Brooklyn drummer Buddy Rich.

The short series of big band concerts, which runs for just twelve nights, is held in aid of Help for Heroes said Campbell, who stressed the band leaders’ efforts to bring hope during the dark years of the ‘30s and ‘40s.

He said: “Many of these band leaders were mixed up in the war, some of them were war heroes themselves.

“On December 15 1944, Glenn Miller flew from Britain to France to lift the spirits of the British troops, and the Americans who were about to become embroiled in the Battle of the Bulge.

“His plane went missing over the Channel – nobody ever found the plane or his body.

“In the 1930s Swing music was on the up because of the tough times brought about by the depression.”

Whilst The History of the Big Bands is primarily a musical performance, the show is peppered with Campbell’s narration about the different character’s styles and life-stories.

He added: “I’ve learnt that this music comes from hard times and that it really celebrates life – the stories are fascinating it’s made it a joy to get into.”

And it is this 40s sound that Campbell hopes to bottle for the masses in a new album he is half way through making, his last being Live Twice, released way back in 2004.

He said: “I was really inspired by what Amy Winehouse did.

“She took 60s soul and gave it a modern twist. I’m doing the same thing with 40s crooning – giving in modern production values, taking old samples and putting them over modern beats.”

Campbell says he is half way through recording his latest album, so to find out whether his Mark Ronson-Amy Winehouse-Duke Ellington sound is likely grab you, check him out in Bromley.

The History of the Big Bands with Darius Campbell comes to the Churchill Theatre on November 1.

For tickets priced £19 – £21 call the box office on 0844 8717 620 or visit

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