savage garden

News

“We Are Smug” Digital Download
April 17 2013

"We Are Smug" is now available to download from the following digital retailers:

iTunes http://bit.ly/11ecwMw
Amazon MP3 http://amzn.to/100CJdp
Deezer http://bit.ly/ZAkThF
7 Digital http://bit.ly/13juL3a


 
Signed ‘We Are Smug’ CD’s in indie UK record shops
March 04 2013

To support independent music stores who are stocking the limited edition 'We Are Smug' side-project re-release, Darren signed just 500 CD's which will be available at various locations around the UK.  We've included a very extensive list here of all the stores who will each have a handful of copies to sell on April 14/15.  If one is near you, go visit them in person and place a pre-order to support independent music stores!  If you are unaware of what this project is, check out Darren's official YouTube page youtube.com/darrenhayes for a preview video explaining this strange and experimental collaboration album where he shared vocal and production duties with co-producer/writer Robert Conley. Darren began recording this back in 2006 and made it available for a limited time before being withdrawn.  Now it's back, with a bonus song 'Riot' and on CD and iTunes for the first time ever.

That's Entertainment
19-21 Victoria Court  The Mall     Blackburn  Lancashire  BB1 7JE
44-46 Church Street  Blackpool     Blackpool     FY1 1HP
195a Station Street        Burton on Trent  Derbyshire  DE14 1AN
9-11 St Davids Way  St Davids Dewi Sant Shopping Centre     Cardiff  South Glamorgan   CF10 2DP
Unit 2c/3c  Junction 32 Outlet Shopping Village  Tomahawk Trail  Glasshoughton  Castleford  WF10 4FR
63/65 FOREGATE STREET     Chester  Chester     CH1 1HD
Unit 31  Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre     Sheffield  South Yorkshire  S20 7PN
Unit 36-37  Dalton Park Retail Park  Seaham  County Durham     SR7 9HU
10 Albian Street        Derby  Derbyshire  DE1 2PR
21-27a  St Sepulchre Gate     Doncaster  Doncaster  DN1 1TD
146/150 Sauchiehall Street  Glasgow     Glasgow  Scotland  G2 3DH
34/38 kings walk     Gloucester  Gloucester     GL1 1RX
Unit 2  Market Gates Shopping Centre  Great Yarmouth  Great Yarmouth     NR30 2AX
61-63 New Street        Huddersfield  West Yorkshire  HD1 2BQ
10-14 King Edward Street  Hull     Hull     HU1 3SS
Unit 20a  Lakeside Village White Rose Way  Doncaster  Doncaster     DN4 5PH
Unit 19 (17/19) Ashston Walk  St Nicholas Arcade  Lancaster  Lancaster     LA1 1ND 
That's Entertainment  Unit 17  St Johns Centre     Leeds  Leeds  LS2 8LQ
38/40  Gallowtree gate  Leicester  Leicester     LE1 1DA
17 Bold Street        Liverpool  Merseyside  L1 4DN
22 Castle Street        Macclesfield  Cheshire  SK11 6AF
103 Market Street        Manchester  Manchester  M1 1NN
Unit L 40/41, Lower Mall   Merry Hill Shopping Centre     Brierley   West Middlands  DY5 1QX
Unit 9/10  Captain Cook Square     Middlesbrough  Cleveland  TS1 5UB
6/8 Eldon Way  Eldon Square     Newcastle-Upon-Tyne  Tyne and Wear  NE1 7XS
Unit 16  Royal QuaysOutlet Centre  Colbe Dene  Northshields  Tyne and Wear  NE29 6DW
55-57 Abingdon street     Northampton  Northampton     NN1 2AW
23-25 Castle Street     Norwich  Norwich     NR2 1PD
Unit 142  Victoria Centre     Nottingham  Nottinghamshire  NG1 3QE
61 Friargate Walk  ST Georges Mall  Preston  Preston     PR1 2NR
8 Church Street        St Helens   Merseyside  WA10 1BD
Unit 28-32 Canal Walk  Brunel Centre  Swindon  Swindon     SN1 1LD
Unit 7/9  North Sherwood Street  Telford shopping centre  Telford     TF3 4NE
Unit 105-106  Cathedral Walk  Ridings Shopping Centre  Wakefield  Yorkshire  WF1 1YD
Unit 34  Wulfrun Shopping Centre     Wolverhampton  West Midlands  WV1 3HF
Unit 203  York Designer Outlet  St  Nicholas Avenue  Fulford  York  YO19 4TA

Love Music  34 Dundas Street        Glasgow  Lanarkshire  G1 2AQ
Mound Music  12 Bank Street  On The Mound     Edinburgh  Scotland  EH1 2LN
Apollo Music  48A Causeyside Street  Town Centre     Paisley  Scotland  PA1 1YH
Bridport Music  33A South Street        Bridport  Dorset  DT6 3NY
Phoenix  6 Pearl Assurance House  Queen Street     Newton Abbot  Devon  TQ12 2AQ
Upbeat   18 Belle Vue        Bude  Cornwall  EX23 8JL
Rapture  Market Square  Town Centre     Witney  Oxfordshire  OX28 6BB
Rapture  24 Riverside Centre   Town Centre     Evesham  Worcestershire  WR11 4BG
Acorn Music  3 Glovers Walk   Town Centre     Yeovil  Somerset  BA20 1LH
Record Corner  8 Pound Lane  Town Centre     Godalming  Surrey  GU7 1BX
Sound Knowledge  22 Hughenden Yard   High Street     Marlborough  Wiltshire  SN8 1LT
Gatefield Sounds  70 High Street         Whitstable  Kent  CT5 1BB
Square Records  14 High Street  Town Centre     Wimborne Minster  Dorset  BH21 1HU
Sister Ray  34 Berwick Street        London  London  W1F 8RP
Slipped Disc  57-59 High Street,        Billericay  Essex  CM12 9AX
Adrians  36-38 High Street        Wickford  Essex  SS12 9AZ
Terrys Music  10 Market Street     Pontypridd  Rhondda Cyon Taff  Wales  CF37 2ST
The Vault  27 High Street         Stalbridge  Dorset  DT10 2LH
Octave Music  18 High Street        Lewes  East Sussex  BN7 2LN
Compact Music  20 North Street        Subury  Suffolk  CO10 1RB
Music Mania  4-6 Piccadilly Arcade     Hanlet  Stoke On Trent  Staffordshire  ST1 1DL
Lewks  3 Wales Court  Downham Market     Norfolk  Norfolk  PE38 9JZ
Paradiso  - http://www.paradisorecords.co.uk/
Herrick & Watson  8 High Street     Skegness  Skegness  Lincolnshire  PE25 3NW
Destiny Records - http://www.stores.ebay.co.uk/sirenityonline
Davids  12 Eastcheap     Letchworth Garden City  Letchworth Garden City  Hertfordshire  SG6 3DE
Banquet  52 Eden Street     Kingston  Kingston Upon Thames  Surrey  KT1 1EE
Malcolms Musicland  38A Chapel Street        Chorley  Lancashire  PR7 1BW
Reflex  23 Nun Street        Newcastle Upon Tyne  Tyne and Wear  NE1 5AG
Action Records  46 Church Street        Preston   Lancashire  PR1 3DH  J/G
Windows  1-7 Central Arcade   City Centre     Newcastle Upon Tyne  Tyne and Wear  NE1 5BP
Townsend  30 Queen Street     Great Harwood  Blackburn  Lancashire  BB6 7QQ
Townsend  18 Moor Lane  Town Centre     Clitheroe  Lancashire  BB7 1BE
Townsend  117 Market Street        Chorley  Lancashire  PR7 2SQ
Townsend  119 Towngate         Leyland  Lancashire  PR25 2LQ
Head  The Mall  Union Gallery  Broadmead  Bristol  Bristol  BS1 3XD
Head  Unit 269  The Glades Shopping Centre  High Street  Bromley  Kent  BR1 1DN
Head  11 Lower Mall  Royal Priors     Lemington Spa  Warwickshire  CV32 4QE
Head  6 Sovreign Shopping Centre  High Street  Town Centre  Weston Super Mare  Somerset  BS23 1HL
Head   42-44 Ann Street        Belfast  County Antrim  BT1 4EG


 
‎‘We Are Smug’ the ‘secret’ Darren Hayes side-project on CD & iTunes
February 28 2013

On April 14 the 2006 'secret' side project album Darren made with producer Robert Conley - 'We Are Smug' - is finally getting a commercial release on CD and iTunes with a brand new never before heard bonus song 'Riot'. You can pre-order it as a physical CD via amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/ZJmdF0 or on iTunes worldwide http://smarturl.it/o2xlq1

For those unfamiliar, Darren originally made the experimental and eccentric alter-ego album in 2006 for no other reason than to have fun. He and co-writer and co-producer Conley shared the vocal duties and created something that was unlike anything Darren had ever written or recorded before. At the time it was only available as a download for a limited period before disappearing. Until now.

For the first time ever, the album is being commercially released on CD and iTunes and both versions have the bonus previously never before released song 'Riot'.
It's a bold and strange experimental record - not for the faint hearted but for those who have followed Darren's career closely - an integral artistic step between 'The Tension and the Spark' and the highly conceptual 'This Delicate Thing We've Made' era.

'We Are Smug' is a strange and wonderful addition to Darren's eclectic pop career and on April 14 it can finally be yours to hold.


 
Bloodstained Heart EP Now Available on iTunes Australia
October 12 2012

‘Bloodstained Heart’ is an anthem for those who rejoice in the savoir of love and the hope that it brings.  Darren says: “It’s a song that plays on the famous line about sitting in the gutter, but some of us looking up at the stars. But at least we have each other.”

Tracklist:

1. Bloodstained Heart (Radio Mix)
2. Bloodstained Heart (Monsieur Adi Mix)
3. Bloodstained Heart (Kryder Club Mix)
4. Ending Before I Begin

Available now on iTunes Australia HERE


 
Aria Awards Nomination For ‘Secret Codes And Battleships’
October 03 2012

We are pleased to announce that Darren's most recent album "Secret Codes And Battleships" has been nominated under the category of Best Adult Contemporary Album for the Australian Record Industry Association (Aria) Awards due to take place in Sydney on 29 November.

You can read more about this year's Aria Awards HERE


 
Handful Of VIP’s available
September 06 2012

There are a handful of VIP packages left for Darren's 'The Secrets Out' Tour including a few previously sold out venues which luckily were released back to us at the last minute.

So if you missed out we suggest you check it out ASAP as these wont last long!

A VIP package includes a seat in the first FIVE rows (early entry for the Dublin GA Show), Exclusive VIP goodies, VIP reception, VIP Laminate, Admittance to the Soundcheck plus a chance to meet Darren!

VIP Packages HERE


 
Tour Merchandise Preview!
September 04 2012

Look at what just landed at the Powdered Sugar Offices... A sample of the Dog Tag that will be selling on the Official Merch Stand at Darren's 'The Secret's Out' tour this month.


 
Tour News!
August 29 2012

We've posted info for VIP ticket holders & details of final tickets remaining for Darren's September UK on the landing page at www.darrenhayes.com .

Literally down to just a handful of seats left in each city.

At this stage, the GA Dublin show is the only date with plenty of availability but we expect even this will sell out.

If you're planning to attend don't leave it to the last minute. On the final night, the 'Secret Codes and Battleships' era will come to a close. Click HERE for all the details.

(Thanks to TabloidJunk for this great Darren pic from the first leg of the tour)

Fanclub Members dont forget to register for Soundcheck HERE


 
The 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Bad.
August 11 2012

I was asked to give a quote or two regarding the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's 'Bad' album.  If you know anything about me you'd know this is virtually impossible.  I have years of good things to say about this album and so I decided instead to write a blog about the record, from which I'll let someone else try to snip out a few relevant sentences!

Bad is without doubt my favourite Michael Jackson album of all time.  It evokes such strong and bittersweet associations for me.  While on one hand it was an astounding musical hurricane of smash hit singles and dazzling visuals - it also occupied that awkward space of being the album that had to follow up the biggest selling album of all time; an expectation I don't think even Michael himself could ever escape.  It's a shame because the album WAS a phenomenal success.   It spawned 5 Billboard Number One singles (a world record) and went on to sell in excess of 35 million copies - it ranks as the 5th greatest seller of all time.  Still, it seemed to this fan that at the time, Bad was unfairly judged simply for not being Thriller.  The irony is, I'm so glad it wasn't.

I didn't own Thriller at the time.  Shock! Horror! But it's true.  It was a matter of economics - we couldn't afford it.  By the time I saved up enough money to buy Thriller, the massive moonwalking Grammy Award winning world dominating wave of 3 years had finally passed.  So I waited patiently for the 'next' album. 

By the time Bad started gearing up to crack open the sky - I was the prime age to appreciate music.  The year was 1987 and I was 15 years old.   On August 31 that year there was a massive pre-release hype for the entire project and the premiere of the music video was no exception.  It was a prime time television event - 'Michael Jackson : The Magic Returns' and featured the full 17 minute Martin Scorcese directed video for the single 'Bad': Michael's 'sequel' to Thriller - the most successful music video of all time.  No pressure!  Granted, we'd already been treated to the ballad 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' - but that was not really the big first single. It was like a teaser. Almost a way to take the pressure off.  In the business we'd call that a 'soft release'.  No, the real event was the first big pop song and the accompanying music video for 'Bad'. So the pressure was there!  I  even applied some as a fan.

What would it sound like?  What would he look like?  Most importantly - would I love it as I adored Thriller?

The answer was a big massive YES!   Musically - the title track Bad, was FUN. It was up and energetic and I did not see the funk or soul coming.  I did not expect Michael to look the way he did.   I loved his androgyny and his new slick black leather and buckles image.  His hair. His makeup.  He was a proper pop star.  A hero.

I was also being bullied quite badly at high school during that time so you can imagine the impact Michael's video for 'Bad' had. His character was taunted and what did he do?  He only shot up into the air and dropped down as a super hero in black leather and buckles.  Then he danced up a storm and sang like an angel spitting out rhetoric and confidence.

When I finally got the album, listening to it was a religious experience.  I still remember the paper stock of the album cover, the smell of the ink - the incredible liner notes and of course that amazing Matthew Rolston inner sleeve photo spread with Michael in black sunglasses and turtleneck and through a distorted lens as he contorted for the camera.

The sounds - well they were surreal.  The percussion and aggressive vocals of 'The Way You Make Me Feel' in sharp contrast to the honey sweet harmonies of the backing vocals.  The insanity of 'Speed Demon' - the joy of Stevie Wonder Duet 'Just Good Friends' and of course that goose bump inducing global anthem 'Man in the Mirror'.  It has the violence of 'Dirty Diana' and finally the jewel of Bad's crown : Smooth Criminal.  Forget Billie Jean, keep Thriller. I wanted to see a music video for this adrenaline rush of a song! As a collected works - the songs were a million miles away form the brilliant Thriller. Where Thriller was sparse and conservative in its punches, Bad was a techincolour of sound.  Brooding, angry or sexy.  Nothing on there sounding like a repeat of where he'd been before. 

The rest of the campaign unfolded with equal amounts of mystery shock and awe.  Who could have seen 'sexy Michael' on the horizon?  But there he was in the video for 'The Way You Make Me Feel' converting even my rock loving sister into a fan. This previously harmless elfin like child man was suddenly the confident lead in his own West Side Story musical - puffing his chest and chasing the pretty lady down the street.  Every music video was an event.  MTV had just come to Australian television (albeit a 2 hour show 3 times a week late at night!).  But I sat there for every single video premiere at midnight - fumbling with the controls for the VCR to record them so I could watch them over and over again.  Studying the dance moves and obsessing over the details.   Then there was the tour. Long standing fans of mine would know about the transformative experience I had seeing Michael live for the first time.  Brisbane Entertainment centre - November 25 and 28 1987. Famously and rather embarrassingly, the Australian press launched a pretty aggressive negative campaign about Michael back then, informing locals that he would be performing behind a plastic screen to avoid catching germs from Australians.  Ridiculous. But it worked: ticket sales virtually halted.  MJ was supposed to play in stadiums but due to the poor ticket sales in my home town he was downgraded to arenas. Instead of one night in a 40 thousand seat stadium he played 2 nights at a 9 thousand seater.  It's unfathomable now to imagine the King of Pop couldn't sell a concert ticket - but in that moment in time, that was the reality in my home town. 

The tour book was extraordinary.  It featured photographs of Michael in a mysterious white pin striped suit with a white Fedora.  Had I missed something?  What video was this from?  I had to wait a year to find out (see the end of this story!).

I've written numerous accounts of this night but suffice to say I ended up almost front row by complete accident (my cheap seat field tickets for the stadium randomly exchanged for floor seats right near the stage) and the performance changed my life: it made me know what I wanted to do for the rest of mine.  It was a spectacular show, and I managed to buy tickets to the 2nd show as well - where I saw both Stevie Wonder perform a duet with Michael but also the debut of choreographer and local Brisbane resident Wade Robson as he made his debut on stage at 5 years of age, dancing with Michael during the encore. 

During the course of the promo period for Bad, I had all the 12 inch singles on vinyl.  For the record, Man In The Mirror was my favourite artwork - this incredible black and white portrait of Michael with silver ink and black.  The boots from Dirty Diana were also fawned over and I may have worn a pair just like them complete with a Triumph motorcycle buckle belt to my high school prom that year wink.

Bad filled up 2 years of my life at high school.  It saw me go from bullied teen with no allies to lead in the school musicals full of confidence and a purpose in life.  It gave me a hero to look up to.  Someone strange, marching to the beat of his own drum and someone proud not to fit into the mould.

By the time Bad promo finished up - and the magic felt like it was about to drain out of my world, I saw an ad in a movie magazine that stopped me in my tracks.  'Moonwalker' - starring Michael Jackson. 

There he was in that white pin striped suit in a movie poster reminiscent of a George Lucas or Steven Spielberg film.  What did it all mean?  I had to wait until the movie was released.  Luckily because I worked part time in a record store - I managed to score tickets to a press screening and I marked the date on my calendar.  Soon enough the mystery of the white suit was revealed - it was the outfit Michael famously wore in the music video for Smooth Criminal and I embarrassingly and proudly wore a replica version of it to the screening myself.  I felt a bit of a fool catching a bus in the middle of a humid Australian summer day - in full white suit complete with suspenders and blue socks!  I was one of two people dressed up.  The other, the now 6 year old Wade Robson.  He was in a perfect replica of the white gangster suit complete with identical dance moves.  I said hello to him after the screening.  No one else realised who he was but I said to him 'Are you the little boy who danced with Michael Jackson at the concert?'.  He looked up with his big wide brown eyes and smiled knowingly, 'Yes'.  He and his family would eventually be moved to the U.S with Michael's assistance, and under Michael's mentoring, Wayde would grow up to be a choreographer for Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.  But back then, in 1988 he was still a baby.  I said goodbye to him, and to the Bad era and caught the bus home with my own white fedora in my hand.  Wayde was off to Neverland and I was off on a journey that would put me on stage at that same arena in my home town just 10 years later. 

It was the best bus ride of my life.