Darren Coggan Darren Coggan

Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, 3-5 May, 2012

on May 6, 2012. Posted in Gigs, War Stories Regional Tour 2012

Our final Sydney shows on our national tour concluded in a memorable fashion here at ‘The Joan’ in Penrith. We played 4 shows in the Q Theatre, with my favourite being the matinee on Saturday afternoon. The audience were really relaxed and enjoying the spirit of the show – it was a thrill to receive that energy back on stage.

It was great to catch up with some great friends who have supported me for such a long time, Kathryn & Nick, Ally & Phil, Lyndal & Pete, and my wife’s family, Jo & John, Lyn & Michael – thanks for coming out folks!

It was also lovely to have my Mum & Dad, my wife and my children come along to the shows here at Penrith – it was quite a family affair, which I loved!

After the show, a lovely gentleman by the name of Ian McEwan introduced himself to me and said that he thought he had recognised his brother in one of our images that we project during the songs. The image that he referred to (attached) was given to me by my Grandfather from his personal photo album. The photo consists of my Pop and three other men, standing around a jeep in New Guinea. I told him that I didn’t know who the other men were but that my Grandfather, Arthur, was the second from the left. Well, it turns out that indeed it was Ian’s brother next to my Pop and that he and my grandfather undoubtedly served together in WWII and were obviously great mates. What an incredible and moving moment this was for me, almost as if my old Pop was somehow orchestrating the whole thing – quite eerie actually!

As we were chatting we then discovered that we both originated from the same town, born in Glen Innes NSW. My family all hail from the New England area and this further cemented Ian’s claims about his brother and my Pop knowing each other, they probably grew up together and ran a muck around the streets of Ashford.

This is why I love touring so much, the chance to get out and meet the great people of our country – so many great stories and yarns to be shared, it really is such a small world.

I’m looking forward to a couple of days off now after our 8 show week. Then we are packing our kit bags for Bunbury in WA!