Regardless of whether you are a die hard fan or not, most people in the western world and beyond have been touched by the music of Cat Stevens.
It is said that in this country one in four people in the seventies and eighties had a Cat Stevens album in their collection. Even though I was one of the other three only because I wasn’t a collector I loved his music and saw him as a spunk.
When he changed his name and adopted a religion I thought it a little desperate and strange. But that was before I became desperate and strange. He then morphed into someone else and seemingly disappeared. Regardless, I have been hearing his songs and music through the communal airways every since.
Last night I had the pleasure of experiencing Darren Coggan and Co’s production PEACE TRAIN The Cat Steven’s story at the prestigious Playhouse Theatre at Melbourne Art Centre.
This production is polished and enchanting. Beautifully synchronised music, song, story and movement produce outstanding performances by Darren and is accompanying band.
Darren Coggan is a powerhouse of talent with infectious enthusiasm. Through song and storytelling he transported me through time and space to Soho London in 1966. I found myself a fly on the wall of 18 year old Steven Demetre Georgiou aka Cat Stevens in his red bedroom, baring witness to the creation of a budding Rock Star. And so it was as Cat’s story unfolded, manifesting vivid imagery that felt authentic.
At the end of the show Darren informed us that a lot of his storyline was given to him through personal conversations with Cat aka Yusuf Islam and his brother David who walked with Cat, managing the business side, through the years of super stardom.
Above and beyond is the soulful and insightful lyrics and music of Cat Stevens, sung in perfect pitch by Darren Coggan who along with his fellow performers commanded a standing ovation on opening night.
This is a magical story and entertaining show that is really worth catching.