Staying true to the music in Bee Gees meets Abba tribute
They say you should never meet your idols. Darren Simmons – a Bee Gees fan – is pleased he did, even if the experience left him like a "rabbit in the headlights".
The singer, who performs as Barry Gibb in a tribute to the pop stars, met the band on a radio show in the late 1990s.
Alongside his brother, Gary, who performs the role of Robin Gibb, they were invited to sing Love Somebody with the multi- million-selling group.
"The presenters wanted us to sing it and then get the Bee Gees to do the same song, with the listeners working out which was which," said Darren.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"It was a bit terrifying – and I think the Bee Gees were a bit worried we were going to do the whole Kenny Everett thing with huge beards and hairy chests. They were relieved when we came in and they saw it was genuine.
"I've got a tape of us all singing the song together. It was one of those moments when you think 'Did that just happen?' – I've never quite got over it, and I don't think I really made the most of it at the time.
"I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights."
The singer is appearing at Hull New Theatre tomorrow, with the show Hold Back The Night.
Appearing alongside his brother and a group of fellow musicians, it sees performances of Bee Gees music during the first half and a tribute to Abba after the interval.
Darren got into music during his teens, when his dad, who played in bands during the 1960s, bought him a guitar.
After discovering the music of the Bee Gees the brothers began performing their music.
"We found out we naturally had the same kind of voices as them – so decided to fine-une it into an act," said Darren.
After appearing on Stars In Their Eyes in the late 1980s – "It did look a bit stupid, with only two of us," says Darren – they began to get calls from booking agents.
They now perform the show around the world – with a 25-date tour of the US booked for later this year.
The second half, where they sing the music of Abba – Darren performs as Benny, Gary as Bjorn – is a chance for them to "let loose".
"We do take the Michael a bit," said Darren.
"You've got people who go on stage thinking they are Abba – Gary puts on a fake Swedish accent and everybody has a laugh.
"While it is more light entertainment, we've got as close as we can get to the records.
"We wanted to be as true as we can."