He has built a career and solid reputation as a stylish guitarist of note through working with many musicians such as Mike Sanchez, Tanita Tikaram, Buena Vista Social Club members, and today enjoys being involved with some of the best artists in the business. Presently touring with Geraint Watkins, and his ongoing situation in Imelda May’s band.
Darling often slots in smaller scale shows up and down the UK with his own regular sidemen, double bassist Al Gare and drummer Dean Beresford performing highly entertaining sets of classic Rhythm and Blues.
An early influence on Darling was drawn from listening to the Rock n Roll and Blues records in his father’s collection, notably Big Bill Broonzy. This he has brought forward and poured into his current project, a first solo album entitled ‘Lee’s Blues’ which takes as it’s starting point the playing and performing style of Broonzy and his country blues contemporaries. On an album of mostly originals, Oliver blends songs accompanied by deft solo finger picking with recordings that add harmonica, bass and snare to echo Charles Brown styled cocktail blues and Bo Diddley rhythm rockers.
Oh and the name ? An early band asked Oliver up to do a couple of numbers with them and the singer wanted to introduce Oliver, and asked ‘what’s his name?’. One of the band replied ‘Darling’, and when announced, there was sniggering from the back. However after this, the name stuck !