Captain Darling
Location: Fitzroy, Melbourne
Country: Australia

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Elevate Your Event with Captain Darling: Australia's Premier Celtic Band

Introducing Captain Darling: Pioneers of Contemporary Celtic Fusion and Redefining Australian Celtic Music

Embark on a musical journey like no other with Captain Darling, the quintessential Celtic ensemble that brings a touch of magic to every occasion. Whether you're planning a festival, corporate entertainment, wedding, or public event, Captain Darling promises an unforgettable experience filled with soul-stirring melodies and infectious rhythms.

Born from the collaboration of Victoria's most esteemed musicians, Captain Darling stands as a beacon of innovation in the Australian Celtic scene. With a mission to infuse tradition with creativity, the band delivers a captivating blend of choice traditional tunes and contemporary original compositions, all with a fresh and dynamic approach.

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Celtic music as Captain Darling weaves together traditional Irish and Scottish tunes with lesser-known gems from Breton and Cornish traditions. Their performances are a celebration of heritage and artistry, transporting audiences to distant lands and ancient times with each captivating note.

Step into a world where Celtic tradition meets cutting-edge innovation with Captain Darling, Victoria's premier musical ensemble dedicated to redefining the Australian Celtic scene. Comprising some of the region's most talented musicians, Captain Darling brings a fresh perspective to both traditional and original Celtic music.

At the core of Captain Darling's ethos is a commitment to excellence in musicianship. Each member brings their unique talents to the table, combining technical prowess with boundless creativity to push the boundaries of Celtic music in Australia.

While honoring the roots of Celtic tradition with faithful renditions of select traditional material, Captain Darling ventures into new territory with their diverse contemporary Celtic-based music. Through the use of improvised solos and group dynamics, as well as elements of funk, dance, and ambient sounds, the band creates a truly immersive and unforgettable experience for audiences.
From the haunting strains of ancient melodies to the infectious rhythms of modern compositions, Captain Darling invites listeners on a musical journey like no other. With their unparalleled skill and innovative spirit, they breathe new life into the Australian Celtic scene, setting a new standard for professionalism and creativity in the genre.

Experience the magic of Captain Darling today and discover the future of Australian Celtic music. With each performance, they redefine what it means to celebrate tradition while embracing the spirit of innovation. Join them on a musical adventure that transcends time and genre, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.

Honoring Tradition, Embracing Evolution

For corporate events seeking to leave a lasting impression, Captain Darling offers a unique and versatile entertainment option. Their dynamic performances are guaranteed to energize and engage guests, providing a memorable highlight for any gathering.

Planning the wedding of your dreams? Let Captain Darling set the perfect tone for your special day. From enchanting ceremony music to lively reception entertainment, their heartfelt performances will create an atmosphere of romance and celebration that you and your guests will cherish forever.

And for public events of all sizes, Captain Darling is the ideal choice to entertain and delight audiences of all ages. Whether it's an intimate gathering or a bustling festival, their infectious energy and vibrant stage presence will have everyone on their feet and dancing along.

Don't settle for ordinary entertainment – elevate your event with the extraordinary sounds of Captain Darling. Book them today and experience the magic of Australia's premier Celtic band. With Captain Darling, every moment becomes an unforgettable celebration of music, culture, and joy.

Musical Mastery Meets Innovation

Led by Victoria's finest musicians, Captain Darling delivers unparalleled musicianship and creativity on stage. From soul-stirring solos to electrifying group dynamics, each performance is a testament to their dedication to pushing boundaries and exploring new musical horizons.

With the original material the responsibility of Ben Deane-Johns (one of this country's finest young composers), Captain Darling features the smooth musical styles of Paul Van Ross (flute/tenor sax), Matthew Arnold (violin), and Matt Rodd (guitar/backing vocals). In these performers, Captain Darling boasts some of the finest instrumentalists going around. All are full-time working musicians who are dedicated to their craft, and the group allows each of them many opportunities to showcase their considerable skills.

Ben Deane-Johns is one of Australia's outstanding young composers, who is represented by the Australian Music Centre. He has released three CDs of his music (the orchestral CD "Ode to the God of Fire", the Taliesin CD "The Sea Sessions" and “Carry Me Home” by Captain Darling), has nine film and theatre scores to his credit has produced many recordings for other artists. In 2007 “The Full-Rigged Ship” was performed & recorded by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and he has recently completed a choir work entitled "Over Hill, Over Dale" (lyrics by Shakespeare). Bands include Captain Darling, Taliesin, Marabou, The Busted Onions, The Australian Afro-Celt Explosion, Djaambi, Ratbag, Funken Wagnells, World Rhythm Ensemble and many more.

Matt Rodd is a renowned musician, who has the ability to play in a number of musical styles. Matt is an accomplished improviser, in addition to his ability to accompany traditional and contemporary Celtic tunes. He is a fine guitarist, vocalist and percussionist who has been involved in many exciting performance and recording projects. His performance credits include Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach, Mungo Men, The Busted Onions, Marabou, Moroffsky, World Rhythm Ensemble, Ratbag, RoJo, The Big Easy and the Colours of Pulse Theatre Company. Production work includes the Millennium Choir Concerts with the Boite, the Australian Ballet new work "Fuscia" with an accompanying EP recording, radio/TV gigs and nightclub guest appearances.

Matthew Arnold is an extremely well-known fiddle player who has worked in the Australian music scene for many years. He has toured extensively around this country, most notably with Kavisha Mazella & "Journey Journey" (a MusicaViva promoted trio presenting various styles of music including Celtic & Romany to school children of all ages). Has toured South East Asia with "The Sundowners" and has recorded with Kavisha Mazella, Brent Parlane, Celtic Spirit and Maraid Sullivan (album "Dancer" produced by Donal Lunny). Other session and recording work includes The Celts, Celtic City Sons, Hugh McDonald, Katherine Clements, Kev Carmody, Tim Finn, Judy Small, Joe Dolce, The Great Chefs of Europe, Deborah Byrne and Nick Charles.

Apart from extensive touring and performing around the world, Paul Van Ross has also studied in New York with some of the world's leading teachers and musicians including George Garzone, George Coleman, Barry Harris, Dave Valentin, Andrew Sterman, Rob Schepps, Lawrence Feldman, Keith Underwood and Helen Campo. Paul has extensive experience as a soloist and as a member of various ensembles. He has performed with saxophone quartets, clarinet quartets, flute ensembles, big bands, jazz bands, Irish bands, African bands, funk bands and professional musical theatre orchestras. His versatility has enabled him to play a broad range of musical genres.

Released in 2005, the group's debut album is entitled "Carry me Home" and features guest artists David Jones (kit), Gerard Daly (bodhran) and the Southern String Quartet. Released through Green Media Distribution (MGM), the album is available on itunes and other selected digital outlets. Second album “Rights of Man” released in 2023 and features the world class tenor saxophonist Adam Daniel, and is widely available online. Live album “Live and Kicking” to be launched in late 2024.

Gigs have included Kernewek Lowender (the largest Cornish festival in the Southern Hemisphere), the renowned Port Fairy Folk Festival, National Celtic Festival, Kilmore Celtic Festival, Koroit Irish Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Parliament House Victoria (St. Patrick’sDay), Geelong Showgrounds (St. Patrick’s Day), Flemington Racecourse (Irish Race Day), Gippsland Celtic Festival, Maldon Folk Festival, Celtic Club, Cornish Arms Hotel, MCG (Jim Stynes’ Wake), 15 consecutive St. Patrick’s Days, weddings, functions, agency work and many more.



  • Boys of Bluehill/Harvest Home
  • Full Rigged Ship/Reaching the Shore
  • My Mind Will Never be Easy/Baby Rory’s
  • The Full-Rigged Ship/Reaching the Shore
  • High Germany
  • Lark on the Strand
  • Master McDermott's/Pig Town
  • Morrison's Jig/Monaghan's Jig/Dusty Windowsills
  • Morning Dew/Jackie Coleman's/Come West Along the Road
  • Miners’ Fancy/Rights of Man
  • Scottish Polka/Scotland the Brave/Athol Highlanders
  • Fermoy Lasses/The Otter's Holt
  • Silver Spear/High Reel


  • The Edinburgh Song
  • Gwydion
  • I Need This
  • Land’s End
  • Purple and Gold
  • Seven Sleepers Lie
  • The Prayer
  • Carry Me Home
  • Deep Inside Our Hearts
  • Don’t Be Afraid
  • I Can Carry You
  • I’m Flying
  • Into the Sea
  • It Sounds Strange
  • Port Arthur
  • Sledgehammer
  • This Burning Sky


  • Cousin Jack ~ Show of Hands
  • Fisherman’s Blues ~ The Waterboys
  • Brown Eyed Girl ~ Van Morrison
  • Dirty Old Town ~ The Pogues etc.
  • Whiskey in the Jar ~ trad.
  • Danny Boy ~ trad.
  • Ride On ~ Christy Moore
  • One Perfect Day ~ Little Heroes
  • Unfinished Revolution ~ Christy Moore
  • Nancy Spain ~ trad.
  • With or Without You ~ U2
  • Poor Ned ~ Redgum
  • For a Short Time ~ Weddings, Parties, Anything
  • Down Under ~ Men at Work
  • Overkill ~ Men at Work
  • Don’t Believe Anymore ~ Icehouse
  • A Distant Sun ~ Crowded House
  • Missing You ~ John Waite
  • Please Forgive Me ~ David Gray
  • Dumb Things ~ Paul Kelly
  • Sweet Guy ~  Paul Kelly
  • To Her Door ~ Paul Kelly
  • Reckless ~ Australian Crawl
  • The Captain ~ Kasey Chambers
  • Hotel California ~ The Eagles
  • Throw Your Arms Around Me ~ Hunters and Collectors
  • Ticket to Ride ~ The Beatles
  • Get Back ~ The Beatles
  • We Can Work it Out ~ The Beatles
  • House of the Rising Sun ~ The Animals etc.
  • Good Riddance ~ Green Day
  • Tainted Love ~ Soft Cell


A Celtic Celebration for All

Experience the magic of Captain Darling – where Celtic roots grow into something truly extraordinary. Book now and be part of the revolution in Australian Celtic music!

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