Tour Diary: Scott Darlow Takes His ‘Deadly Heart’ Across Regional Australia

3 October 2023 | 4:09 pm | Staff Writer

The tour kicked off in July and believe it or not, it’s still going!

Scott Darlow

Scott Darlow (Supplied)

Currently underway with his sprawling Deadly Heart regional tour, Scott Darlow has checked in to share some highlights from the road. See his exclusive tour diary below, then scroll on to see all the details for the last stint of shows!

Tuesday August 1: We got up and out of the Airbnb and drove to MacKillop College in Darwin. We set up our PA in an outdoor basketball court area and then did three 1.5-hour shows back to back – playing music, but also sharing my Aboriginal culture and talking about Australia’s real history. Truth telling. Education leads to understanding, understanding leads to empathy, and empathy is what will heal Australia. Then we packed up and drove to Katherine, a three-hour drive. Pulled into our cheap motel at 7pm and smashed some chicken parmas before we crashed! Massive day!

Wednesday August 2: We drove from Katherine to Halls Creek. Incredible drive. Kununurra is just so beautiful, and made for an epic lunch stop. We pulled into the Kimberley Hotel at 6pm and set up a full PA outside, then played an acoustic trio show. This sees us use a 16-inch kick, snare hats and crash, a P bass and a Fender Acoustasonic. The locals went off and the place was packed. One of my favourite shows so far! We finished the show, and while having a beer after, a 20-something woman came up to me and told me she’d had me speak at her school eight years ago, and it was so powerful that she now works in native title. This blew me away. Makes all the miles and effort feel like it’s worthwhile! Crashed after one beer.

Thursday August 3: Drove to Broome. Incredibly beautiful drive and we got to stop at Laarri Gallery, an Aboriginal art gallery just outside of Fitzroy Crossing. It’s in an Aboriginal community off the highway, and was so incredible. The drive through Fitzroy Crossing into Broome was a trip highlight. We hit Broome right on sundown and had an invitation to go see the stairway to the moon – a Broome phenomenon that happens a handful of times a year on a full moon. It was one of the most incredible things I’ve seen!

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Friday August 4: Kiah flew in from Melbourne so we picked her up and went to the Roebuck Tavern to set up for our gig that night. Kiah is a 19-year-old Yorta Yorta singer-songwriter who has opened for us on a lot of this tour. She’s done an incredible job, and she killed it in Broome. As we sat around after soundcheck, I bought some tickets in the meat tray raffle, and in what was a massive moment for the whole band, I won. The gig was epic, Kiah killed it, and we went home stoked, knowing we had steaks for tea the next day!

Saturday August 5: Day off in Broome. After days of driving, setting up PAs and performing, I slept most the day, but woke up to the boys cooking the meat tray for tea. Epic.

Sunday August 6: Sunday markets were on so we hit them. Second day off and we spent it exploring Broome. Incredible place, and somewhere I can’t wait to get back to.

Monday August 7: A full day at Broome senior high school. Singing and sharing culture and truth telling. Finished school and bolted to the airport to pick up my wife and kids. I haven’t seen them for a few weeks, so this is awesome! We went out for dinner and then went to see the Barbie movie at the moonlight cinema. Epic day!

Tuesday August 8: Last day in Broome. Kids had a camel ride on the beach, we went and checked out the town, and then spent the evening taking photos of the sunset on Cable Beach. Amazing day and night.

Wednesday August 9: Wednesday. Hump day! We packed up the Airbnb, packed the trailer and drove to Karratha. Our bus, KC the Ford Transit 12-seater, has been an amazing reliable companion. She got us to Karratha no worries. Checked into a caravan park which was, if I’m honest, pretty ghetto. As we were checking in late we broke our cardinal rule and hit Maccas for dinner. Complete shock to pay over $20 for a McFeast meal. The cost of living crisis is real.

Thursday August 10: We were up early setting up a PA at St Lukes College for a day of storytelling. Amazing day with those kids. Year 11s. Their teacher is one of the few Aboriginal educators I’ve come across, and she inspired me flat out. Such a good day! Finished and went back to the caravan park, which while ghetto, was sick ‘cause my wife was able to cook her legendary pasta in the cabin kitchen. Very happy with that!

Friday August 11: We thought we had a sleep-in but I’d forgotten breakfast radio on Triple M that I’d committed to. Triple M have been huge supporters of my music and so we’ve done a lot of in-person and phone interviews with them on this tour. Today was with Pablo, and he’s a legend. He’s also running for Katie of Karratha! after this, we had a look around town before heading to our gig at North West Brewing Co. We played outside and it was an awesome night. Great turnout, the food was awesome and their beers were delicious. We had a great response, and all-around decided that Karratha is a pretty rad town.

Saturday August 12: Went and saw Ngajarli. Some thousands-of-years-old rock art. Was an incredibly moving thing to see, and one of those moments that make the ballache of travel so worthwhile. Also got to look at some beautiful beaches and saw an epic sunset. Karratha was incredible!

Sunday August 13: Drove to Exmouth. This took several hours, and so by the time we got there, we checked into our accom, and then went to the gig at Frothcraft Brewery. This one was another acoustic trio gig, and was a lot of fun. A Sunday night show, I was wondering how it would go, but it was a deadly night. and Exmouth is incredibly beautiful!

Monday August 14: Ever since I got married, my wife has talked about wanting to go to Monkey Mia. It’s this beach town resort just past Carnarvon. So today, we drove there from Exmouth. A drive that took all day, but such beautiful landscape and a killer sunset. We checked into another caravan park and this time the cabin was far less ghetto. Hit bed and prepared for some dolphin encounters the next day!

Tuesday August 15: We went and did the tourist thing, checking the dolphins out. Not gonna lie: I loved it. Spent the rest of the day hanging with my kids, fishing and checking out the vast nature here. Was a really happy day today. It was also Spike’s (our sound guy and tour manager) birthday, so we had cake and told him we loved him all day. By the end of the day, I’m sure he was over it!

Wednesday August 16: Big drive from Monkey Kia to Geraldton. We got in late, checked into the Airbnb and had a feed before going to bed. Long day.

Thursday August 17: Full day doing five hourlong sessions at Geraldton Christian College. Sharing culture and truth telling. All day with the primary school-aged kids. Was a really fun day.

Friday August 18: Another full day at Geraldton Christian College, this time with the high school kids. Long day but super rewarding. Finished school at 3:30pm and was in the bus and driving to Perth by 4pm. We hit our hotel in Northbridge at 9pm and went straight to my favourite Chinese restaurant in Australia, the Good Fortune Roast Duck House. I dominated so much roast duck and barbecue pork, my kids were in awe. Amazing food, and really happy to be in Perth, a city I grew up in.

Saturday August 19: Day off in Perth, so I took the opportunity to show my family around. I went to high school here, and I loved showing my kids the beaches I learned to surf at and the places that were (and are) so special to me. Pretty tired in the end and got an early night.

Sunday August 20: Sunday. We hit the Fremantle market in the morning, and then went to Gage Roads Brewery to set up for an arvo gig. Gage Roads is an epic brewery and the gig was super fun. Acoustic trio again, and a bunch of mates I went to school with came along, which was deadly. Hung out after and reminisced about a time when life felt a lot simpler!

Monday August 21: Drove the family to Busselton airport. Three hours south. They need to get home, and so does the band. So they all flew out from Busselton ‘cause the tickets were $100 cheaper each. Saved us a fortune. Unfortunately, I cried the whole drive back to Perth, missing them, and realising the next few weeks are solo shows and I’m on my own. Music is hard, and it’s lonely.

Tuesday August 22: Massive day. Sessions all day at Penrhos College, solo this time, and then a session with the teachers after school. I love doing those staff sessions, helping teachers feel more confident teaching First Nations content. Finished school and then met an old mate and had dinner at the Duck House again!

Wednesday August 23: Our windscreen on KC has been getting chipped and cracked flat out as we’ve driven over 12,000 kilometres, so I went to O’Brien and got a new one. Living the dream! This actually took most the day, so I spent a couple of hours in a coin-operated massage chair at Westfield, marvelling at technology and coin-operated massage chairs.

Thursday August 24: A whole day with all the year 10 boys at Emmanuel College in Success, south of Perth. Really great day and an awesome bunch of young men.

Friday August 25: back at Emmanuel College, this time with all the year 10 girls. Again, an awesome day. These school gigs are a great chance to test the new songs out on an unforgiving audience! They consistently are loving Congratulations and Summer’s Coming.

Saturday August 26: Saturday. Day off, but my voice is hurting and I feel rubbish, so I spent all day in bed at the hotel. Left briefly to get a feed, and then went back into my room to binge Netflix (The Last Kingdom).

Sunday August 27: Sunday. Solo arvo gig at the Rosemount Hotel in North Perth. It’s is a venue I’ve wanted to play for a long time so it was great being able to rock that one off. My cousin, ex-West Coast Eagles player David Wirrpanda, came along. That made my day. We’re good mates and it was so great getting to sing for him. Really great gig, one of my favourites for the tour so far.

Monday August 28: Drove three hours to Busselton, a coastal town. We used to holiday here as kids, so it’s a special place for me. I had a walk along the jetty and checked into my hotel.

Tuesday August 29: Spent the day at Georgiana Molloy Anglican College, singing and speaking to high school- and primary school-aged kids. Really great response and sold a bunch of vinyl to the kids. What’s old is new again! Finished school and drove four hours to a town called Mount Barker.

Wednesday August 30: Mount Barker Community College. Played all day to the kids, primary- and secondary-aged, and then did a staff session. A king day and my voice hurts. Then drove four hours back to Perth to see a mate. Long day, I crashed at my hotel.

Thursday August 31: A day off in Perth! I spent it at City Beach, drinking coffee and doing my taxes! At least the scenery was deadly!



Thursday October 5 – Townsville, Juvenile Prison*
Monday October 9 – Cairns, Mother Of Good Counsel School*
Tuesday October 10 – Bundoora, Parade College*
Wednesday October 11 – Bundaberg, Kepnock State High School*
Thursday October 12 – Plainlands, Faith Lutheran School*
Friday October 13 – Brisbane, Lefty’s Music Hall (FREE ENTRY)
Wednesday October 18 – Port Macquarie, St Columba Anglican College*
Wednesday October 18 – Port Macquarie, St Columba Anglican College**
Saturday October 28 – Melbourne, Corner Hotel (tickets)

* Not open to the public
** Charity show, entry via gold coin donation