Peace Train: The Cat Stevens Story is a must-see for all Cat Stevens fans. Darren Coggan’s innate ability to personify, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is uncanny and his story telling is spellbinding.
From the moment Coggan opened at The Playhouse in Melbourne with 'Moonshadow', he effortlessly held the audience captive to the very end. Coggan remarkably sounds like Cat Stevens and if you closed your eyes at any point throughout the performance, you could have easily imagined it was Steven’s himself serenading you.
As a teenager Cat Stevens lived in an apartment above a restaurant called the Moulin Rouge where he penned and composed many of the songs we know and love today. Stevens' was talented, magnetic and sold over 60 million albums around the world. However, at the height of his career, he unplugged his guitar and walked away from it all in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Interwoven between the songs Coggan spoke of Stevens' accomplishments and hardships. Although I had some knowledge of Stevens' past, I left with a greater understanding of the man who sang about peace and tolerance. Coggan was hypnotic as he spoke of Stevens' battle with tuberculosis. Like many survivors of the deadly disease, Stevens' came away from it feeling inspired and thus changed the direction of his music.
Later Stevens' converted to Islam and gave himself over to philanthropy. His fans were devastated and struggled to understand why he gave it all away.
Coggan evoked emotion with each note and helped the audience connect with Cat Stevens on a deeper level. ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’, ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Oh Very Young’ were performed beautifully, yet ‘Sad Lisa’ and ‘Peace Train’ stole the show and garnered Coggan and his band resounding cheers.
An enjoyable evening and well worth seeing for all Cat Stevens and peace - loving fans.
For more details, head to http://www.peace-train.com.au