At the age of 17, Manchester born keyboard player Darren Wharton joined the legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy and recorded the famous “Chinatown” album with Philip Lynott, Scott Gorham, Snowy White and Brian Downey. After being featured on Chinatown, Phil Lynott had taken Darren under his wing and the young musician from Manchester soon found himself touring extensively throughout Europe, America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. After a year of selling out concert halls around the globe Thin Lizzy once again returned to the studio. Now as an established member of the band Darren was about to embark on his second Thin Lizzy album “Renegade”. After co-writing “Angel of Death” with Philip Lynott, Wharton’s talent for song writing began to emerge. Several world tours later, Darren went on to co-write “The Sun goes Down”, “This is the One”, “Heart Attack” and “Someday She’s Gonna Hit Back” on the legendary album “Thunder and Lightning”. After four great years of playing along side Phil Lynott, Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and White Snake’s John Sykes, the sad news was announced that mega rock band Thin Lizzy had decided to disband.
Darren returned to his home town Manchester where he began to write, sing and produce his own songs. After recruiting young guitarist, Vinny Burns, it wasn’t long before Darren’s new band DARE were getting noticed by the major labels in London and in 1987 Darren and DARE were signed by A&M records.
In 1988 Dare recorded their début album ‘Out Of The Silence’ in Los Angeles at singer, Joni Mitchel’s private studio in Beverly Hills. After this highly acclaimed first release, Dare’s live performances soon earned them a cult following throughout Europe, opening for Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page , Gary Moore and Scandinavian rockers Europe. Playing extensively in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, England and Ireland. Dare were now an established band in their own right……..
Back in Los Angeles, Dare’s second album “Blood from Stone” was produced by renowned L.A. producer Keith Olsen (Whitesnake, The Scorpions’ and had a much harder edge than the previous ‘Out Of The Silence’. However when label giants PolyGram bought A&M records in the UK, several changes forced Darren and Dare to walk away from their 4 year deal.
Disillusioned and frustrated, Darren decided to move away from his home town of Manchester, to the majestic mountains of North Wales. Settling in the Snowdonia National park….Darren quickly set about building his own recording studio. Now working with new guitarist and friend Richard Dews, Darren was inspired by the haunting natural beauty of his new surroundings, and a new atmospheric Celtic feel started to emerge in the Dare sound. The first songs to come out of Wales were to become Dare's 3rd studio album 'Calm Before The Storm' , it would also see Darren's in a new role - as producer. 'Calm Before The Storm' was well received by Dare fans marked the welcome return of Dare, re establishing the band throughout Europe and the UK. Dare were back!
Taking time out from writing, in 1994 ten years after the sad death of Phillip Lynott, Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham, John Sykes, Darren Wharton, Brian Downey and Marco Mendoza reformed for a very successful tribute tour of America, Japan and Europe to honour their friend Phil Lynott. On January 4th they performed in Dublin, at the Point and were joined on stage with many Irish legends including U2’s Bono, Bob Geldof, Joe Elliot, and Van Morrison.
Back in Wales again Darren had composed new material for a new album “Belief” This beautiful album set a new standard for Dare. “Like a mirror to the soul” and a doorway to the heart of this unique songwriter, the first single ‘White Horses’ was play listed by legendary DJ, Sir Terry Wogan on the UK’s largest national radio station, BBC Radio 2. Tours throughout Europe and Scandinavia were to follow, including a 12 date tour with Asia in the UK.
After the success of 'Belief' Dare fans were rewarded again when “Beneath the Shining Water” was released in the summer of 2004. This album is a modern classic, original, yet instantly addictive. It featured some of Darren’s most inspired songs to date. 'Sea Of Roses' once again receiving months of BBC Radio 2 airplay. Dare had once again pushed back their musical boundaries, broadening the bands appeal to both young and old alike.
Behind the scenes, 2008 finally saw the official US release of ‘Belief’ and ‘Beneath The Shining Water’ as a double CD though Warner Music/ADA in the U.S. widening Dare's audience even further.
Now the world stage was set, Dare's latest album 'Arc Of The Dawn' was released October 2009 on Wharton's own label , Legend Records, through Warners ADA, and to the fans delight, saw the return of old friend and guitar legend Vinny Burns; back with Dare again on live shows, including a famous appearance at 'Sweden Rock' along side Whitesnake and Def Leppard.
2012 was an exciting year for Dare and their fans. With Vinny Burns now firmly back in the band, along with drummer Kev Whitehead and Nigel Clutterbuck on Bass there were many new projects planned. Including a re-release. 'Calm Before The Storm 2' Special edition, completely re recorded with bonus tracks, never before released.
2016 saw the much awaited 7th Studio Album from DARE.
Sacred Ground topped the Amazon Rock Charts in four countries, reaching number #1 in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. In 2017 Dare's critically acclaimed live performances in Spain, Athens, Norway and London have once again reinstated the bands cult status in Europe and the UK.