Getting bored of all the same-old, same-old rock music out right now? It’s been a while since something really different came along…. nearly a decade in fact … something fresh, off the wall, ridiculous… FUN. Something different in a stagnant scene. That something was The Darkness, and guess what? They’re making a comeback!
Earlier this summer, The Darkness returned to the stage after five years in the abyss as they played to 80,000 people at Download festival. They were the last band on before Friday headliners Def Leppard. It was the kind of comeback only a band of The Darkness’ legend could pull-off; truly, The Darkness are rock and roll fantasy turned into reality.
In 2003 The Darkness conquered the UK with a tour and an album, Permission To Land, which had four singles from it, with the most memorable being “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. Hard rock was back with a storm – and ridiculous catsuits and haircuts. You just had to be there: Newcastle, 2003 was one of the greatest rock shows I’ve ever been to. Two years later, it was a different story, as a bloated Justin Hawkins circled above the venue hanging from a pair of giant boobs, singing “Knockers”. It wasn’t the same. The Darkness had become became victims of the rock ‘n’ roll excess that they had parodied – and they were open about this, listen properly to the lyrics of their second album One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back, especially the title track. It wasn’t long after the second album that the band broke up and fell off the radar. By 2008 Justin Hawkins had made his own band Hot Leg, while the rest of the members of The Darkness had formed a separate band Stone Gods.
The story was not going to end there… Earlier this year The Darkness re-united, with the original line-up of Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Ed Graham and Frankie Poullain.
The return of The Darkness will be complete this November as the band take to the road for a UK and Ireland tour. Full dates are below, with tickets on sale via venues and online from Ticketmaster and See Tickets. Meanwhile, I have been told by the band’s management that there are talks of a return to Canada and the US but nothing has been confirmed yet.
The Darkeness UK/Ire tour dates:
8 November LIVERPOOL, O2 Academy
9 November EDINBURGH, HMV Picture House
10 November GLASGOW, O2 Academy
12 November NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
13 November MANCHESTER, Academy
14 November BRISTOL, O2 Academy
16 November BRIGHTON, Dome
17 November SOUTHAMPTON, Guildhall
18 November BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy
20 November CAMBRIDGE, Corn Exchange
21 November SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
22 November NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
24 November NORWICH, UEA
25 November LONDON, HMV Hammersmith Apollo
3 December CORK Savoy
4 December DUBLIN Olympia
5 December BELFAST Ulster Hall
If you were unfortunate enough to be too young or living under a rock during the original of The Darkness, here’s a reminder of what they are all about. Great video; though someone should have told Justin that a “One Way Ticket To Hell…. AND Back” would in fact be a return ticket… In any case, their return to the scene is very welcome.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice