This The Darkness article was written by Al Hall, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Fraisia Dunn. Lead photo by Semlann
Last week the UK’s most eccentric glam rock band, The Darkness, took to the stage at the Newcastle O2 to prove that they are still the hardest rocking band to come out of England since the turn of the century.
The band exploded onto the stage with ‘Barbarian’, the lead single from their most recent album, ‘Last Of Our Kind’ before launching into the more well established ‘Growing On Me’ and ‘Black Shuck’. The gig continued in this vein, mixing newer numbers with old favourites. The set also included a new, unrecorded song ‘Rack Of Glam’ which met with a great reception. Unsurprisingly the loudest cheer of the night was for ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’, but the crowd were with the band from start to finish, singing and laughing in equal measures as Hawkins pranced around the stage.
It seemed as if the band lost its way a little when Dan Hawkins’ guitar packed up halfway through ‘Last Of Our Kind’ and the decision to restart the song from the beginning was probably the wrong one, as it fell somewhat flat the second time around. Halting the set to bring out a keyboard for ‘Friday Night’ and ‘English Country Garden’ was also questionable, but such mishaps were soon forgotten as Hawkins’ jumped on the shoulders of a roadie to be piggybacked around the venue, playing his guitar behind his head.
The band left the stage after ‘Love On The Rocks’, and in their place appeared an inflatable snowman, and inflatable Santa and a line of fairy lights draped across Taylor’s drumkit. They returned to do what might be a first in the history of rock gigging, playing back-to-back Christmas songs. The old favourite ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ was preceded by the band’s new effort ‘I Am Santa.’ Whilst some may describe this as overkill, the choice sums up the bands’ disregard for any sort of convention on how to make and play music. It is this that makes The Darkness as refreshing now as they were when they first burst onto the UK music scene fifteen years ago.
‘Last of our Kind’ is out now via Canary Dwarf Records.