The Darkness Hit Manchester.
A couple of years ago The Darkness appeared at the music conference “In the City” which is based at live venues at around Manchester. Well in fact they played a pub in Salford, in front of about 13 people and a pint of Mild. Last year they were back in Manchester playing the Manchester Apollo, now they are at the MEN Arena, I hope they realise on this course it is the City of Manchester Stadium next year!
From the moment the lights went down and the stage lights came up, the audience were worshipping at the feet of a true showman. This is one hell of a show, a beast of a show, but more about the beast in a while.
There were plenty of lights and pyrotechnics to keep an arsonist in business for a long time. From streaming sparks, to canons of fire, an arsonist would have been orgasmic. With enough stage lighting to light up a runway and the rest of the airport you could not fail to be impressed. But from the moment lead singer Justin Hawkins appeared on stage in the first of his costumes the crowd was his to manipulate and they worshipped their gods.
With one album down and a new album due in the New Year this was a brave mixture of the tried and tested, mixed with the new. And they had the balls to play the new and introduce them to the fans who lapped them up and will turn them in to favourites, whether it be the new ones such as “English Country Garden” which pushed every rock button going and thrown in with the showmanship of Justin this is going to be a live favourite for years. With new tracks such as “Grief Hammer and Dinner Lady’s Arms” this is one band that have nothing to fear about the future.
Playing favourites through out the night such as “Dark Shards, Friday Night, Get Your Hands Off My Woman” sampling in “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” had the crowd screaming and doing what they were told by Justin Hawkins. Justin could hold the audience doing exactly what he wanted them too, he was the High Priest and the crowd his congregation. The best way I can describe this show, as someone who saw Queen live, this was on a par with any Queen gig. In fact Freddie Mercury would have loved the show The Darkness put on, and as for the cat suits ……….
One of the over riding memories that I shall have of this gig, is Justin Hawkins astride a stuffed white tiger that swept above the front rows of the audience during the encore number ‘Love On The Rocks With No Ice’. Then a quick sample of “Band-Aid’s, Do They Know It’s Christmas” before launching in to Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End), while to huge Christmas Trees were wheeled out.
All I can say is go and watch these boys, they are fantastic musicians, put on a fantastic show, have put some fun back in the business. It was also good to see them introducing Rock music to a younger generation, proving that there is something far superior to the bland pop music in the charts.
It doesn’t matter if you grab an air guitar at this gig or how outrageously you may rock, you will not be out done, The Darkness are around!