Our reviewer, Jody Ball rocked out with The Darkness last night at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall.
Glam rock hit the Wulfrun last night hard. The Darkness are known for their look and Justin’s high powerful voice with some great guitar thrown in.
Lead singer Justin Hawkins has moved away from his long blonde hair to a black shorter curly style with a supporting moustache for good measure but hasn’t ditched the catsuits or leotards.
They burst on a smoke filled stage dramatic as ever because this was more than a just a gig... This was a show!
To the delight of crowds, Justin explained that they would do two sets – one where they played anything and the second where they played their Permission to Land album from front to back then was going for an encore.
If you weren’t amazed by the theatrics of the show, you must not have been watching. Justin has a Freddie Mercury-esque style to him and is a true showman. He had a chat with the crowd saying it was the second time on tour he had broke into a sweat, no wonder with all the jumping around, in air splits and handstands.
Their first half of the show was a mixed bag and included a blend of new material and covers including Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) and songs from their other albums, such as One Way Ticket, Every Inch of You and She’s Just A Girl, Eddie.
The second half was what everyone was really waiting for. They started this with a voice over intro, which presented each member of the band to the fans. And of course Justin returned donning his trademark black and white striped all in one with a 'V' all the way down to his waistline revealing his bare tattooed chest.
It has been 10 years since their debut album but you’d have thought it had just come out – everyone was singing every word back to him and doing a bit of sir guitar during the solos.
I don’t think there has ever been so much hair at a gig either. A number of the audience were long haired and I even saw a group dressed up especially in a glam rock style.
The skills and talents of the band are second to none and Justin took his guitar and himself on a little walk around the audience still playing and posing for pictures.
Naturally being a December gig and them having a festive song up their sleeve they cracked it out for the encore. The stage was filled with fairy lights and a Christmas tree, before Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) got the seasonal spirit with swaying and singing.
Even a bah-humbug would be merry after Justin telling you it was Christmas.
They played an almost non-stop hour and forty five minute set with not one but two support acts.
Their first support the River 68s had an amazing 70s look to match the main act and the lead singer had a brilliantly powerful voice which fused great with their country rock sound. The second support weren’t as well received – a group of young lads who were really trying but needed to cool the egos because they were so good.
Justin even wrote on his Twitter how excited he was to play Wolverhampton:
I cannot wait to rock Wolverhampton. I love this venue, haven't played here since we supported Alice Cooper in '03. Fond memories...— Justin Hawkins (@JustinHawkins) December 2, 2013
By Jody Ball