Review & photos by Rich Ward
Less than three months since their last tour, the Darkness are back in the Midlands. This time they are at the Kasbah in Coventry. Having played the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, opting for a slightly smaller venue was probably a wise move, but it seems to be a sell out all the same.
Local heroes The Glassguns have the task of opening the show, and they do so in formidable style. There is clearly a lot of local support for the band and they relish in the opportunity of playing the venue. They are prepared for it and do not disappoint by playing a blinding set of 70’s influenced heavy rock, with frontman Adam Burrows making regular forays into the audience to headbang with the fans. A good job well done.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying that The Darkness are a great band to watch – tight as a gnat’s chuff, seemingly boundless energy and fun songs that don’t demand much thought from the audience. They’re not exactly subtle either with the set kicking off with ‘Every Inch Of You’, it’s typical Darkness with a glam rock edge, and Hawkins jumps around the stage like a man possessed. For all his leaping, I’m surprised he hasn’t got an endorsement with Jointace.
It’s difficult not to get caught up with the energy emanating from the stage. Indeed, the Kasbah is positively roasting tonight. So much so, that a considerable amount of the crowd start to strip off, with all manner of clothes being thrown on stage. Knickers are not unexpected, but what follows would keep Barnardos going for a few weeks; shirts, shoes and a jacket which prompts Hawkins to momentarily wear enquiring whether there were ‘any 18th Century sailors in the house’. Not exactly in a position to pass judgement, in full stage clobber, Justin Hawkins looks like a cross between Pete Way and Jack Sparrow, with a little bit of Boy George thrown in for added campness. Long legged bassist, Frankie Poulain isn’t far behind him in the fashion stakes. This leaves it to Dan Hawkins to look the archetypal rocker in his de rigeur Thin Lizzy T-Shirt. Drummer Ed Graham keeps a relatively low profile behind his unlit drums.
The band power through their best loved songs, with newer tracks like ‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us’ fitting in well with the likes of ‘One Way Ticket’ and ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’. To top off his stage antics, during the final number of ‘Love On The Rocks With No Ice’, Hawkins climbs up onto the balcony and edges his way along to the centre of the venue, and dives off into the trusting hands of the crowd below. A typically over the top end to an over the top night. Wonderful stuff.
The Darkness return to the Midlands again before the end of the year with plenty of opportunities to see them with dates in Wolverhampton, Leicester, Oxford, Leamington & Northampton.
1. Every Inch of You
2. Black Shuck
3. Growing on Me
4. She Just a Girl, Eddie
5. One Way Ticket
6. Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us
7. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
8. Love Is Only a Feeling
9. Friday Night
10. How Dare You Call This Love?
11. Givin’ Up
12. Stuck in a Rut
13. I Believe in a Thing Called Love
14. The Best of Me
15. Street Spirit
16. Love on the Rocks with No Ice
See more of Rich’s photos here;