“Yoooooorkshire, Yoooooorkshire, Yoooooorkshire”.
If you have been to a gig in God’s favourite County of Yorkshire you will recognise the above quote. A two syllable word chanted slowly over and over by the crowds at many a concert around the area. The chant is done for two reasons. Number one to let the artist on stage know where the hell they are. Number two it is a way of showing that they are having a great time. Many bands don’t know how to react to the chant. Many bands from across the Atlantic stare in bemusement and laugh nervously, other bands will join in which always causes a loud roar of approval but one band and one band alone will take those words, digest them and throw them back at the crowd as a new epic, improvised song. That band ladies and gentlemen is The Darkness.
They are known as flamboyant, they are known known as extroverts but in actual fact The Darkness are simply Rock Stars! The total package. On this cold December night in Leeds the band are here to show that they haven’t lost a step and they know how to put on a Rock N’ Roll show. Sure there are many great bands about but not since ‘the good ol’ days’ has there been a band who have everything you need to really stand apart from the rest of the pack.
Justin Hawkins and co pull a full tour de force here tonight. Picking out gem after gem from their impressive four album back catalogue and even throw in a couple that aren’t (one of which is latest Christmas single ‘I Am Santa’). Sure there has been turmoil over the years, there has been drama, sackings, rehiring’s and more drummers than Spinal Tap but the band on stage tonight, made up of Hawkins, his brother Dan, Bassist Frankie Poullain and latest drummer (and son of Queen legend Roger Taylor) Rufus Tiger Taylor are a tight well oiled unit who look to be having the time of their lives. Actually everywhere you look people are having the time of their lives. Men and women, young and old all brought together by a good old ‘proper’ rock show.
Of course, in this marathon set played tonight, uber hits like ‘I Believe In a Thing Called Love’, ‘Growing On Me’, etc as expected are going to go down huge but even tracks of latest album Last Of Our Kind such as tonight set and also album opener ‘Barbarian’ go down just as well. It shows that this bands fans are REAL fans, they are fans for life.
For an encore the crowd are treated to a three pronged attack to remember. We are reminded that it is the festive season with the hilariously titled ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell’s End)’, followed swiftly by a frankly jaw dropping Radiohead cover of ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ before finally being knocked out for the count with ‘Love On The Rocks No Ice’.
As the crowd explodes and the final notes ring out you are reminded what a special band The Darkness are and have always been. Rock music has always been about not just the music but the show, many have forgotten about the carnival side of it, the stuff that gets an audience doing a goofy grin and forgetting about life’s bullshit. Thankfully for us The Darkness haven’t and long may they continue.