The Darkness performing their Permission To Land 20th Anniversary Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Tuesday 19th December 2023.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The Darkness, Britain’s beloved heavy rock band, were back at Rock City on Tuesday night to continue the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of their multi platinum debut album, Permission To Land, and what a celebration it was.

From the moment front man Justin Hawkins, brother and guitarist Dan, bassist Frankie Poullain and the masterful drummer Rufus ‘Tiger’ Taylor blasted on to the stage, they immediately demanded that this packed crowd keep up with their music and highly entertaining antics.

Opening with Black Shuck there was no doubting that this was going to be a fast, furious and fun set with the Rock City crowd finding their voices early. Wearing his trademark cat suit, Justin immediately took command of the stage. For Get Your Hands Off My Woman he jumped into the crowd who caught him and gently passed him around the venue before depositing him back on the stage.

It did look as though the band would be playing the entire album in order, as the undeniably catchy Growing On Me and fans favourite Givin’ Up quickly followed, but they deviated to the surprise of the crowd with their bluesy raucous version of The Best Of Me and Makin’ Out which were bonus tracks on the Japanese deluxe edition of the album.

Justin has clearly lost none of his joie de vivre for his craft, with his wild falsetto and blistering guitar skills, he is still a born entertainer. There was a touching moment when the pace was slowed for How Dare You Call This Love? before their version of Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) had the crowd belting out the words.

They delivered a mesmerizing version of Holding My Own before the main set was brought to an end with the iconic I Believe In a Thing Called Love which went down a storm, before an encore saw the band return decked in bath robes as they switched instruments for an extended version of Love On The Rocks With No Ice to the delight of the fans who were disappointed that the night had to come to an end.