The Darkness performing their Tour De Prance Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The Darkness brought their own brand of entertainment to a packed Rock City last night and for many the Christmas celebrations began early.

The four piece band comprising the charismatic front man Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan on guitar, bassist Frankie Poullain and new addition drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of legendary Queen drummer Roger Taylor, managed to seamlessly combine quintessential British humour, over the top glam rock showmanship, catchy riffs and shredding solos.

Touring to promote their latest album, Pinewood Smile, they delivered a set full of classic rock guitar and Justin’s famously high notes. Opening with Open Fire, a song from their 2015 album, Last Of Our Kind, they delved straight back into familiar territory with Love Is Only A Feeling and Black Shuck and that was pretty much it for the rest of the night with a further seven songs from their debut album, Permission To Land, which served to show just how popular that material is as they got away with playing almost every song from it.

There were some technical difficulties which Justin handled in his inimitable style with him talking about back up microphones and singing little songs about it. Looking resplendent in a sparkly green cat suit, he introduced new songs Southern Trains, All The Pretty Girls and Solid Gold, all of which went down a storm.

The Darkness throw so much comedy into their show that it is so easy to miss their potential. But they are extremely talented as Dan Hawkins showed that he is a fantastic guitarist who along with his brother delivered crunching chunky riffs that got everybody moving. Poullain brought extra weight to the music with his polished brass grooves, whilst the addition to the band of Rufus Taylor brought a totally new dynamic to their live show.

Finishing their main set with Get Your Hands Off My Woman and Growing On Me, Justin announced that they were going to leave and pretend that they were not coming back. But they did of course, and with Justin now dressed fully in gold, they finished with a festive rendition of Wham’s Last Christmas which segued into Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) complete with swirls of fake snow falling from the roof of Rock City before they closed the show with a raucous I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

What is without dispute about The Darkness is that they are a band that has all the component parts needed to be a world beating rock band, and with Justin’s huge personality and unpredictable humorous between song banter, they had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands as they delivered a rocking good night of entertainment.