Northampton Chronicle: Live Review: The Darkness at Coventry’s Kasbah


Towards the finale of their headline gig at Coventry’s Kasbah, frontman Justin Hawkins paused to address a question from a fan.

“We don’t do requests” he replied, “Unless that request is to be f****** awesome”.

And to his credit, the band weren’t far off.

The rise, fall and resurrection of The Darkness reads like a tick box of rock and roll cliches.

Propelled to stardom on the back of their debut album Permission To Land, The Darkness headlined the Reading and Leeds festivals in 2004.

However, fall outs, departures and a fair bit of substance abuse followed leading to their demise.

Band members failed to find the same level of success with solo projects and in 2011, the original line up reformed, released their third album, and last year joined Lady Gaga as her main tour support across Europe.

Their headline gig at a packed Kasbah saw them play a mix of their biggest hits, a cover of Radiohead’s Street Spirit and a very brief threat to launch into to Take That’s Back For Good.

Hawkins isn’t just a great guitarist with one of the most distinctive falsetto voices in rock, he’s also a very witty guy.

So, when fans started throwing items of clothing on stage, he was more than happy to pause and ask questions like “Do we have an 18th century yachtsman in the room?”, before slipping the jacket over his black and white striped open chested jumpsuit.

At one point, he jokingly bragged “Who’s envious of me? Half of you wanna f*** me, the other half wanna be me.”

When The Darkness arrived on stage, they stood in line, holding hands, before launching into Every Inch of You and before long were belting out the classic Growing On Me.

Get Your Hands Off My Woman saw Hawkins stand on his head and hands on the drum rise while brother Dan solo-ed away.

Soft rock classic Love Is Only A Feeling was among the highlights of the night – a track which boasts arguably one of the great outro guitar solos you’ll ever hear.

Most of the set comprised of tracks from The Darkness’ debut, but that was always going to be the case.

They finished with I Believe in a Thing Called Love before returning for an encore which included their live regular rocked up version of the aforementioned Radiohead classic.

During their set closer, Love on the Rocks with No Ice, Hawkins climbed out along the Kasbah’s balcony.

After pausing to speak to fans below about Miguel’s disastrous stage jump at the recent Billboard Music Awards, he swan dived onto a sea of hands with his band mates kicking back into the track as they caught him.

Too many bands take themselves far too seriously. You need bands willing to entertain, embrace some of the camp of Queen wile belting out some classic rock tunes.

A decade since their debut, there’s still no-one really coming that close to knocking them off their perch.

The Darkness played:

Every Inch of You

Black Shuck

Growing on Me

She Just a Girl, Eddie

One Way Ticket

Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us

Get Your Hands Off My Woman

Love Is Only A Feeling

Friday Night

How Dare You Call This Love?

Givin’ Up

Stuck in a Rut

I Believe in a Thing Called Love


The Best of Me

Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead cover)

Love on the Rocks with No Ice

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