The Darkness - Manchester Apollo, 02.03.13
After a triumphant comeback both on stage and in the studio, The Darkness train is still rolling with great determination and focus and stopped off to entertain the people of Manchester.
With Ginger Wildheart’s solo band in support, his loyal fanbase were out in force to hear his latest creation Hey! Hello! take centre stage, and let me tell you, it sounds just as brilliant live! Lock For Rock was a set highlight with it’s sheer force and obscurity gripping your attention.
The usual blasting of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town to announce The Darkness’ impending arrival to the stage encourages rapturous applause with Justin Hawkins flouncing out in a black & white striped, sleeveless cat suit. Launching straight into Every Inch Of You, both band and audience are up for giving it their all tonight with the energy levels never letting up. The set is heavy with old classics such as Growing On Me and the hugely popular Get Your Hands Off My Woman with the new material slotting in nicely. Justin’s wailing is on fine form, particularly in Concrete, and he is as charismatic as ever, jumping in the crowd, bouncing around and being carried round the audience mid guitar solo. He revels in the applause and it is clear that he is right where he is meant to be, with the audience hanging on to his every word. With a mighty trio of Givin’ Up/Stuck In A Rut/I Believe In A Thing Called Love to end, the quartet stride away leaving an ecstatic crowd behind cheering for more.
The encore features their well known cover of Street Spirit (Fade out) which made it on to their most recent album. Their take on this Radiohead track is truly mesmerising and brilliant live. Love On The Rocks With No Ice brings the evening to a close with ample audience participation, a fantastic end to a fantastic evening.
The Darkness have proven the last couple of years that they still have what it takes both live and in the studio, and long may it continue as you’re always guaranteed a fun night when these guys are in town!
Ginger Wildheart to support The Darkness
After a successful support slot with Slash and winning Classic Rock’s Event Of The Year for his pledge campaign album 555%, cult legend Ginger Wildheart will be joining The Darkness on the UK & Euro legs of their world tour next year.
The Darkness announce mammoth world tour!
The Darkness have announced a huge world tour for 2013 entitled ‘Let Them Eat Cakes’. Tickets are on sale this week and see’s the guys visiting America, UK and Europe, Australia and New Zealand! Check it out!
Lady Gaga - Manchester Arena 11.09.12
On a gloomy Tuesday evening, Manchester is brightened by the star that is Lady Gaga. The Born This Way extravaganza rolled into town with enough glitter and tricks to rival KISS.
British boys The Darkness burst onstage and delivered an energetic, fun filled set; unfortunately Gaga fans were looking slightly bemused by the spectacle, it’s not everyday you see a man in a cat suit standing on his head clapping his feet together after all. Speaking of Justin Hawkins, his voice was on fine form and his effort to get some crowd participation going was a brave, but didn’t quite get the expected results. The biggest cheer of course came for I Believe In A Thing Called Love, I can’t help but feel they were a little under appreciated!
On to the main reason we’re here, the main reason little monsters had been camping outside for days on end. The lights go down, the screams echoing around the arena are deafening and the smoke billows down from the stage. The beginnings of Highway Unicorn boom out as the Lady herself appears on her own unicorn. Accompanied by a projection of her face, reminiscent to the face in the mirror of Snow White, filling in parts of the Born This Way story, she is still certainly full of bizarre, creative ideas. The bizarre happened to include a birthing scene before launching into the title track. Bad Romance brought about one of the biggest cheers of the night and a mental crowd of dancing monsters followed by Judas with Gaga voicing her opinions on betrayal. A flurry of hits completed act 2 including Telephone before re-appearing as part of a motorbike to Heavy Metal Lover. Gaga takes a small break to speak about her family the Haus Of Gaga and the loss of one of her dancers brothers that day and insists they are more than just dancers she hired, everyone is part of the Gaga family. Dedicating the acoustic section to the dancer, she also pulls onstage a teenage boy who can’t quite believe his luck. Placing a tiara on his head, she performs latest offering Princess Die before a beautiful rendition of Hair. The passion behind Gaga’s voice both when singing and speaking to her fans is very evident, she means every words she says and you can hear the emotion in her voice; she wants to connect with every single person in the room and make them feel valued. ‘I don’t speak English but I wish I could’ she announces before the frenzy that is Scheiße. The cheers and cries for more are overwhelming and appearing at the top of her grandiose castle, Gaga delicately begins Edge Of Glory before the backing track kicks in. Running around the stage on her own, it is one of the golden moments of the evening. Pulling a dozen little monsters on stage and detailing her childhood, Marry The Night then rounds off an evening of energy, fun and belief.
Whilst outside her shows a lot of the media focus and attention is on her actions and her unusual outfit choices, inside the Born This Way Ball is a completely different world; a thought she often expresses. Take away all the controversy and outrageous costumes and you have an extremely talented singer/song writer who takes nothing for granted. Well played Miss Germanotta.
Top gigs for September!
Well September has crept up on us and there is plenty of live music to keep us going throughout. Here is our pick of what gigs top our list this month…
The Cult / The Mission
After a shuffle around of dates,venues and line up the goth lords will be sharing the stage at a number of dates across the UK. Looking like it is going to be a great show, you don’t want to miss out on what may be a one of seeing these guys play together!
Punk pioneer and poet Patti Smith is playing a handful of dates around the country this month. Expect allsorts from this one, spoken word, classic tunes and a whole lot more from the mother of punk.
Coming all the way from Australia, these guys are doing phenomenally well over here right now. Mixing grunge with classic rock, their shows are bound to be packed out so make sure you check them out!
A classic, iconic band if ever there was one. W.A.S.P are celebrating their 30th anniversary with the 30 Years of Thunder tour. Expect shock rock lyrics and a blinding live performance.
Love her or hate her, you cannot deny that she certainly puts on a show. Mixing the daring with the outright bizarre the Gaga is playing a couple of exclusive gigs in the UK as part of her Born This Way Ball. And with The Darkness as support it is certainly going to be rocking!
The Darkness - Hot Cakes
After a triumphant return at last years Download Festival, The Darkness certainly proved they still had the ability to give a strong and charismatic performance. With the original quartet back together after past squabbles, they put that aside and headed back to the studio. Do they still have the magic ingredient that made them special?
Opener Every Inch Of You doesn’t have the hard hitting beginning you’d expect, infact it’s pretty mellow for The Darkness. Luring you into a false sense of security, that all changes with a trademark screech from Justin Hawkins, one screaming ‘suck my cock’ at that. First single Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us follows with punchy riffs and a falsetto chorus, more familiar Darkness territory and one of the albums highlights. With A Woman has AC/DC style snappy riffs whilst Living Each Day Blind provides the ballad. The infamous character surrounding the groups music seems to somewhat lack throughout the record, it doesn’t grab your attention as successfully as it’s predecessors. Concrete is one of the stronger powerful tracks and provides an interesting wailing chorus and a neat guitar solo while Forbidden Love displays a more melodic slide, a change from their trademark punchy riffs. Having covered Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) on a number of occasions, the group decided to include their interpretation, a great one at that with a powerful performance from Justin.
Hot Cakes isn’t quite the strong comeback hoped for and lacks the fun of their debut; but, on that note, I have no doubt that these tracks will be given that extra boost of life when performed live, in true Darkness style.
Song of the day
The Darkness - Everybody Have A Good Time
Check out the hilarious new video from Lowestofts finest! Taken from the album Hot Cakes due for release in August.