Give us a “D”, give us an “Arkness” screams Justin Hawkins to the Geordie crowd.
This weekend, The Darkness were granted permission to land at the O2 Academy in Newcastle as part of their world tour in support of their latest offering, Last of Our Kind. A packed out crowd in attendance to see the return of Lowestoft’s finest.
A recent change in personnel sees Rufus Taylor on drums take the proud position of the best seat in the house. Taylor’s last performance in the North East was with Queen and Adam Lambert earlier this year.
As the band takes the stage, it doesn’t take long before the audience gets a taste of their new material as they open their set with a barnstorming rendition of “Barbarian” with Justin Hawkins hitting those high notes. This being one of several new tracks included in the set tonight including “Mudslide”, “Roaring Waters” and the live debut of “Last of Our Kind.”
Hawkins has such a phenomenal vocal range, and both his on and off stage antics keeps the audience transfixed throughout. Whether he is doing acrobatics off the drum riser or being carried through the crowd on the shoulders of a member of the stage crew whilst playing his trusty axe behind his head, he is a real showman.
There’s still room in the band’s set for the classics with the crowd hanging on every word of the likes of “Growin’ On Me”, “Black Shuck” and “Givin’ Up”. All eyes were on Frankie Poullain as he led the band into “One Way Ticket” with a much jubilated Cow Bell intro.
“I Believe In A Thing Called Love” lights the blue touch paper in the room. The band bring their main set to a close with “Love On The Rocks With No Ice” during which Dan Hawkins really lets loose with a stunning great guitar solo. Dan dressed in a vintage red suit, armed with his trusty Gibson Les Paul and Jimmy Page-esque swagger.
Being so close to Christmas, of course, The Darkness take the opportunity to finish the show with a festive finale. The stage is strewn with decorations, an inflatable Santa Claus and holiday lights around Taylor’s drum kit. The band are joined on stage by The River 68’s who add backing vocals to “I Am Santa” from their latest album before they launch into “Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)”.
The Darkness came, they saw, they rocked Newcastle. They are feel good rock and roll at it’s best.