» The Darkness 2006 03 05  
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Reviewed by Niklas
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Annexet
Date: 5 March 2006
Set Length: 90 mins

The Darkness

When these British glamrockers released their debut album "Permission To Land" in 2003, they were one of the hottest bands around. Three years later The Darkness have definitely cooled off; with a follow-up that hasn't been selling as good as the first one, by far. Apparently, they've also had problems to sell enough tickets to their shows on the new tour. And seriously, that anyone thought that these guys should have played at Globen (Sweden's biggest indoors-arena) in the year of 2006 when all the hype around the band is gone, is absolutley mindblowing to me.

Due to lack of interest they have been transferred to Annexet, a considerably smaller venue within the same walls as Globen. This Scandinavian tour have been critisized for not being expensive enough, and rightly so. The Darkness' brand of party metal is the sort that you associate with firecrackers, pyrotechnics and confetti, and since we get nothing of that this evening, the show comes off as being a bit cheap. The only special effect around is the front man Justin Hawkins, who struts around (and occasionally sounds…) like he's on fire. The question is; how much high-pitch vocals can the average Darkness-fan handle? To me, the vocals are entertaining, but also grating at times.

The set list contains all but two of the twenty songs that have been on The Darkness' two records so far. The new album "One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back" isn't bad, but there are few songs that can match the intensity from the excellent debut. The exceptions are the two singles "One Way Ticket" and "Is It Just Me?", as well as the extremely enjoyable "Hazel Eyes".

The songs that makes Annexet light up are the old hits, with "Growing On Me", "Friday Night", "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" and the superb power-ballad "Love Is Only A Feeling" as the front runners. But inbetween these rays of sunshine there can be slow moments where it is all too obvious that The Darkness haven't gathered enough high-class material to fill a whole set list yet.

But it's difficult to be too disappointed with The Darkness, especially when they are so playful that they throw in short excerpts from classics like "Jump" by Van Halen and "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC into their own songs. And when Mr. Hawkins takes out his self-glowing, sparkling guitar (which looks like it belongs in the Austin Powers-movies…), who has the right to complain?

6 chalices of 10


One Way Ticket
Is It Just Me?
Growing On Me
Dinner Lady Arms
Givin' Up
Black Shuck
Love On The Rocks With No Ice
Love Is Only A Feeling
Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
Blind Man
Hazel Eyes
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Friday Night
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
English Country Garden

Related links:

See also review of: Permission To Land