The Darkness at The Pyramids Centre, Southsea REVIEW: 'It's anthems all the way'

Lowestoft’s finest The Darkness either stay with you for life or conjure memories of their 2003 heyday.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 8:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 9:01 am
The Darkness at The Pyramids, Southsea, on December 9, 2019. picture by Paul Windsor

Seeing them live, they are as much escapism as the real deal.

Set opener Rock And Roll Deserves to Die has guitarist Dan Hawkins juggling acoustic and electric instruments as the band play new album Easter Is Cancelled in its entirety.

A brave move, but it stands up, and may be the best album they’ve done since their debut, Permission to Land.

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The Darkness at The Pyramids, Southsea, on December 9, 2019. picture by Paul Windsor

After the new tunes it’s time for the hits. Bassist Frankie Poullain begins with a cowbell solo to ring in One Way Ticket, and then it’s anthems all the way.

Frontman Justin Hawkins’ vocals seem better than ever. He’s flawless in his delivery of even the falsetto notes, which can be challenging to deliver live, but here he’s at the top of his game.

Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen’s Roger may be the best drummer The Darkness have had. It’s a predictable thing to say given who his dad is, but he’s a powerhouse in his own right.

Among classics like Love Is Only a Feeling, Growing on Me and I Believe in a Thing Called Love, one song is unfamiliar to even staunch fans, until we realise it’s a revved-up cover of Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out), with a segue into The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Spectacular.

The Darkness at The Pyramids, Southsea, on December 9, 2019. picture by Paul Windsor

Modern music often raises the question: is rock and roll dead? The Darkness, and a truly dedicated fanbase packing out The Pyramids on a Monday night suggest it is very much alive.