Glam rockers seek number one berth

NOT content with a number one album, glam rockers The Darkness have set their sights on a number one single.But not just one chart-topper – two of them.

By Jonathan Barnes

NOT content with a number one album, glam rockers The Darkness have set their sights on a number one single.

But not just one chart-topper – two of them. They hope to hit the top spot with their signature song I Believe In A Thing Called Love when it is re-released next Monday

That will be followed by their yuletide single Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End), which they have just finished recording at Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles.

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"It's really festive but it rocks. It's going to be the Christmas number one and you'll hear it every year, it's up there with Kirsty MacColl and Slade," said Dan Hawkins, guitarist with the Lowestoft foursome.

"I'm certain I Believe In A Thing Called Love is going to number one, too. We've re-mixed it and put a new vocal on, and it sounds fantastic on the radio."

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They can at least be sure the single will fare better than when it was first released in August last year – it reached number 180.

The Darkness, formed by Dan and his brother, catsuit-wearing frontman, Justin, have enjoyed a stunning past few months, which has seen them pick up a host of awards and an army of followers, or "Darklings".

Their debut album Permission To Land touched down at number two in the charts and has enjoyed a two-week stint at number one. It has now shifted nearly 600,000 copies in two months.

The amazing run of success was only halted by their failure to land the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, which was won by rapper Dizzee Rascal last week.

But the guitarist said he was "relieved" not to have won the award. "Nothing against it and it was great to be considered, but I think we were too big to win it.

"We were told it was between us, Coldplay and Dizzee Rascal, and us and Coldplay didn't need to win it whereas Dizzee Rascal probably did. I had never heard of him, although I've had good reports."

The Darkness are now set for a gruelling schedule of touring, including dates in New York and Los Angeles.

Dan believes the group are ready to do what many bands dream of but few succeed in doing – cracking America.

"We've sold 10,000 albums on import and all our gigs there are sold out. They are ready for us and we're different enough to capture people's imaginations.

"They're not caught up with irony over there, either. It's all about attitude and we've definitely got a chance."

The band have also supported The Rolling Stones at recent gigs and are about to head out on a UK tour, including a near homecoming show at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

"I used to dream about playing the Norwich Waterfront, but you had really made it if you played the UEA. We're going to rock it."

Dubbed "The Band That Time Forgot" for their 70s look and sound, Dan does not believe The Darkness have made heavy rock cool again.

"We're still the underdogs. The style people have not given us the thumbs up yet and rock is still a bit naughty.

"I don't think we are really bringing anything back into fashion and other bands would struggle to do what we do.

"We didn't set out to change anything, we just wanted to write songs and have a good time. We're not pioneers – it's just everything else is so bland."

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