Lights out for The Darkness

A PLAN by rockers The Darkness to stage their first hometown gig in Lowestoft has been dropped – because they cannot find a suitable venue. Instead, to the band's dismay they are being forced to stage their official "homecoming concert" in rival Great Yarmouth.

A PLAN by rockers The Darkness to stage their first hometown gig in Lowestoft has been dropped – because they cannot find a suitable venue.

Instead, to the band's dismay they are being forced to stage their official "homecoming concert" in rival Great Yarmouth.

The group, who have had a string of hits and a series of industry awards, hoped to stage a huge gig on Lowestoft beach in December.

But the band were upset to learn Waveney District Council had vetoed the plan on the grounds the beach was too small and would compromise health and safety regulations.

In what will prove a huge blow to Britain's most easterly point, the flamboyant catsuit-clad quartet will now host their Carling Homecoming gig in an as-yet-undisclosed location in Great Yarmouth on December 1.

The Darkness drummer, Ed Graham, said he was looking forward to returning to the region, but was angry about the decision.

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"We are really disappointed. We wanted to have our homecoming in Lowestoft, but our booking agent was told there was nowhere suitable," he added.

"We wanted to host the gig on Lowestoft beach, but it is now going to be held in Yarmouth. It will still be a homecoming, but it is just a shame it cannot be Lowestoft."

A Waveney District Council spokesman said although Lowestoft beach was not a suitable venue, an alternative outdoor site could have been found.

"Unfortunately, Lowestoft beach is too narrow and the tide comes in every few hours, leaving just a small strip of sand. We have to take health and safety issues like this into account," he added.

In a separate move, Hazel Johnson, deputy headteacher of Kirkley High School, where band frontman Justin Hawkins, his guitarist brother Dan and Ed were pupils, hopes to arrange a gig in Lowestoft early next year.

The Mercury Music Prize nominees have seen their debut album, Permission to Land, storm to the top of the charts and their latest single, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, enter the single charts at number two.

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