The Darkness play a blinder

THIS might not have been a true home-coming for Lowestoft's rock sensations The Darkness, but they are getting closer.The flamboyant foursome have paid two visits each to Ipswich and Norwich this year and last night their spandex-clad show rolled into Great Yarmouth for a gig promoted as a genuine journey home – even if it was in the wrong county.

THIS might not have been a true home-coming for Lowestoft's rock sensations The Darkness, but they are getting closer.

The flamboyant foursome have paid two visits each to Ipswich and Norwich this year and last night their spandex-clad show rolled into Great Yarmouth for a gig promoted as a genuine journey home – even if it was in the wrong county.

But this was no time for splitting hairs and there were no complaints as the big-haired Hawkins brothers and their million-selling band strutted on stage at the humble surroundings of the Town's Marine Centre.

Lead singer and guitarist Justin Hawkins, a Freddie Mercury for the 21st century, was on irresistible for the opening power chord.


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Instrumental set opener bare-back blew away any cobwebs in the Marina before the most distinctive voice in rock screamed its way through Black Shuck – the band's ode to the black dog of Bungay – breakthrough single Growing on Me, and Get Your Hands off My Woman.

Cigarette lighters were lofted into the air for power ballad Love Is Only A Feeling, while their biggest to date, I Believe In a Thing Called Love was played was trademark, pomp and fashion.

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Then came the icing on the Christmas cake – the band's eagerly awaited festive single, not due for release for another two weeks and unheard by many fans before last night. Christmastime (Don't Let The Bells End) was gratefully received by the crowd, made up entirely of competition winners and invited guests. Even Justin and Dan's nan was there to see it.

They might be the band that time forgot, but rock fans will never forget The Darkness. Whether in their hometown or not, they are fast becoming a national treasure.

Jonathan Barnes.

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