The Darkness brought some rock n’ roll to Perranporth and rounded off the final session of the Watering Holes ‘Bands In The Sands’ season in style. There were the songs, the riffs and the spandex. All we needed was fire breathing midgets and pole dancers! Next time eh boys?
(see below for a review from Lee Trewhela)
Land of the Giants
Opening the show were South West’s finest – Land of the Giants. Rounding off a summer of festival appearances (which included Glastonbury). They had the Perranporth crowd dancing in the sand.
Is there anything better than a catsuit-wearing man in his 40s playing ludicrous rock guitar atop the shoulders of a delirious crowd on a Cornish beach?
It’s easy to get po-faced as a music lover as you await the new Frank Ocean “visual album”, scour the clues on Beyonce’s latest to see who Jay-Z boffed and grow morose wallowing in Bowie’s death messages or Anohni’s drone bomb hymns.
The Darkness are the whole reason we got into music to start off with – that jubilant performance on Top Of The Pops by your favourite artist, that killer chorus heard on Radio 1 when you were 11 or the thrill of the wall of feedback at your first gig.
Of course, there are moments when we need to get deep (and that’s what Radiohead were invented for) but music, especially in the live arena, should all be about fun. And The Darkness are big fun with added devil horns.
The fact that Justin Hawkins and co have gone through the rock’n’roll lifestyle and decided they can still wear chest-bearing onesies while sober only makes you love them more.
The Watering Hole ended a brilliant season of music, that has seen everyone from Seal to The Stranglers play on Perran’s sands, with a glorious set by Lowestoft’s finest (are there any other bands from the Suffolk town to challenge them?).
Justin informed us they had just spent the week in Falmouth writing their fifth album. With a certain Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums, it only takes two and two to work out “Falmouth” means Roger Taylor’s gaff. It helps having the Queen drummer’s son – who looks remarkably like a rock’n’roll cloning of his father and Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins – in your band.
It’s easy to forget how many memorable songs The Darkness have in their canon but we got them all – I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Barbarian, One Way Ticket, Love Is Only A Feeling, Growing On Me and a monumental Get Your Hands Off My Woman. The best of ’70s hard rocking with ’80s cock-rock excess for a post-modern indie audience, if you will.
Justin – half-nerd, half-golden god – is the finest of frontmen; narrating a tussle in the audience with stand-up levels of hilarity or posing like a Plant with tongue firmly in cheek. Despite the comic element, The Darkness are a fantastic rock band – Dan Hawkins and Frankie Poullain are brilliant musicians.
They’ve played in Cornwall a number of times – who could forget the blazing SAS Ball set in 2003 which aligned with the zenith of their moment in the sun? – but they keep on getting better. Here’s to that Queen-aided next album and more shoulder-borne moments on beaches.
The gig was given extra firepower with the ballsy brass bombardment of Land Of The Giants who continue their rise as the South West’s most heralded band.