Turning up twenty minutes late to dinner isn’t exactly a good look.
And that’s exactly the situation The Darkness’ bass player Frankie Poullain found himself in en route to the meeting that led to the rebirth of one of the most infamous glam rock bands of this millennium.
“It was kinda nerve-wracking when we all sat down together… I was the last to arrive, I was twenty mins late and the others were all really nervous that I wasn’t going to show up!” he said.
Following a suggestion from their old manager, Poullain and his former bandmates Ed Graham and Justin and Dan Hawkins reconvened at a not-so-glam-rockin’ location – an Indian restaurant on London’s Finsbury Road.
Several poppadums and mouthfuls of curry later – the second coming of The Darkness was on the cards.
“We started to talk and all the old jokes and things that made us laugh came back,” he said.
“By the end of the meal we all had a bit of warm glow around us… and when we had that warm glow we felt it was inevitable (a reunion), because some things go deeper and are bigger than egos or pride.”
The rest is history. Following their comeback at last year’s Download Festival and a handful of shows around the UK, The Darkness have been hard at work recording their third album – their first release since 2005’s One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back.
And local fans have the chance to hear the new material and dust off their air guitars when the band tours Australia in a series of club shows next month.
Poullian is the first to admit he never saw the reunion coming. Following the breakout success of their debut album Permission To Land, he quit the group over ‘musical differences’ in 2004 and was replaced by guitar tech Richie Edwards.
The Darkness then imploded in 2006, at the height of Justin Hawkins’ drug addiction.
“I’d like to think I thought it wouldn’t happen the most, but the other guys seemed to think the same thing,” he said.
“It’s funny, because everyone around us thought it would happen.”
“We had to work our way through things, obviously it started with the two brothers because they would meet at family gatherings and gradually they’d have to forgive each other for their demeanours.
“Then it developed from there, it was like a snowball effect.”
Poullain said the new album – set for release mid-year – has a title referring to food, sex and music – and is sounding like “a more selective version of Permission To Land.”
“There’s bits of Springsteen, INXS, Billy Idol and Queen in there… just classic rock ‘n’ roll references and a bit more melodic,” he said.
Until its release, he’s hanging out for the local shows in May – as he believes “Australians seem to really appreciate the hard rock side of what we do.”
And Poullain says punters can expect the 2012 version of The Darkness to be a more hard-rockin’ and hard-working outfit than the one that has previously graced our shores.
After all, he believes the reunion is about pleasing both themselves and the army of fans who’ve been missing their music.
“We’re put so much energy into this and we’re conscious of not fucking up,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s almost like you have to go with what people want and do things for other people, because sometimes when you do that you make yourself happy.”
“But I don’t wanna sound like Mother Teresa here, we’re doing this for ourselves as well,”
“The most fun you can have is being in this band; and if it makes people happy, then that’s a great by-product and makes it more fun.”
The Darkness play in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra in May. Tickets go on sale Wednesday – for all the information and outlets click here. You can also download their new single Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us from their official website here.