The Darkness bring big hair, dirty moes and epic guitar solos down to Eaton’s Hill.
Since announcing their reunion early last year, the excitement for The Darkness to come Down Under has been growing and growing, and finally the lads from England hit our shores on Friday night to deliver their glam rock music to the people of Brisbane, and with local boys Nine Sons of Dan in tow, Eaton’s Hill was sure in for a good night.
Coming into Eaton’s Hill was a much smoother and nicer experience than previously at the Manson sideshow in February, where cars were turned back for parking and lines snaked around the car park in the pouring rain for what seemed like forever. This time, however, they got it right. With a better set-up, the crowd were moved inside the venue with ease and no one was complaining, so kudos to the hotel for that. After only really just coming onto the scene as a live music venue in the past six months, Eaton’s Hill has turned into an excellent venue with nice big bars and great balconies, with an RSL type feel but with the intimacy of The Tivoli.
Walking around the room, it’s not hard to pick up on the excitement around the joint, with the odd few fully dressed in their glam clothes with a lot of lycra and leather amongst the packed crowd. As the lights dim at 8.15pm the crowd screams and support act Nine Sons Of Dan come on stage shouting ‘How the hell are ya’? The five-piece get stuck into their forty-five minute set with opening song You Took My Heart. The boys have a great mix and an awesome rock sound, with solid drumming and a great rock voice from lead singer Jay Bainbridge that fits in perfectly with the rest of the night. Giving the crowd a new song in Diamond Skin, which kicks off with a pounding drum beat that leads into a cool little riff that slows down into the song, the guys from the Gold Coast sound like a great Aussie pub rock band.
Drummer Morgan Blake loses his shirt to get serious and Bainbridge gives his thanks to the ‘one guy in the crowd who knows us’ before stating that Brisbane is the best place to play and that this is the biggest crowd they have ever played to. Their third song kicks off with an awesome driving guitar riff accompanied by a wicked beat perfect for headbanging, to which the band is really getting into as they jump around stage. Guitarist Daniel Cox gives us an electrifying solo complete with tapping and sliding whilst all the other members rock out. Cheers for The Darkness come again when Bainbridge states that they will be off soon so that the boys can come out and rock your shit, and with that Blake gives us a furious drum beat that leads to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem. The fourth song from the boys sees radio hit She’s So Fine getting people moving followed by Landslide, complete with some nice air kicks from bassist Wil Edgar and great guitar work from Cox, even hitting some notes with his teeth.
Getting people moving with their heaviest song of the set, the guys reach their final song with a small sing-a-long part. Wrapping it up just before 9pm, the guys pack up and the crowd scream at everything from The Darkness’ drum kit being uncovered to the end of a song over the PA system. As Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town gets cranked throughout the venue, the lights go out and The Darkness’ backdrop comes down to an eruption of applause from the crowd. Bursting onto the stage with lots of energy and leaping off drum kits, The Darkness finally arrive with their opening song Black Shuck. Frontman Justin Hawkins proves that his voice is as powerful as ever, and with their long moustaches, big hair and tattoos…The Darkness are back! Not messing around they get stuck straight into Growing On Me with Hawkins picking up a guitar and attacking the crowd with some monstrous solos.
‘Give me a D, give me an Arkness’! The guys already have the crowd in the palms of their hands only a few songs in. Hawkins introduces bass player Frankie Poullain as the ‘thick string guy’ who is responsible for the sound hitting you in the chest but also responsible for some cowbell. As Poullain steps up and beats the cowbell, the band rip into One Way Ticket To Hell And Back followed straight up by new song Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us and Get Your Hands Off My Woman. Removing his shirt, Hawkins jumps around stage and does handstands, providing a wall of energy for the crowd to soak up. Just noticing the balconies, Hawkins then decides to get the crowd chanting, asking that the floor crowd and balcony crowds put aside their differences and unite as one to chant. Taking on an acoustic guitar and hat, Hawkins gives a ballad on his own whilst a bra is thrown onstage. Exclaiming after the song that it is pretty meaningless without the breasts inside, however still a nice gesture, Hawkins instructs the roadie to put it with the others, prompting a young lady to flash herself to the crowd, ‘the lovely breasts of Brisbane’, according to Hawkins.
Leaving momentarily to change into a new suit, Hawkins returns to the stage for Is It Just Me before wrapping the main set up with such songs as Radiohead’s Street Spirit, Stuck In Rut and crowd favourite I Believe In A Thing Called Love. Returning for the encore, the buys end their show on Love On The Rocks With No Ice leaving the crowd truly satisfied with what has been an unbelievable rock show. Proving that they have still got it, The Darkness put on one hell of a show with all things rock ‘n’ roll, including all the classic songs, mind-blowing guitar solos, great moustaches, and even some cowbell… The boys are back in town.