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The Darkness – Live At Hammersmith review

Genre: Hard Rock

Label: Cooking Vinyl

Release Date: June 15, 2018

Line Up:

Justin Hawkins, – Guitar / Vocals,

Dan Hawkins ,- Guitar,

Frankie Poullain, – Bass,

Rufus Tiger Taylor, – Drums,

“Live At Hammersmith” Track Listing:
01. Open Fire
02. Love Is Only A Feeling
03. Southern Trains
04. Black Shuck
05. One Way Ticket
06. Givin’ Up
07. All The Pretty Girls
08. Barbarian
09. Buccaneers Of Hispaniola
10. Friday Night
11. Makin’ Out
12. Every Inch Of You
13. Solid Gold
14. Stuck In A Rut
15. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
16. Growing On Me
17. Japanese Prisoner Of Love
18. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
19. I Believe In A Thing Called Love

English Glam Rockers The Darkness release their first ever live album via the Cooking Vinyl label on June 15. Recorded on December 10, 2017 at London’s Eventim Hammersmith Apollo during the band’s “Tour De Prance” UK tour, “Live At Hammersmith” catches the band in all of their flamboyant, spandex clad glory.

“Live At Hammersmith” boasts nineteen cuts that are exactly what one would expect from the cock rocking quartet, catchy riffs, blistering solos, wailing falsetto and more than a little cheekiness.

The album does a good job placing the listener at the heart of The Darkness’ live experience. From the call and response chorus of “Get Your Hands Off My Woman”, the hooky sing along of “Given’ Up” or just general appreciative cheers and hand clapping, the presence of the crowd helps “Live at Hammersmith” live up to it’s name without being overbearing or distracting from the music.
The overall sound of the band is well captured, not to clean or slick, but right in your face. The guitars are big and crunchy, the low end laid down by Taylor and Poullian delivers a nice kick without sounding to muddy or booming and of course Justin Hawkins’ signature falsetto is soars above it all.

Though unlikely to convert anyone who isn’t already on board for The Darkness’ brand of over the top guitar driven rock, “Live At Hammersmith” is a tight collection of stand out cuts from the band’s previous five studio releases all in one package. Personal favorites are the aforementioned “Get Your Hands Of My Woman” and “Friday Night” from the band’s platinum selling debut, as well as “Barbarian”, “One Way Ticket” and of course their infectious breakout hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love. “Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)” might be the only throw away track in the bunch, but seeing as the album was recoded mere weeks before Christmas it’s inclusion is a given.

To whet your appetite, the swashbuckling “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola” and “Solid Gold” from 2017’s “Pinewood Smile” and “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” from their quadruple platinum debut “Permission To Land” have been released via streaming and as instant downloads with pre-orders ahead of the album’s official release.

Catch The Darkness on tour across Europe this summer supporting Hollywood Vampires in June and Queen in July.

SCORE: 8/10

REVIEW BY: David Burke

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