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The Darkness with guests Diarrhea Planet
April 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
England’s the Darkness centered around irrepressible frontman Justin Hawkins(vocals/guitars/keyboards), who, along with his guitar-playing baby brother Dan, bassist Frankie Poullain, and drummer Ed Graham, single-handedly resurrected the rather unfashionable sounds and attitudes of late-’70s hard rock for an unsuspecting generation. Following the demise of an earlier, conspicuously synth pop-based outfit named Empire, the Hawkins brothers sowed the seeds of what would become the Darkness at an impromptu karaoke session on New Year’s Eve 1999. Justin‘s rapturous rendition of Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” showed them the way, and the suitably dramatic name of the Darkness was chosen shortly after the arrival of Poullain and Graham.
With outrageous stage antics that included gaudy leotards stolen from Steven Tyler‘s wardrobe, leaps and splits borrowed from David Lee Roth, and an ear-piercing falsetto copped from Freddie Mercuryhimself, the multi-talented elder Hawkins led the quartet as the group spent the next two years slogging it out in London’s pub circuit. Though they were immediately singled out as a joke by the notoriously vicious British press, the Darkness‘ high-energy sets, remarkably catchy material, and unapologetic worship of old-school rock & roll bombast gradually earned them a fanatical following based on simple word of mouth.