The Darkness – Manchester Apollo – 02/03/13
On Saturday night I went to see a band who I have not seen for a long time, The Darkness, having been lucky enough to see them at there first gig as a signed band at The Cockpit many years ago and then numerous times at Leeds Festival, including the headlining show in 2004. It would be very interested to see what they are like since the fame, fortune and drugs took there toll on the band.
So after a spending a couple of hours in the pub at Manchester train station and taking a walk through a slightly dodgy area of Manchester, we got to my favourite sticky floored venue in the Apollo. I do like the Apollo overall, it has good sound and the sloping floor is great for gigs, but I have two major complaints, almost £4 for a can of beer, no draught, just a pint can of Carlsberg and Mick Hucknall is playing there, management sort it and cancel that gig.
We manage to catch about half of Ginger Wildheart’s set and I have seen him in various versions of this band and honestly, he just keeps getting worse. I do like some of The Wildhearts stuff and have seen great shows from him, but the last few times have just seemed dire.
Anyway, The Darkness stuck mainly to the first and new third album, wisely playing only one song of the disappointing second album, the fantastic ‘One Way Ticket’ and while, personally I would have loved to have heard the ridiculous ‘Knockers’ it was a solid set.
Opening with ‘Every Inch Of You’ and leading into ‘Black Shuck’ it was very energetic start, that only dropped off when a few of the new ones played, in particularly ‘Concrete’ and ‘How Dare You Call This Love?’ All the old classics were there and finished the main set with ‘I Believe in A thing called Love’, which had followed a rollocking ‘Givin’ Up’ and ‘Stuck In A Rut’ was a great to finish on a sing-along.
The encore floundered a bit with new one ‘The Best Of Me’, but picked up with there cover of ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ and an extended version of ‘Love On The Rocks With No Ice’ with Justin Hawkins is doing his traditional guitar solo through the crowd.
The Darkness are a great live band and are best in a venue like this, without any stupid flying tigers. The new album is far better than the second one and goes back them being a pop rock band with AC/DC style riffs, which is what they are best at. They will never reach the heights that caused the split, but hopefully with a another solid album or two, they can keep being an enjoyable, fun rock band that excels in the live arena. And Frankie Poullain is still cool as fuck…
Four Spandex Jumpsuits Out Of Five.
Every Inch of You
Growing on Me
She Just a Girl, Eddie
One Way Ticket
Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Love Is Only a Feeling
How Dare You Call This Love?
Stuck in a Rut
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
The Best of Me
Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead cover)
Love on the Rocks with No Ice