On The Road With The Darkness, Part 2: The “Riding the Wave of Nostalgia Tour”

(BTW, this is not officially Darkness-sanctioned! – Laurie)

Day 1 – Nashville, Tennessee, May 22

“Long-distance information , get me Nashville, Tennessee…” – Yup this is Music City, indeed!  I have flown into town after a weekend in El Paso, TX and am ready to get my Darkness groove on. My friends Dre and Becca arrive at my hotel to get me for the road trip, and soon we’re off on a venue-finding mission and then off to our friend Patti’s house.

The gig is at an old auto manufacturing plant, hence the name Marathon Motor Works. We’ve taken quite a long time to socialize/have dinner/get ready, so we arrive while opening band Black Box Revelation is on. This is a two-man band from Brussels consisting of a singer/guitarist and drummer, and they are not Foxy Shazam, but they will do. Their songs are very White Stripes meet Led Zeppelin.  My friend Leslie and her bestie Phil arrive late as well, and soon we are parked second row ready for THE DARKNESS!

I’m sorry, Nashville, but part of the crowd seemed like they were too cool for school. Even Justin had to coax them to make some noise by saying Dan wouldn’t play a note until they did, and the only time everyone seemed to let loose was for IBIATCL and the encore, which has been revised to  Hazel Eyes and LOTR. But for us hardcore fans, this was a stellar show from the boys!  They include a new song called “With A Woman,”  and other set list changes were dropping Can’t Believe It’s Not Love/Out of This World, She’s Jut A Girl Eddie, Physical Sex and Bareback, and adding Every Inch of You and Everybody Have A Good Time.  Justin’s dive into the crowd and crowd surfing prompted him to announce that someone had grabbed his testicles and any misshapen children would be named “Nash” (and Leslie, Dre and I happen to know the culprit! Hahaha!)  Justin and Frankie also drop on bended knee to Dan as he plays on the riser at the end of Hazel Eyes, and that was new and fun to watch!

I know some really devoted TD fans who waited years for The Darkness to return to Nashville (Leslie, Tyler!) and they were not disappointed.  I’m really happy that they got to meet the band afterwards. YAY! Frankie informs us that the band will be doing a photo shoot for Q magazine in New Orleans’ French Quarter, so be on the lookout for that, kids! Now it’s time to get back to Patti’s and wake up early for our drive to New Orleans.

 

Day 2 – New Orleans, Louisiana, May 23

Urgh. It’s raining as soon as we get outside of town, but luckily it all clears up by the time we get to the venue, which is the House of Blues. Dre,  Becca and I meet up with Dori, Sam and Missy, and then it’s time to RAWK!!

It’s a no-brainer that New Orleans knows how to party, so the vibe is immediately electric and the band is awash in adoration from the get-go.  The whole band seems to respond in kind and are just what can only be described as “on fire!”  J  I think this is one of my favorite gigs on both U.S. Tours this year. Justin opts not to crowd-dive this gig, but after his walkabout he decides to pose directly on the barrier and have fans help hold him steady during the sing-alongs on LOTR. Let’s just say some fans got a glimpse of him up close and personal! 😉

We have a day off the next day, and enjoy the sounds and sights of New Orleans. We make a side stop at the Royal Orleans hotel, which Led Zep once wrote a song about on the album “Presence.” That was way cool and one of the workers there let us go to the rooftop pool and observation deck to check the city out. What service! Then it was time to hit the road once again. Quite disappointingly, the only alligators we saw were in the gator bites we had at a restaurant on Bourbon Street!

 

Day 3 – Austin, Texas, May 25

Why hello there, Texas! Austin also has a reputation for being a party city (this seems to be a trend!)  AND it has a big music scene as well. The gig tonight is at a place called Stubb’s, which is a BBQ restaurant with an outdoor amphitheatre. We’ve not booked a hotel yet, so it’s straight to Stubb’s for some BBQ and drinks and waiting and waiting.

The radio station sponsoring the gig is having a meet and greet and three of our new friends are picked to go, and one of them wins a signed Epiphone guitar!  Sweet!  I also learn that Justin had asked the meet & greeters that if he climbed on the balcony, would they catch him if he jumped?  I say I can totally see him doing that. We’ll see….

We and all of our new friends all score a place along the barrier, so we’re all happy. It’s hot and there is no breeze at all but that’s part of the fun. The opening band is an all-girl band called Girl In A Coma and they’re a pretty decent punk-ish band, but everybody wants THE DARKNESS!  If I thought New Orleans was electric, Austin had them beat by a country mile.  At least 15 people got thrown out for crowd surfing, and there was lots and lots of pogo jumping, and what can I say but it was a hell of a set!

The boys were dripping with sweat by the end of the first song, but it was oh-so-fun!  Every Inch of You has become a fun song to rock to and scream “Suck my cock!” along with Justin.  Concrete is easily my new favorite, though. There’s just something about that song performed live and in your face and makes me want to bang my head. There was a touching tribute to a friend of the band’s named Fred before LOTR, and Justin has since Tweeted asking if anyone has video of this tribute to let them know. I didn’t have video as my phone died, sorry lads! And Justin DID climb onto the balcony and dived into the crowd…not surfacing for long enough for one to think “Oh geez, I hope he’s okay!” before merrily popping up onto the crowd and crowd-surfing to the stage. Thank GOD!

Not only was it an awesome way to end my part of the tour (Dre and Becca went on to Dallas), but I also got to see THEE one and only Rock Blonde AKA Angie, and her new husband Bill. We’ve always known that Angie was spiritually Texan anyway, and it was great to see her so happy in her new home state of Texas, ya’ll!  I’m also really happy that she and Bill ran into Justin outside of Stubb’s and they got to say hello to the lads, minus Ed  J

I was supposed to have gone on to Rocklahoma and Dallas, but duty called and I had to return home. And just so you know, guys, my friends and I are NOT the only U.S. fans who hit more than one gig. There were quite a few people met on this tour who went to as many shows as they possibly could in February and May, and that speaks volumes to the dedication of fans who have waited 8 years to see you perform in our country again. Thank you, The Darkness, for returning once again to the good ol’ USA and we hope to see you again soon!

I remain,

Laurie

Motörhead – The Wörld Is Ours Vol 2

Recorded at three different 2011 festivals, this DVD and/or CD set is a memento of, an introduction to, and an ‘arse, I couldn’t make it to’ Motörhead’s live performances. With an 80,000 crowd quoted for Wacken, they’re not exactly small and insignificant ones, either. Wacken’s dominates, being the whole set, and by virtue of its production. The film isn’t in parts, the sound wavers a little – but it gives an accurate idea of what it’s like in a festival crowd and  from stage. It’s real, just like it really was, and works for me. I’ve seen footage of gigs before and thought ‘it wasn’t like that at all’ so it’s rather refreshing to see something more honest. Reality gigging! It’s a long set in the rain for fans, but there are thousands throwing horns all the way through and their enthusiasm is unflagging. Opening with Iron Fist, there are 17 songs – Metropolis, One Night Stand, In The Name of Tragedy, Bomber, Ace of Spades and Overkill being just a few. It’s quite a thing to see, legends in action.

Both Sonisphere’s and Rock in Rio’s sets are much shorter, with much slicker film production. A good contrast, especially as Sonisphere’s set is in daylight, which seemed… unusual. Motörhead are a band for the dark, with afternoons a hidden, lost place – surely? It seems not! Both sets look and feel as good as Wacken’s, in a different way. Ste he could not have had. But let’s not get bogged down in video production details. Both approaches have a place, and show Motörhead’s performances in equally good lights. Good hard solid rock throughout, delivered without frills or fuss but with consummate ease. No pretence, no need of any. Sonisphere’s gig was the day after ex-member Wurzel’s death, as announced by Lemmy, so must have been rather a strange day for band and fans alike, but a greater tribute he could not have had.  It was a good watch, and the CDs will make damn fine driving music on those dark rainy nights. Look out for the Festival Impressions W:O:A extra – it made me laugh, has lots of beer and a few interviews.

Watching HAS made me want to go and see them live, as I’ve never had the chance. So, job done! Oh, and I’ve fallen in love with that bass.

Out now, from the usual places.

Tour dates 

FB fan page 

Win a DVD/CDs pack

 

 

 

 

 

Motörhead – Win Live DVD and CDs

Motörhead, noisemakers extraordinaire, are releasing a second live extravaganza on DVD and 2 CDs on 24th September.  The Wörld is Ours Vol 2 – Anyplace Crazy as Anywhere Else was recorded in 2011 at Sonisphere (July), the headline appearance at Wacken Festival (August) and Rock in Rio (September).

If you want to get your rock mitts on this little package of mayhem, just answer the following questions.

1. Who designed the iconic Motörhead logo?

2. What is a motörhead? (Oh come on. That one you can do in your sleep.)

3. Hawkwind released ‘Motörhead’ as an A-side single. What was the B-side?

Easy as headbanging, innit. Send your answers to optimum.impact.rocks@gmail.com, pm OI’s Facebook page, or DM me on Twitter. Lovely. Ready for a bit of the hard stuff?

Anyone wanting to also experience this in a more physical way can get dirty in person on the European tour in November and December.

 

Entries are restricted to the UK, and my decisions are final, etc.

 

The Darkling Sonnet

Just a bit of fun that grew out of a tinker – bit tricky sticking to the original scansion. I liked it so I thought I’d keep it somewhere safe.

How do I love thee? Let me count the riffs.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
Justin’s voice can reach, when soaring out of sight
To the ends of hearing and highleaping grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most rocking need, by volume control found.
I love thee freely, as men strive for sound.
I love thee surely, as men turn from crap.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my dancing, and with my singing out of tune.
I love thee for a rock we seemed to lose
With rock’s lost saints. With my breath I love thee,
Smiles, tears, of my fandom; and, if Hope choose,
I shall love thee better after album three.

Many apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

 

The Darkness – Hot Cakes Album Review

2012 in the UK has had some momentous moments, one way or another. One of the more startlingly wonderful ones is due on 20th August – a new album from The Darkness. Previously a thing of Darkling dreams/longing, it’s now a thing of reality. REAL reality won’t happen until I have the precious bits of plastic/vinyl in my hands, but they’re so very nearly here!

Whilst the interminable wait ticks by, minute by minute, I cheated. Thank the Lords of Rock for Rolling Stone’s stream, which is on (manual) loop.

YouTube, streams and the official releases have been your friend over the last months. Fans are familiar with the thrust of the whole new thang, if not with the fine detail. By now, Hot Cakes has become a favourite acquaintance with whom you are about to become very much more intimate. You’re going to delve and explore what you thought you knew, savour the discovery of the unknown, slowly peel away layers of sweet rock to uncover more enticements.

Back to Darkness basics. This is a far cleaner and stripped back production than OWTTH…AB, as promised. Nick Brine’s expertise comes in very handy when applying clarity and restraint to the natural Darkness leanings to excess. It works beautifully – controlled musicianship with the underlying promise of glorious chaos highlighted. There’s a delicacy of touch, in Forbidden Love particularly, that’s delightful to witness.

In fact, that song’s a treasure. Seems like a slip of a thing, but it has plenty of strength. Living Each Day Blind is an epic rocker made for the stage, easy to get lost in. Classic rock lives on in Keep Me Hanging On, which was the personal surprise of the album – great vocals. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us brings its normal moshy anthemic  joyousness, rising to the trademark crescendo of sound and voice. Concrete – a crowd favourite for over a year – wonderfully headbangy with stupendous rock screams to finish. With a Woman has a damnably catchy chorus and great lyrics and should be a live hit with the way it builds. She’s Just a Girl, Eddie is another crowd favourite already. Street Spirit has long been a little Darkling treasure, and fully deserves its inclusion. The original is fairly iconic, but this version will become the definitive version for a different audience. It’s a song that asks to be screamed out with frustration, despair and longing, and pretty much gets it.

The two releases – Every Inch Of You and Everybody Have a Good Time have intros that instantly mark the songs as TD’s own brand – no mistaking them for anyone else’s. Very different in tone, as a pair they are TD embodied. Fun, serious, defiant, feelgood, loud, potty mouthed and utterly relative to everyone’s lives. With some nice dirty guitar solos and falsettos thrown in, whom else could it be?

The stream includes the long version of Cannonball which has some more delicate touches than the full blown live extravaganza, but is brilliant in its own right. There is also an acoustic demo versionof I Can’t Believe It’s Not Love, which quite frankly is one of the best songs they’ve ever done. It could be performed in any version and still stand up, and the lyrics are some of the most adept.  The other demo version is of Love Is Not The Answer, which is on the album ‘proper’ in the final cut version which shows off Justin’s vocal prowess beautifully – but I think that this acoustic version actually suits the song and its sentiments better. Or maybe just suits my temperament? I prefer it anyway.

Pat Pong, one of the more bizarre things TD have done, is happily there as a mastered version. It’s such a great thing to listen to – ‘with both sets of genitalia’ is a lyric I’ll not forget – just so wonderfully TD. It was great live at the 100 Club, and deserves to be heard live again!

The album, as always, is about life and love, and sticking your two fingers up at both of the buggers because even when it’s going right, disaster is not so far away. Or vice versa. Especially that Love stuff – should be approached with caution as it can get you into a whole lot of joy/mess/trouble (the path of true love never runs smooth, so if it’s less than true love and more of a eye for a roll in the hay, take care. Just in case,  like).  Thank heaven, though, for the spirit that bore Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us ten years ago, because without it, there would be no Darkness – this time OR last.

Whatever your Darkness preferences, they are catered for. Slow and seductive, hard and fast, enthusiastic, bouncy and energetic. You will have in your hands something that you can enjoy over and over again, alone or with likeminded individuals. Just don’t try and keep quiet during the process.

Fan bundles are still available, and  iTunes, Amazon etc also all have lovely things ready to ship to you.

Hot Cakes – The Darkness reveal size of bun(dle)s in oven

 

Presales of The Darkness’ new album have been available for a few days now, but  fan bundle news has been released today. If they don’t appeal (and why not??) then there are lots of other places to buy – I ‘borrowed’ the links below from TD’s site.

PLAY.COM [UK] PREORDER WITH EXCLUSIVE LIMITED EDITION SEW-ON PATCH

NEWBURY COMICS [USA] PREORDER WITH LIMITED SIGNED CD BOOKLET

AMAZON HOT CAKES PREORDER

iTUNES DELUXE DOWNLOAD with BONUS TRACKS

HMV.CO.UK HOT CAKES PREORDER

and some others :

CD: http://smarturl.it/hotcakescd
CD Deluxe: http://smarturl.it/hotcakescddeluxe
LP: http://smarturl.it/hotcakeslp

 

 

Darkcomp #3

 

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I wasn’t expecting to do another one so soon, but Laurie Whitecloud donated this prize so it would be churlish not to let someone have it!

To win this signed T (black, size large, US tour dates on back (1st visit) ) all you need to do is use the upload form above to submit photos of your Darkness related tattoos, or design a new  one! Open to the whole wide world.

Prize!

Entries will be judged on Friday 15th June, after the Sweden/England game. Good luck!   

Darkwatch #Anniversary

Celebrations have been loud and plentiful this weekend, I suppose you’ve noticed. Days off, parties, outings, rain – all the usual Bank Holiday gubbins. However, hidden amongst all the Jubilee extravaganzas, there’s a small but very significant anniversary that deserves a mention too.

A year ago, The Darkness played their first gig together after 5 years.

It wasn’t hard to judge the response on the night, or the clamouring for all things TD before, during and after it. Since then,  things have happened thick and fast. Download, which proved that the appetite for Dark is still strong. The UK and Ireland tour that delighted us all on home soil – especially the BRIAN MAY GIG (capitals a must there). America’s first taste for many years went so well that they got seconds, with Australia going nuts for what they’ve wanted and never thought they’d get. I think we thought TD had hit it big with the Samsung Superbowl commercial, because it was a bloody brilliant piece of exposure.

But HELLFIRE, wtf? Lady Gaga’s announcement of her support acts blew everything out of the water for everyone. TD are probably still pinching themselves, never mind what Monsters and Darklings are doing. It’s going to be a hell of a tour.

We had about long enough for a whole weekend recovery before album news started to emerge – dates, name, tracklist, single, video, next single news, confirmation that limited edition bundles will be available. Whatever you think of the name and the track listing, it’s going to be here and on your media player in just over 2 months. Things are as they are. We HAVE an album coming that’s going to shape Darklinghood for months and months ahead.

The year’s been a good one. Dave Ashworth, Darkling of over a decade’s standing, says ‘its been a bit of a quiet reunion in many ways, I guess because they’ve aimed to hit so many areas so soon and do the album.’ Agreed. There’s been a definite lack of blaring fanfare, more of doing the job – it was going to take a lot of effort to re-establishing the base before World Domination restarted , and they’ve never let up. Not for a minute, either onstage, on task  or online. It’s been loud where it needed to be, and quietly determined in other areas. So much hard work in one year, and don’t forget the management, crew, PR or anyone else. Festival season started this last weekend and from here, it’s all go until October and the Lady Gaga tour ends.

Raise your glasses and hats to The Darkness, today, and remember how we got here before taking a breath and wondering…

What the fuck’s next? 

 

Hot Cakes – The Darkness publish album tracklist

Hot Cakes is out on 20th August, so get your budget sorted.

The track list is confirmed as:

‘Every Inch of You’
‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us’
‘With A Woman’
‘Keep Me Hangin’ On’
‘Living Every Day Blind’
‘Everybody Have A Good Time’
‘She Just A Girl Eddie’
‘Forbidden Love’
‘Concrete’
‘Street Spirit’
‘Love Is Not The Answer’

 

‘With a Woman’ was confirmed in Kerrang! today as being the next single, out on 30th July.

ChameleonsVox – The Cockpit, Leeds – 11.5.12

The Chameleons are a band whose music has been closely woven in and out of my life since I started uni and first heard them, back in the mid-80’s. I’m not a fan that can get every single song title right, but I am one that can instantly recognise and sing along, one that leans back and let the sounds and words wash over and through me. I never got to see them back then, and until now, haven’t been able to get to the new lot of gigs. A trip to Leeds is always a pleasure, I’d never managed to get to the legendary Cockpit (after a swift date/venue change) before, and some much loved people were to be hugged in person at long last.

Thanks to travel on a Friday night from Norwich, we missed Vendemmian and Berlin Black who had both been and done by the time we arrived, sadly. But hey – time for a drink and hugs and finding a space to stand. The place is packed to the gills, hot, and ready to get sweaty. You could taste the anticipation. This is a crowd that really loves the band in a personal way, if not uncritically. It’s also Mark Burgess’ birthday, and the end of the tour. Party mode, from the start!

The good things began with no fanfare, but with authority and confidence. There are no new fans to win over, no suits to impress – just a time to play good music well, enjoy, celebrate the then and now.  It’s not a retro retail reformation thing going on. It’s for real, and it’s a family atmosphere thing. The crowd is passionate but polite, of an age not to be selfish in its enjoyment. Naturally I cashed in a few of my nice lady brownie points and ended up easily at the front to be able to see. The Chameleons (now with added Vox) always seemed to me to be a band that held up to scrutiny, that deserved critical acclaim, and were solidly sure and true. Somewhat in awe, I watched, and wasn’t disappointed.

The songs sound less written than allowed to flow to the stage where sounds perfectly synergise and the current is strong enough to carry any emotion, any point of view (indeed, it carried the energetic mosh pit without any effort). When you’ve got a back catalogue as good as theirs, it does give you a head start, but really, they don’t need it. They don’t (actually) really need the love of the crowd to carry them through, either. They are simply GOOD. Very good. No faff, no gimmick, no nothing except excellent playing and a few comments from Mark.

A few songs later, an excursion into and through the moshpit, and I’m back where I started to stand and listen in stillness. I can’t see, so I’m not distracted. That’s when the brilliance of the writing is evident. It’s almost possible to listen in stillness AND silence, to let it touch you. It’s emotional musically and lyrically. Anger, despair, sadness, acceptance, defiance are odd bedfellows to produce a kind of rapture, but they do. When finally they get to my favourite (it’s a whole life favourite, not just of theirs) In Shreds, then it’s as though I’m the only one there. It’s a bleak, soulless picture that it paints to me, a deep cry against crushing loneliness and struggling to keep a sense of self worth (in my opinion, natch). The vocals sound lost, like shouting through a thick fog with little hope of being heard. It just catches me every damn time, and on that day, with all that’s gone on in recent times, it crashed in with force. Can you ask much more of a song than to make you cry with upset whilst filling you with elation? Beautiful but deadly.

Gigs come, and they go, but I’m glad I didn’t miss this one. It really was one for the memoirs.

ChameleonsVox. 

 

Competition Time

A few weeks ago, deep in the USA tour, a kind Miss Laurie Darkling undertook to get a copy of High Voltage mag featuring The Darkness signed, specially for an OI comp prize. Lo, here it is – after transit, checking that it was ok to run the comp, and a rather inconvenient and lengthy dose of that Real Life stuff.

Laurie asked them to do it for OI  (Dan’s actually signed it to me!), so it’s not something that I just picked up – it was all planned with you lot in mind. Some of you, at any rate. Shoot me if you want, but I decided that American and Australian Darklings were having their tours this year, and would get a chance to see and chat to the lads. So, UK and Europe people, this one’s for you. There is the Lady Gaga tour and festivals for us, but not a headlining tour (that we know about, not for months at any rate).

Here’s a photo – this issue was given out free during the last US tour.  Check out www.iamhighvoltage.com to subscribe and join their mailing list (they have a new issue out now) I know they ship outside the US as I have my own (unsigned) copy :) .

This is only a little thing, but it’s genuine and a fairly rare piece of tour memorabilia.

High Voltage

The Darkness issue

The winner will be whoever comes up with the best idea for the competition to win it. UK and Europe only, please! Answer by comment below. ♥  Deadline date is… I’ll give you 10 days, so 9pm GMT on May 14th. GO!

 

 

The Rite of Spring EP – O.W.L.S.

O.W.L.S. have an EP out today. Their first. It’s available almost everywhere, so you need to go and get it.

There’s a wonderfully controlled wildness about O.W.L.S., which is rather apt, don’t you think?  I recall saying that I like a little bit of dirt and scratch left on my soul by music, when I reviewed their first gig, and I stand by that. There’s enough grunge grate in vocals, feedback scrape of strings, to do that job admirably. There are some delicate touches here and there, little bits of bright guitar and beat slipping in and out of the heavy storm. Not any old maelstrom, but one that morphs from relentless assault to full-on attack, the manic of Kibosh to the laid back (relatively) Vitamins. Hurt Janine has a smoothness to the delivery that belies the slight sneer I can hear. Only Joking gives a darn fine idea of what is and what will happen to your ears through the whole Rite. Every now and again a ghost of wholesome american 60’s pop sweeps by, but it’s given a thorough grunging over until it feels as dirty as the rest.

Everything was recorded live, which is how this really needs to be heard to get everything from it, so let’s hope there are gigs near us all soon. Tight band without being anal about it, well crafted and honed songs, rock in spades and grunge in bucketfuls. That’s a bloody good deal, and this is a bloody good debut EP.

Track listing:

Only Joking

Hurt Janine

Leave a Light Over My Grave

Vitamins

Kibosh

One In The Chamber

A Day At The Beach

(Stravinsky’s ballet ‘The Rites of Spring’ caused a riot at its first performance. A good hard mosh is much more sensible, kids.)

Thoughts gone Gaga

This morning, Darklings were ready and waiting for the announcement promised for today, mostly expecting (not unreasonably) some news about the album release date, maybe some gigs to look out for. Lady Gaga’s little monsters were also waiting for news on her Born This Way Ball tour dates in Europe. Neither had ANY idea that the news was going to involve each other… At 7.30 this morning, Capital FM’s site posted the tweeted news that The Darkness would be supporting Lady Gaga on 21 European dates through August to  October. Two were in the UK – London and Manchester – and a third in Dublin. Retweeted, it flew round the Darkling set.

Twitter went into an absolute frenzy. Both Darklings and monsters were relaying their shock, awe, amazement, and initial disbelief. WTF? REALLY? It came like a bolt from the blue, this one. Leftfield.  Both sets of UK fans were split pretty much down the middle. Awestruck wonder and fairly vehement disgust were both expressed, along with disappointment. There weren’t many neutrals. A good many monsters will need a bit of a Darkness learning curve by all accounts. Some had set off to download albums and watch youtube – result! For over 5 hours ‘The Darkness’ trended worldwide, longer in the UK.

Let’s take ‘Awestruck wonder’ then, first. Why? Being fans of both helped with that one, to start with. If you are, then this is going to be one special night! Then there’s the ‘The Darkness/Lady Gaga gig’ phenomenon, whichever one you prefer. An expensive one, but Gaga gigs are few and far between here at any time, and Darkness ones also this year, so far. Then once those feelings had ebbed, and the bank balance had been checked, there were so many other things to consider.

This is a HUGE thing for TD to have secured. Main support to a woman of international renown, critically acclaimed, and truly individual. There’s no one like her right now, and she has power. She also has brains, and if she wants TD on HER tour, then she has good sound reasons for doing so. Impeccable taste, too, obviously. The amount of exposure that this will give TD is so immense it can’t be quantified. Not only will they get the captive audience exposure to thousands, but the PR benefits are just staggering. Even just being associated with the tour is like a rocket launch – especially as Justin tweeted in the middle of this afternoon that the album will be out this summer, which is before or as this tour starts for them. The Samsung SuperBowl ad has been blown out of the water!  Next up is the creativity bit. Apparently the stage set took 18 months to build. Now, if you’ve got a main act who can pull off the sort of stuff that Gaga does, aren’t you going to take a little advantage of that when it comes to your own stage act? I doubt the stage will be completely bare for TD. I doubt the general atmosphere will encourage toned down costumes and restrained performances. Oh wow.. the costumes… I think that we’re going to see something very special, in all sorts of ways. I also think that actually, these two acts aren’t so very dissimilar and that they will understand and gel with each other very well. They seem to me to have the same sort of attitudes and desires in what they do and what they give to their fans. This has the potential to be completely mental, in a stupendous way. Bring it on.

I don’t want to do the ‘fairly vehement disgust’ bit. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But why oh why is this tour such bad news for some people? It’s true that the album news Darklings want was not what emerged today. Nor was a list of UK and Europe tour dates. Since when has THAT been an excuse for some of the things I’ve seen today? I can’t  comment on some of Gaga fans’ comments. They have their likes and dislikes, and some wanted another band instead. BUT… I didn’t want to believe  some of the things I read from both sides. Losing respect for their idol for arranging this. Saying that you’re not going to see your idol because TD/Gaga would spoil it. Accusations of selling out. Pouting and stamping feet because things weren’t going their way.  Objections because the other band just weren’t right for ‘your’ band. TD knew this was going to divide people, and their small warning wasn’t without substance. Sadly.

Sheesh. This is a tour, and a damn prestigious one. It’s not a joining at the hip. It’s going to be a learning curve on both sides in some degree, it’s going to be incredibly beneficial for bands and fans alike in one way or another. No one is losing any credibility and no one will have a career damaged. I hope people get their heads round this, because this IS happening.

Justin said:

“It was put to me as a question – do we want to be a main support band on one of the biggest – if not the biggest – stadium, worldwide mega-tours that have ever been? And, I think I replied, ‘Yes please’.

“It was really straight forward.”

and Frankie added on FB: Haha, well said Justin! Why would The Darkness shy away from something this ridiculous?

And it is, gloriously so. Right up The Darkness’ street.

Gaga for The Darkness

Quite right, too.

Capital FM have this morning broken news that The Darkness will be supporting Lady Gaga on the UK and European legs of her world tour. Tweets have flown, with both Justin and TD retweeting the link, though uberofficial confirmation still to come. This from their site:

 ‘Marry The Night’ star confirms details of gigs in London and Manchester as part of European dates. Lady Gaga has announced two UK dates as part of her ‘Born This Way Ball’ world tour.

The gigs, at London’s Twickenham Stadium on 8th September and Manchester Arena on 11th September, will mark the ‘Marry The Night’ star’s biggest ever shows in Britain. They form part of the European leg of the ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour, which kicks off in Bulgaria on 14th August and includes a show at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on 15th September. The European dates are currently set to conclude in Barcelona, Spain on 6th October.

Support at all of the European shows, including those in the UK, will come from The Darkness and Lady Starlight.

Ticket prices will range from £50-£80 for London and £60-£80 for Manchester.

Gigwise state that tickets for the two UK dates will be on sale on Friday 13th April, though if I were you I’d check out ticket sites for presale dates.

Lady Gaga tweeted these tour dates: