This time last year, The Darkness were ready, willing and able to go and give bits of the world a few pieces of Dark to hold on to and cherish. Fresh from 2011’s November UK comeback tour, with a host of new songs and the promise of an album, the plan appeared to be ‘Let’s go strike them whilst the iron’s hot. They’ll never know which direction we struck from, but they WILL remember who hit them’. And so it came to be. America was gloriously stunned by the Samsung commercial, beautifully placed in a prime Superbowl ad break. It was also stunned by several stupendous gigs, over the year and across the states. The Antipodes got their share of the glory and are still Tiswassed by the whole thing too. Festivals were rocked, countries graced, and plenty of headbanging done. Here in the UK we had Thetford and Glasgow as headliners, but we are biding our time.
Video poured from the screens, as Every Inch, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us and Everybody Have A Good Time were all released and created stirs across Darkworld and beyond. Clever animations and damn bizarre storylines gave things to admire and laugh at in equal measure. Plenty of little snippets of video from on the road were most welcome, too. Music both soothed and lashed the ear with the finest riffs and accomplished vocals. One thing The Darkness never got any grief for is lyrics – they remain as eloquent as ever with the gift of saying a lot with a few finely twisted words.
Finally, the album came. One fine day in August was amongst the finest in 7 years. August was full of excitement, plaudits, fan bundles, apps, tshirts and stickers. And noise! Favourite track choosing is still a minefield, so personally I’ve largely given up trying to choose. Why bother when there are more important things? Like.. which order will they come in, on random? Which is the track that suits the day? That’s an easier choice. Hot Cakes belongs on those ‘Best of 2012′ lists.
As the main thrust of The Darkness’ year was sent on its way, The Darkness were also being thrust forward. The real big shock of the year was their support slot on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball world extravaganza – or a good part of it. Since the beginning of August until December they were out on the road playing to tens of thousands every night. It seemed like a travesty to some, but it would have been a travesty had they not done this. I saw two of the gigs, and they were superb. The Darkness were perfect for their slot. The crowds were responsive – in some areas, mental! and took to the rock in front of them like ducks to water. It was a great feeling to see another, entirely different, artist’s fans singing and dancing to your own favourite band. Pretty damn fine to see them wowing huge crowds. I’m not a fan of big stadium gigs, or of seeing The Darkness in daylight, but I couldn’t fault their performances in those arenas to those fans. I’m glad that so many fans got to see them in places that they won’t or can’t visit as headliners for some time, and their comments showed their own delight.
Tonight, a new year’s work starts in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. From now until April, there’s another long road across 3 continents to cart 4 men what do rock, some guitary things, many big speakers, lots and lots of wires, and some other fine men who know what to do with it all. Let Them Eat Cakes is ON (I like mine with lemon and sugar, please). Good luck, and may your tourbus WiFi never fail.