Having agreed with pretty much all of what Lucie said below, here’s my very personal take..
So, this is it. It’s all over. The final act of this long running tragi-comedy has been played out, leaving us tired, emotional, thoughtful, and, if truth be told, a little unsatisfied by the dénouement.. The Darkness was finally vanquished by the blinding light of the unLadylike Miss Celebrity’s torch – her beautiful but deadly shooting stars of Fame, Fortune, Drink, Drugs and Strife piercing the flaming heart of all that was good.
The shock wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Since Justin went into The Priory, there has been a wave of silence, dampening all hope. I’m not counting that scandalous interview with the Scum. THAT was meant for the wider world, not for us, who didn’t matter anymore. Silence as a conscious act, silence enforced by legal issues, and self imposed to prevent leaks. Well, that didn’t work, did it? Please… when the new band arises from the mess of fallout, get a better PR/customer services desk. Or just get one at all.
I’ve written so many words about The Darkness. All of them heartfelt, sincere and honest, though I must admit that there’s some information I never gave you, because it wouldn’t be right. There are some things you just shouldn’t reveal, even for a scoop. I’d never make a real journalist! What can I possibly say that I haven’t already? You’ve experienced the joys with me. We’ve all laughed and cried, argued, criticised, hoped and loved and defended and annoyed the hell out of our nearest and dearest, for all five of these lads. So many good times. So many bad times, too. I’ve met some really awful people, who care more about their own self glory than the band. I’ve been made to feel less than worthless, by at least two band members, darklings and management. Still, I wouldn’t personally have done anything differently, and that’s my solace. That, and Six, and the glory that is the Darklings. You know who you are, and why. There was no point to all of this without you.
I’m sure I’ll find more to say about them as the weeks go on and more info gets leaked, so don’t wander off.
Goodbye, The Darkness. The last bow was taken some time ago. How fitting that this should come at the end of the year, when all things change. There will be no more bad times with them, there will always be the good memories. When all’s said and done it’s not a bad legacy to have. Oh… and we have the photos as well to keep us happy. Ahem.
*pause for sniffles*
*pulls self together*
Right. To work, ready for anything Messrs Hawkins, Graham, Edwards and McFarlaine have to throw at us. Let’s keep the world rocking.
Personally, I can’t quite fathom that this is it. That the band I’ve followed blindly, loved, defended, occasionally swiped with claws at and adored for three-and-a-half years is, well, dead. When Frankie went, there was a sense of “worse things could happen” (even if he is the coolest man in Christendom), then when Sir Richard was installed, all the pieces seemed to fit, for me. I thought everything was on the up! Shows what I know. A lot of people are NOW claiming that they knew it couldn’t last, it was all going to end it tears, which was something I saw no evidence for and refused to believe from the beginning.
Then, oh woe, the shit, bollocks and wank hit the fan simultaneously and created an enormous and deeply unattractive mess. Justin was gone. But you know what? I still wasn’t heartbroken. Sometimes it still gets to me that such a showman, such an incredible singer with such a fine arse wouldn’t be in my favourite band anymore, but generally he does irritate the bejebus out of me, so it wasn’t too painful. It’s that I’ll never see The Darkness again, and when it was confirmed that the remaining lads wouldn’t be The Darkness at all anymore, I just couldn’t accept it. Can’t. I wish I’d pushed the boat out and seen them a sixth, seventh, tenth time. But how much I’ve gained since the time in May 2003 that I first saw ‘Growing On Me’ performed on SM:TV, when they were all thinner, more naive, and the catsuits were cheaper, boggles the mind. There’s no way I would have travelled to Norfolk at the age of 16 on my own to meet 5 people I only knew from the internet (original Darkness forum) if not for a mutual love of The Darkness – the six of us morphed into SixSister, and created this ‘zine because of it. I wouldn’t have started the whole music writing thing, or started going to see, review, and interview bands… Or met one of my best friends at my first ever Darkness gig (and first gig full stop) in December 2003… On an escalator in Birmingham New Street station, after he recognised me from the description I posted on the forum of what I’d be wearing, and he declared with wonder, “You’re Dave!”
I’ll always be Dave, to some degree. That’s just how certain people know me. But those people, the ones I’ve known for so long from the original forum, are drifting away. The Darkness haven’t been our little band anymore for ages. The forum isn’t a happy place to be, and SixSister isn’t so stable.
On the other hand, I’m still a Darkling. I HAVE met the most incredible people, fought with some right dickheads, and there’s been some serious heartache in there too, usually when we, who are meant to be so important, find things out last. But, truth be told, I love The Darkness. I’ll continue to wear my tour t-shirts, listen to the music, watch the DVD’s and under no circumstances will I take my posters down. I’m also going to keep the faith and follow whatever incarnation Dan, Richie and Ed reappear as with the new boy. Despite everything, they’ll still kind of be The Darkness in my little world. I can’t help that. The point is being stressed that no one is replacing anyone, I do understand, and yes they’ll have a different name. But it’s still 75% Darkness, and I’m not quite ready to let go. Though I intend to hold the torch of rock aloft for the phoenix that rises from all this. A new start. Oh yes, I have hope, for I am a rocker.
Thank you for the music, the friends, the amazing times, and the bad ones that help us grow. Never stop rocking, because we won’t.