Music: The Darkness

The Darkness circa 2012. From left to right: Dan Hawkins, Justin Hawkins, Ed Graham and Frankie Poullain

The Darkness are a British glam rock band formed in 2000. The band consists of Justin Hawkins (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Dan Hawkins (backing vocals, guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass, backing vocals) and Ed Graham (drums). They've released 3 albums to date: Permission to Land (2003), One Way Ticket... To Hell And Back (2005) and Hot Cakes (2012).

Before The Darkness, Justin and Dan were in a band named Empire. In this case, Dan was the lead singer and Justin was on guitar. Justin managed to become lead singer after doing an amazing version of Bohemian Rhapsody at a karaoke party, which reportedly involved many starjumps. It's around this time they left Empire behind and began focusing on a new project: The Darkness.

They called in Ed Graham to play Drums, and they met Frankie Poullain in London. They began doing the pub circuit to moderate success; their shows were so good they had a place in a music festival lineup before they had their first album. The British press went nuts, considering The Darkness as no more than a mediocre joke who would burn out in a few weeks.

And then they released Permission to Land. It was a smash hit.

Since then, they've released 2 albums. After the second one, One Way Ticket... To Hell And Back, Justin checked himself into rehab for his cocaine habit. Despite the band announcing a third album by the end of 2007, Justin got out of rehab and chose to leave the group, effectively breaking up The Darkness. They reunited in 2011 over an Indian dinner, and since then have released Hot Cakes.

Not to be confused with the the comic The Darkness, nor its video game adaptation.

The Darkness provide examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "Holding My Own"
  • Audience Participation Song: All of them.
  • Badass Mustache: Justin's mustache is a sight to behold.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The "One Way Ticket" line up (which a new bassist, since Richie Edwards moved up to playing rhythm guitar and lead vocals) formed Stone Gods after Justin Hawkins left the band. Also inverted, since Justin formed Hot Legs during the break up. Both released one album each, "Silver Spoons & Broken Bones" and "Red Light Fever" respectfully, before the reunion.
  • British Rockstars
  • Camp: Justin Hawkins is the embodiment of camp.
  • Cover Version: Used to do various covers during live shows, ranging from AC/DC to Queen to Radiohead. They included a cover of "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" on Hot Cakes.
  • Christmas Songs: "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)"
  • Credits Gag: In the video for "Everybody Have A Good Time".
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Hazel Eyes" does this.
  • Genre Throwback: To the Hard Rock and Hair Metal of the 70s and 80s.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A giant squid attacks The Darkness' spaceship in the video for "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".
  • Hair Metal: A throwback to the genre.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Justin once had a wardrobe rivaling Steven Perry's, and Frankie always seems to dress like Jimi Hendrix to match his afro.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: These guys love puns.
    • "Holding My Own" is a song about masturbation.
    • "Love On The Rocks With No Ice" manage to be a drinking pun and relationship pun at the same time.
    • There's a clever joke at the start of the "Everybody Have A Good Time" video.
    • "Growing On Me" is an interesting case: all signs point to it being about some sort of STD, but The Darkness has said that was not the focus of the song at all.
  • Incredibly Long Note: The last notes of "Black Shuck" and "Love On The Rocks With No Ice" are incredible.
  • Large Ham: Justin.
  • Lighter and Softer: One Way Ticket to Hell...And Back
  • Loudness War: Their first two albums. Not surprising, given the style they go for, but the Lighter and Softer One Way Ticket has no reason to be even more extreme in regards to this. Hot Cakes nicely averted this by being recorded and edited entirely on tape.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their rock-oriented songs tend to be in the 5-6 range, with the VERY occasional song arguably reaching a low 7 ("Get Your Hands Off My Woman"). Their power ballads drop a little lower, generally (in the 3-4 range).
  • Power Ballad: A couple, most notably "Love Is Only A Feeling" and "Holding My Own" off Permission To Land, "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time" from One Way Ticket To Hell and "Living Each Day Blind" and "Forbidden Love" from Hot Cakes.
  • Reconstruction: Of 70s and 80s Hard Rock. A lot of people couldn't tell if they were joking or not and assumed they were an Affectionate Parody.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Justin had to leave due to the copious amounts of drugs and alcohol he was consuming. At one point, he'd do a show before disappearing for days at a time, barely sleeping if at all. He cleaned up his addictions after the breakup, but as of the reunion and Hot Cakes there's still plenty of the sex and the rock.
  • Tentacle Rope: The "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" video was aboard a space station attacked by a space squid.
  • Shirtless Scene: Kind of. Justin used to wear tights which covered his legs and arms, but left his chest bare.