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The Darkness, O2 Academy, Leeds
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Justin Hawkins of The Darkness
14 years ago The Darkness were always a regular on the TV programme CD:UK, their brand of melodic rock owed a lot to groups like Thin Lizzy and Slade.

With a new album recently released entitled Pinewood Smile, the group are back on tour again. This time round lead singer Justin Hawkins seems more relaxed about things and to appreciate what is going on.

"Can we turn down the air conditioning, lets have a sweaty gig" he says after performing the opening track Open Fire. The o2 Academy in Leeds can be a cold venue to its fierce air conditioning.

Justin Hawkins of The Darkness
Cries of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" come from the fans which takes Hawkins by surprise as he thinks they are chanting something not as welcoming.

Also by Graham Clark...
Beauty And The Beast, Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Roy Wood Rock N Roll Band, Royal Hall, Harrogate
Slade To Visit Hull And Manchester
Brand New Heavies, Manchester Academy
The Charlatans, O2 Academy, Leeds
Their rant at Southern Trains on the song of the same name sounds like a cross between Sham 69 and The Exploited whilst after One Way Ticket and the chanting of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" he tries to compose on the spot a song about the county.

They still have the swagger and songs you associate with the band and it was good to see that British rock is still alive and kicking.

Mixing the old and the new songs, All The Pretty Girls, Barbarian and Japanese Prisoner of Love sound as good as the older tracks such as Friday Night and Get Your Hands Off My Woman.

Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) and I Believe In A Thing Called Love end what had been an assured return. After proving he can still do a handstand, the band had even worked up a sweat and received a reception that was so hot it defeated the o2 Academy's air conditioning!

The Darkness, O2 Academy, Leeds, 5th December 2017, 16:14 PM