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Column: The Darkness

Title: One Way Ticket To Hell (And Unfortunately Back).

PQ: I caught the eye of Justin Hawkins and shook my head.

Tom Geddes, Music Editor

On Tuesday 15th March, after years of speculation, pleading to the contrary and several sightings of a horseman of the apocalypse, the gates of hell opened and out from the abyss swaggered everybody’s least favourite drug casualty Justin Hawkins and his band The Darkness. For some unforeseen reason, a gap of five years is deemed appropriate enough for the decomposing corpse of society’s laughing stock to be dug out of its grave and reanimated for a second stint at life, a life which is guaranteed to be all the more annoying this time as Justin comes with an annoying moustache.

There are several things which annoy me about this story. First of all, their only announced date so far is to play Download Festival, which I’ll be at, leaving me with the horrible reality that I’ll have to go and see them. Yes, there are 4 other stages. Yes, there will be better bands on the other stages. But, the flip side of this is that I also like to boo given half an opportunity and, as a human, I have a morbid curiosity for disastrous events; the type you usually put into use when driving past a car crash.

Another thing that annoys me about this monstrosity reforming is that I feel sorry for Dan Hawkins who has to put up with his brother and all the shit that comes with him. Five years might heal many wounds, even those that come from your own flesh and blood being so useless at taking coke that he tears apart the world famous band you’re in. But, if I were Dan Hawkins, I’m not sure I’d be so willing to crawl back to him when his new band isn’t doing as well as my own. Whilst Dan was eking out a reasonable living with the small but at least relatively respected Stone Gods, Justin was attacking ears everywhere with his own Darkness rip off, Hot Leg. I’ve seen them both in support slots and the latter provoked a reaction I’ve never seen at a gig before. Silence. Pure silence. I actually caught the eye of Justin Hawkins as he walked off stage and shook my head. I like to think he sat in his dressing room that night and cried.

Whilst I cannot deny that I chuckled the first time I heard their Christmas single and that Permission to Land put rock on the map for a short time, it was always rock aimed at people who didn’t really like rock; a parody that somehow got taken more seriously than it deserved. The second album flopped when people realised the parody was awful, so what’s to say the third won’t do even worse. Reunions worked for bands that meant something in their day, like Rage Against the Machine, but not The Darkness surely. People say that enough time has passed to forgive them and let them have their second chance, but long enough doesn’t exist. After all, you wouldn’t resurrect Hitler in 500 years.

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