Metro City, Perth WA
May 12th, 2017
Support – Maverick
On a Friday night, everyone knows it’s time to let your hair down and let off some steam after a long week. Well, this opportunity was enhanced to the nth degree by The Darkness, reigning all the way from Suffolk in England. The last time the edgy rockers licked their guitar strings in Perth was back in 2006* or so, assuring that Western Aussie fans were frothing on the thought of catching a glimpse of the quartet live.
*Correction, upon further examination they last toured in 2015. Excuse the excitement.
Playing to an exponentially growing crowd, were our very own home-grown groovy rockers Maverick. The bluesy musicians were the most fitting support act for the headliner, from both a sound perspective and a showmanship perspective. Maverick were a fusion of easy listening and head-banging rock and roll – a flavour perfect for the audience that were watching. With a vocal influence of a Bon Scott and Chris Cornell lovechild, Craig Jovanovic showed some real potential – some great talent to emerge from the west.
The crowd continued to grow significantly – an impressive situation, considering The Darkness are set to play another WA show at Groovin’ The Moo Festival this weekend. This was the band’s final headline show for a few months. Right on time, without any rubbish delays, The Darkness came on stage to put on the show of a lifetime. Dressed with different personal styles, the band members came together to aesthetically confirm The Darkness are still very much alive and kicking, and spreading rock and roll around the world.
The band got things started with classic ‘Black Shuck’ from their infamous record Permission to Land from back in 2003 which got the crowd smiling, moving, cheering and having a genuinely great time. Vocalist Justin Hawkins should have been born in the 50s or 60s because his soul is dedicated to the glam rock era of the 70s and 80s. Hawkins, dressed in a bright blue jumpsuit (zipped down to his waist), screamed his high-pitched notes to perfection throughout the set, proving that the band’s live performances are no joke.
The entire band consistently engaged in theatrical musical unison, complemented by the as-per-usual acoustics of Metro City, resulting in a cathartic rock and roll sound, that just kept getting better and better.
The band ripped through classics like ‘One Way Ticket’, ‘Love is Only a Feeling’ and ‘Get Your Hands off My Woman’ – all important tracks to here at a Darkness show. With a comedic presence, the guitarists handed over picks to punters with care and precision, smiling and looking at fans’ responses, adding to the genuine atmosphere of the evening. Hawkins jumped off the drum-kit platform, doing the splits, playing guitar behind his head, and simply pulling all the stops to enhance the rock and roll experience.
Hawkins was wildly expressive, and when considering his physical appearance and accent, he almost seems like the long-lost brother of Russell Brand. Before leaving the stage for a decent few minutes before an encore, Hawkins asked the crowd if they’re ready to hear a song they knew – and boy, did we know it. The opening bars of ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ were played and then ceased to tease the crowd. As punters went wild, a few more riffs started again and then ceased. Without further ado, the band looked at each other, smiled and immersed themselves in the song uninterruptedly. It was incredibly therapeutic to hear their iconic track played with all the theatrics and energy that it’s known for.
Finally, the band returned on stage to close the evening with ‘Japanese Prisoner of Love’ and a prolonged rendition of ‘Love on the Rocks with No Ice’, featuring Hawkins playing guitar through the crowd on what might’ve been a stage-hand’s shoulders. Everyone got to touch the front-man and get a taste of the celebrity status. He returned on stage to close the song, thanking everyone for coming out, and leaving the crowd with grins from ear-to-ear.
Review by – @rickyaarons