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Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 8 October 2003

I’m standing 10 feet away from centre stage in a packed 'Wolverhampton Civic Hall' staring longingly at a black curtain, willing it to open. The atmosphere here is immense! You can feel the air of excitement growing stronger as the long awaited moment draws near. Seconds later, down go the lights, the crowd roars, the opening bars of ‘Bareback’ are played and the curtain is dropped. A small percentage of the worlds population are now about to witness one of the greatest bands alive giving it all they’ve got in a (soon to be triumphant) attempt at conquering the universe. This is stadium rock as it should be – loud and sweaty, 'with balls' and wearing a pink and white stripy catsuit! All they need now is a stadium.

'Give me a D', yells Justin Hawkins, the crowd screams ‘D!’ 'Give me an ARKNESS' ‘ARKNESS’, we all shout. 'What have you got?' ‘THE DARKNESS!’' And the Darkness is what we got' every last inch of them! The set had everything' Spectacular guitar solos, comedy, A-sides that got the intire audience singing along (about three octaves out of their range), B-sides that ought to have been A-sides, most tracks from the legendary ‘Permission to Land’ and even ‘the inevitable’ power ballad (Love Is Only a Feeling) complete with lighters and swaying.

The Darkness

To finish off they played ‘Love on the Rocks with No Ice’ during which Mr. J Hawkins proceeded to wow us all even further by taking a shoulder ride through the audience whilst playing his guitar. After an incredibly long ending that allowed Ed Graham to shine with some 'lightning fast' triplets, all 4 band members stood at the front of the stage and took a bow' it’s this that sums up The Darkness' they’re not just incredible musicians, they’re performers! This band won’t be playing small venues for long and I feel lucky to have seen them at one... it’s more personal. So, a big thumbs up to Ed, Frankie, Dan and Justin! Next stop, world domination!

Text © 2003 Kiri Hann

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