The Darkness don't believe in X Factor

Packed in black, Glasgow's O2 Academy was the host of the revival of glam rockers The Darkness tonight. Initially displaced from the 70's and hatched the first time around in 2003, their 2011 rebirth was as dramatic as expected with even the crowd looking like they'd been carefully cast for a Spinal Tap sequel.  

The fanfare for their arrival and the sight of drums within a cage was enough to  have the packed venue making roar-fuelled rock hand gestures to match their long hair, black t-shirts and  in some cases guy-liner. Complete with his very own air guitar, Justin Hawkins and his band burst in with the crunching riff of  Black Shuck. A waistcoat and tight trousers replacing his signature catsuit, it looked like Russell Brand doing stand-up on the stage  from this caricature performance,

Stadium drums and bright lights paved the way for Growing On Me which was screamed at full volume from many sweaty bodies, not to mention the widespread air guitar, shamelessly strummed with a good portion of head-banging. Wearing the likes of Motley Crue and  AC/DC on their sleeves, The Darkness released multiple riff monsters, every bit the oversized stereotype, but done well by the book of rock n roll.

Allowing Hawkins an opportunity to exercise his full falsetto range, Get Your Hands Off My Woman was a frantic rollick for the eager crowd, topped by a headstand on the drum riser from our hyperactive host.

Everything about this show was big, the bright lights and  pyrotechnic playground  livening up as the show progressed. Hawkins teased in a top hat before finally appearing  in one of his signature deep-V catsuits, continuing on the theme of their debut album Permission To Land.

Having previously split in 2006, it would seem even in their new sober form the band don't take themselves too seriously,  referring to themselves as, "stars of yesterday". Prematurely playing their festive hit, Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End), an influx of snow from the ceiling fell onto the stage, quickly masked on it's descent into the thick smog of the obligatory dry ice.

With an encore of guitar acrobatics and straight-faced posturing, another costume change saw a catsuit upgrade to a new lame number, covered in scales, with a go faster fin on the back.

In one of the few crowd interactions, drama king, Justin Hawkins, expressed his disgust at X Factor where their biggest hit, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, was covered. Giving up on his mild rant, that old familiar riff kicked in, giving the crammed bodies another opportunity to shake their sweat right into the public domain. With thumbs up all round to mirror the front man, Love On The Rocks With No Ice exploded with the face-scorching pyrotechnics to finish.

Broken ears and singed nose hairs were all part of the multi-sensory experience this evening. It was only rock n roll, and although I'm still deciding, Glasgow certainly seemed to like it.

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