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The Darkness / The Rews Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 28, 2019    
 
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The Darkness / The Rews - The Roundhouse, London (UK) - 20 December 2019

To borrow the words of Justin Hawkins (from 'Choke On It') The Rews were a tasty "hors d'oeuvre" before the main show tonight. Heavy bass, big riffs and a high powerful voice kicked ass, so to mention all the beauty in the band would be to miss the point slightly, although it doesn't hurt at all. Certainly they had all the firepower to stand up against the mighty Darkness, so job done!

The Darkness were supposed to do two sets tonight, 'Easter Is Cancelled' in full and then a Greatest Hits show, in fact they may have run out of time as the final few tracks of the latest album were not played and there was no time for an interval before they launched into the second part of the show. One thing is for sure that the audience love the new album as during the intro they all sang the high note "die" before Justin even hit the stage. And as the band proceed through the new album the energy remained high throughout. All dressed in white with a big show of pyro and backdrops, I was inevitably reminded of Queen, although there's more headbanging and The Darkness are in my view heavier live. It's a bit tongue in cheek when the dancing cows on screen turn black for the Death Metal interludes of 'Heavy Metal Lover', but joking aside The Darkness brought it tonight and from the heaviness of 'Choke On It' (which could easily be for the Metal-est of days at Download) to the acoustic version of 'We Are The Guitar Men' at the end, for me there was plenty of light and shade and the set just flew by. I completely love the new album and so I was really happy to see it work so well live.

In fact, whether it was the novelty of the new record for me or the newness of playing it for the band, being their latest passion, I think it was absolutely the right decision to play the new album before the older material at the end as it is so strong that it would have been a mistake not to showcase it first, and while I always love hearing the big hits 'Growing On Me' 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' etc., this is not a band resting on its laurels and they have a long future ahead of them with so much more to give. Once the new material was out of the way, however, there was a sense that the band started to ease into it more, going into well-trodden territory; Justin started kidding around with the audience, entering into the Christmas fun, camping it up in 'Solid Gold', repeatedly jumping off the riser, doing his handstand there and playing his guitar under his legs. By the time we reached the Fireworks and confetti of encore 'Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)' he was wearing red pedal-pushers with a big Christmas bow tied around his waist and a Santa hat, and picked one lucky person whose Instagram handle was announced to stream the finale. This was a joyful Rock show befitting the season with oodles of talent and fizz, and if you weren't feeling it then surely you are The Grinch.

Dawn Osborne

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