The Darkness at the HMV Picture House

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As the crowds began to flood the floor of Edinburgh's HMV Picturehouse
it was obvious that the night was going to be something special. Avid
fans of The Darkness, eager to see one of the band's first live
performances in 5 years, are brimming with anticipation. Unfortunately
California openers Crown Jewel Defense leave much to be desired. They
dawdle onto stage looking more like techies than rockstars. They seem
to struggle for a balance trying to blend hardcore and glam rock and
it ends almost disastrously as the vocals are drowned out by the
hardcore riffs and drums. It's a welcome relief when Ohio's Foxy
Shazam swagger onto stage. The tiny frontman Eric Nally demands the
audiences attention immediately when he cheekily announces 'If we were
an animal at the zoo, we would be the one most likely to bite your
head off!' The set is pure energy and hijinks, as the animated Nally,
dressed in skin tight black pants with a glittery black blazer,
sporting a Frank Zappa-esque moustache, rolls and jumps across the
stage. Even keyboard player Sky White, with his amazing ZZ Top beard,
gets in on the action when he takes his keyboard off the stage and
places it onto the willing hands of the gasping audience members in
the front row and continues to play. Foxy Shazam are what glam rock is
all about. Not to be upstaged, The Darkness leave the punters waiting,
whetting their appetite, until finally the lights lower and a long,
loud bagpipe intro was heard – a symbolic entrance for their first
reunion show in Scotland. The band quickly launches into a thunderous
'Black Shuck' complete with one of the biggest light shows ever seen -
and the fans go nuts. Justin Hawkins proved he still has one of the
best voices in rock music, flawlessly hitting all the high notes
during 'Get Your Hands Off My Woman'. The fog thickened on stage and
Justin disappeared, reemerging in his signature pink and white candy
striped jumpsuit to perform 'Is It Just Me?' Confetti falls from the
ceiling and washes the stage white during 'Christmas time (Don't Let
The Bells End)'. For the encore, Justin Hawkins changes into another
pink and white jumpsuit, this time with fur down the back, before
teasing the audience by playing chords from 'I Believe In A Thing
Called Love' – ultimately being the biggest hit of the night. Hawkins
then gets on a security guards back, with guitar in tow, and walks
into the crowd whilst playing. Even after a hiatus, The Darkness
prove they are still one of the best live glam rock bands in the
world

- Simone Hockins

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