The Darkness

UEA LCR, Norwich

East Anglian rockers The Darkness returned to their home turf last night and proved they were more than just a flash in the pan.

In a performance which put to shame some critics' suggestions that they were a mere imitation of '70s rock acts, the Lowestoft phenomena played a no-holds- barred set that delighted a fanatical capacity crowd.

Lead-singer Justin Hawkins belted out a series of the band's favourites, including I Believe In A Thing Called Love and Get Your Hands Off My Woman. He was enthusiastically supported by his brother Dan Hawkins, on guitar, bassist Frankie Pou-llain and drummer Ed Graham, producing a dyn-amic synergy worthy of rock veterans twice their vintage.

Thousands of 'Darklings' had gathered at the venue for one of the region's most keenly-anticipated gigs for years. And they were not disappointed when the Suffolk boys opened their set with a thundering rendition of Black Shuck, a song based on the legend of the black dog of Bungay. Justin then told the crowd how good it was to back on their home-patch and to “tread on Norwich's cobbled streets”.

They continued with renditions of Friday Night, Stuck In A Rut, and Love On The Rocks With No Ice, from their Number One album Permission to Land.

But a surprise highlight of the gig was when they covered Radiohead's Street Spirit (Fade Out) in a markedly more rocky style than the original.

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This triumphant return was a far cry from when the band played at The Waterfront in April - a gig that attracted just a few hundred fans.

It was a testament to how far the band has come, and a clear indication of a glittering future ahead.

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