The Darkness @ The Gov, Adelaide 15/3/2020

The R.E.M. song It’s The End Of The World As We Know seems to really resonate as true at the minute with the amount of uncertainty and fear dominating our collective mindset. This was probably the first time in a long time, if ever, that I was questioning my judgement as to whether I should be contemplating or even going to see The Darkness despite being quite excited since the tour announcement was made months ago. Knowing this was probably going to be the last gig I’d be seeing for a while, I went and survived. With all the concern there is no doubt this took some of the edge off what was a brilliant show.

Even front man Justin Hawkins acknowledged that the greatest minds in the world are telling us not to do this in a confined space but let’s dance anyway. Who say thee? We all did!

There was no surprises really for the main set which focused on their new album Easter Is Cancelled playing it on full. For fans to see The Darkness in a more intimate venue such as The Gov is a huge bonus. Opening with Rock And Roll Deserves To Die set the tone for what was to follow. Justin requested ear plugs for the bloke down front with his hands covering his ears so he wouldn’t get “damaged” any further. There were plenty of calls for Justin to get his gear off when he took off his jacket proceeding to play Live ‘Til I Die.

There are some killer songs on this album with Hearts Explode and Deck Chair which gives a cue to a door opening to musical cabaret perhaps. Hawkins talked about the carpeted stage hindering his ability to express himself but still rocked hard on Heavy Metal Lover. The acoustic driven We Are The Guitar Men was a highlight with Justin going it solo for the most part.

The band returned to play the hits and crowd favourites and to kick it off bassist Frankie Poullain returned first counting it in with a cow bell signalling the start of One Way Ticket followed by Barbarian. Justin’s response to the constant hecklers was gold as was Growing On Me and Love Is Only A Feeling. The lyric “we’re shitting out solid gold” in Solid Gold is classic. Givin’ Up was stellar and the Radiohead cover Street Spirit (Fade Out) seems a regular inclusion these days finishing on Get Your Hands Off My Woman.

Returning for an encore and the last opportunity for a while to assemble as a gathering over 500 the support band The Southern River Band (who were brilliant earlier) were invited up on stage for a monster jam to finish the night on I Believe In A Thing Called Love. Great show to be at and remember with Adelaide being the last show on the tour as the remaining dates having being cancelled before we go in to lock down for a while.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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