Just back from The Darkness -shattered and watching Super Bowl XL. Full thoughts on a tremendous gig tomorrow, but for the meantime hi to everyone in the mini-pit, even the Carryduff Crew who after behaving like dicks, redeemed themselves.
Until I post detailed comments, below is the review I submitted for the Belfast Telegraph:
SLATED by some critics as a joke band after their first album of retro-rock, The Darkness stormed into Belfast’s Odyssey Arena to prove that the fun is back in the rock.
While contemporaries Coldplay prefer the understated approach, Justin Hawkins Lowestoft crew fly right over-the-top and right over the top of the crowd - literally.
Opener Loving Arms saw the ever outrageous Hawkins being hefted aloft atop a pair of massively over-sized breasts; before returning to the stage to launch into the first single off their new album, One Way Ticket to Hell And Back.
The entire album was played during the set, amid pyrotechnics, flame throwers and an audacious stage set, which included horns draping the drum kit, a mock church organ, and a lighting rig which included five massive pitchforks.
Hawkins is at ease in front of the audience, comfortably involving everyone in singalongs while managing not to sound too cheesy.
However, this had the air of a band warming up for the rest of their European tour, and Hawkins pointed out that despite a sizeable Sunday night crowd at the Odyssey, it was the lowest selling gig of their UK tour.
That only served to fire the enthusiasm of the fans as the band paraded hits, led chants and teased the audience with snatches of eighties favourites before rolling out new tracks like Hazel Eyes and Dinner Lady Arms and singles such as Love on the Rocks and Growing on You.
Finishing off the set playing a guitar solo while on ropes above the heads of the crowd was a perfect example of how The Darkness have moulded great pop rock and showmanship to a level not seen since the halcyon days Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Special guests on the tour The Ark opened, followed by former film star Juliette Lewis and her band The Licks