Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Kiss. 4 bands who made live albums of which rock music had dared them to venture into, to great acclaim.
A live album that made you part of the crowd in your own bedroom.
Now it’s the turn of the rock gods of Lowestoft, The Darkness, and their first live album, Live In Hammersmith. Recorded in December 2017, Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and Rufus Tiger Taylor (son of Queen’s Roger Taylor, dontcha know….) embarked on a live music frenzy for one night, and now it’s your turn to relive, or indeed be a first time listener of, that night in London. First song is Open Fire, a proper rock opening number, with Hawkins in fine voice and a chorus which gets you singing almost immediately.
Love Is Only A Feeling is second song up and is in it’s usual fist pumping in the air mood that it was when it appeared on their debut album. After the crowd has given a “D”, then an “Arkness” at the lead singers request, Southern Trains roars in nicely, before Black Shuck keeps the fast pace up, with the shrill of Justin Hawkins dominating the song.
One Way Ticket gets the crowd going, especially come chorus time, and there is barely time to wipe the sweat off your wristband when Givin’ Up gets the crowd singing along once again. All The Pretty Girls is a proper headbanger, with Poullain’s bass line and Taylor’s hard hitting drumming giving the song it’s heavy start, even before the brothers Hawkins heavily crash the joint.
Barbarian, complete with ye olde style intro, follows before the pace picks up with the Buccaneers Of Hispaniola. The excellent Friday Night is a must of the Darkness live act, and the Thunderstruck-esque Makin’ Out picks up the already fast paced tempo. It goes bluesy rock with Every Inch Of You soon after, and Solid Gold does indeed blow “everybody’s fucking heads off” soon after.
Stuck In A Rut certainly isn’t stuck in a rut, with Hawkins in a defiant singing mood for this one, before Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman (complete with a rather fruity intro from JH) gets the tempo up even faster. Anthem number 1 comes along in the shape of Growing On Me, with the audience not missing a word, whilst acting as ample backing singers for the band, and the momentum doesn’t stop by the time Japanese Prisoner Of Love makes it’s appearance. “Children roasting on an open fire” and the announcement of season time officially starting, heralds the beginning of Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) before the show stopping anthem number 2 of I Believe In A Thing Called Love brings the show to a close.
If you’re a fan of a proper live rock music show, this is the album for you. The Darkness might have their critics, but this has the ammo to shoot the doubters down. Real good, feel good rock n roll.