When The Darkness entered the spotlight in 2003, the parenthetical question was: “Are these guys for real?”
Glam rock long had given up for dead. So, did these guys really and truly love all things ’70s and ’80s rock, or were the spandex unitards, feather boas, long hair, lavish stage props and pyrotechnics, and over-the-top solos (often on bent knees) more a comedic poke at baby boomers’ loving memory of the indulgence and excess of rock’s crowning era?
Trouble is, when considering that The Darkness — guitarists Justin (lead and vocals) and Dan (rhythm guitar and backing vocals) Hawkins, bassist Frankie Poullian, and drummer Ed Graham — is still out there doing the same thing, the question becomes more difficult to answer.
When asking why, it’s important to note that the music industry was always skeptical too.
“There couldn’t have been less of a buzz . . . The business as a whole thought they were uncool. In fact, people were saying that they were a joke and that they weren’t real,” Sony Music UK A&R man Nick Rapheal told HitQuarters in May 2005 of the band’s beginnings, some 15 months before the band broke up. (As part of the unnecessary reunion trend the past few years, The Darkness reformed in 2011 with Justin forgoing the long blond locks and pasty skin for — appropriately — a carnival-barker look: short, dyed-black hair, handlebar mustache, and full-sleeve tattoos. Wait, was David Bowie, the original glam chameleon, an inspiration?)
But fans certainly held on to the notion, misguided or not, that The Darkness meant everything they sung, loved every outfit strutted out, enjoyed every accentuated power chord stomp. …
Read the rest of the story at the Phoenix New Times.