THE DARKNESS AT HQ COMPLEX, November 6, 2015 – Live Music Review

Photo credit: John Goodridge

The Darkness are not ready to fade from the spotlight, and that was proven to a very eager audience at HQ Complex on Friday night.

Photo credit: John Goodridge
Photo credit: John Goodridge
The UK glam-rock band best known for their hit song, ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love,’ showed why their fourth studio album is titled Last of Our Kind – there really is no band quite like them.

Supported by Melbourne four-piece APES, the two bands took Adelaide back to the days of spine tingling rock n roll.

APES warm up HQ. Photo credit: John Goodridge
APES warm up HQ. Photo credit: John Goodridge
APES are a band on the rise with their laid-back garage-rock style, which sounds like a blend of Nirvana and Stereophonics.

Opening the show with a new track titled ‘Fourth Point’, APES front-man Benjamin Dowd showed a split personality on stage.

He was polite and softly spoken when interacting with the audience, but when he sang, there was an element of hardcore bravado.

APES played eight songs in their short set, with ‘Dimension,’ and ‘Pull the Trigger’ among the most memorable.

Leaving out their debut single ‘Seven,’ the Melbourne lads seem to have moved away from their indie punk vibe and developed a new album centered around rock anthems.

Photo credit: John Goodridge
Photo credit: John Goodridge
As people slowly arrived in anticipation for The Darkness, a small but vocal HQ crowd were preparing for the one and only Justin Hawkins.

There’s nobody quite like Justin Hawkins, and while he looks like a mix of Mick Jagger and James Blunt, the born entertainer has the stagecraft of Freddie Mercury.

Originally dressed in striped suspenders, Hawkins’ wore less and less as the night went on and even took the time to borrow an audience member’s hat and shirt.

The Darkness-4968
Photo credit: John Goodridge
The Darkness played very few new songs from their latest album Last of Our Kind,’ but ‘Mudslide,’ the seventh track from the album was a knockout live tune.

Mudslide has a timeless rock feel to it, and Dan Hawkins’ guitar riffs sent shock waves through HQ.

When Justin sang ‘One Way Ticket to Hell and Back,’ it was clear that this performance was the return of a much loved rock band.

The music industry can be fickle at times, and while The Darkness may not have the pulling power they once had, it was evident from last night’s performance they are still one of the best live bands of the modern era.

The Darkness-4978
Photo credit: John Goodridge
Playing ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love,’ and ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman,’ from their break-through album Permission to Land, The Darkness will always be welcome back in Adelaide.

Written by Paul Bidmeade

Photos by John Goodridge