Australian fans can rejoice as British rock legends, The Darkness return to Australia on April 28th for Groovin’ The Moo at Wayville Pavilion in Adelaide.

On the second to last day of recording their new album in the studio, drummer Rufus Taylor talks to The Upside News about coming to Australia for Groovin’ The Moo and their own headline shows, playing with Queen and the lost art of talking to a crowd.

The biggest event at Groovin’ The Moo this year will be the battle of England Vs Australia in a cricket game. This legendary game features Australian heroes, Violent Soho and The Smith Street Band taking on the invaders, The Darkness and Architects. What is supposed to be a friendly game of cricket may end in tears as Rufus describes the competitive nature in the Darkness camp.

“I just heard about the game. It’s making me laugh. We are a highly competitive band, highly competitive. We were doing a festival in England and it was a big festival with lots of stuff going on during the day, lots of roller coaster rides all that kind of thing. We decided to walk around and see what we could find. We found these hay bale walls stacked around this mini football (soccer) pitch. Players had to play with a giant inflatable orb around them. We wanted to give it a go but no grown-ups were really up for it. So a bunch of parents sent a bunch of their 5-year-old kids in there to play against us. We did not take any mercy on them, we absolutely destroyed them all, kids were bouncing off the walls, it was probably not the best thing we could have done. But at least we won”.

Growing up in England, Rufus was a teenager when The Darkness started to climb to the top of the charts. He became a massive fan years before becoming a permanent member of the band.

“I was a teenager when I saw lots of their videos from their first album. I absolutely loved them and thought they were great. I thought their videos were hilarious and their music was actually really good. It was definitely a shock when I got the phone call from them for the first time”.

Rufus is now writing the latest Darkness album with the band, his first time writing original music and becoming a contributing member to a recording process. Despite the age difference their influences are surprisingly similar.

“All our musical influences are pretty much exactly the same. There are a few more 80’s style things that I may not be favouring towards, but all the 60’s, 70’s stuff that I like they all love so that transitions really well into our writing”.

Rufus Taylor comes from rock royalty as the son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Rufus has played the drums for Queen in massive stadiums and has played everywhere else in between, and now returns to Australia for outdoor festival shows and club shows.

“I don’t have a preference, obviously it’s a difference in scale and size and everything. But you know, that’s because of who they are [Queen] and they’ve been going for 45 years and they deserve it. I never thought I’d ever get to play with them, ever. I used to watch in admiration, but when I was actually asked, seriously I thought I was going to get ripped the shit out of by a few idiots who didn’t know any better because I got the job really easy, because of that. But you’ve actually got to be able to the job to be there. It’s different, but you have to treat every gig, like your last, go for it. Do the justice for the ticket sale”.

Rufus has seen some of the great performers in his time, including being behind the kit for Adam Lambert leading Queen. In his opinion talking to a crowd is a lost art.

“You see so many new artists these days… I say this way too much and I’m probably going to get in a lot of trouble… but they just don’t know how to talk to a crowd anymore and it really pisses me off. You’ve got this massive pop artist, who in my opinion is a load of dogs bollocks. But they cannot talk, in-between songs they say ‘let me hear you make some noise’ or ‘hello!’, do you know what I mean? Is that all you fucking have, the crowd paid a lot of money to come see you, connect with them, in any way”.

“I think that’s such a sad thing that’s been lost over the years, but Justin (vocalist) does it, probably better than anyone. It’s nice to be apart of that, proper bands that know their stage craft that know how to deal with a crowd and know how to talk to 100,000 people, or 5,000 people like it’s one person”.

The Darkness performs at Groovin’ The Moo in Adelaide on Friday, April 28th and headline shows around Australia through May.


Groovin’ The Moo


Thursday April 27 – Eatons Hill, Brisbane (18+)

Wednesday May 3 – 170 Russell, Melbourne (18+) – sold out

Friday  May 5 – 170 Russell, Melbourne (18+) – 2nd and final show

Wednesday May 10 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Lic/Aa)

Friday May 12 – Metro City, Perth (18+)