It is true that they have the unique retro cock-rock "gimmick" going on. It is also true that they have released a genuinely classic album with great rock tunes. BUT... You will never truly understand what The Darkness is all about until you have seen them live. And that is 100% of FACT!
Compared to their set at Reading 2003, it wasn't anywhere near as good. There wasn't the audience participation and I felt at a couple of points that they were just going through the motions. I didn't get as good a vibe but I reckon that has a hell of a lot to do with the audience which had a lot of people who looked well out of place. On the other side of the coin, this is a good thing for The Darkness because as well as confirmed gig goers and festival crustys like me and my mates, they have attracted the main stream fans. It may also have something to do with the fact that I was quite drunk. But, average Darkness is still fantastic.
I did get right down the front and was on the barrier for the last half of the gig and that was awesome. I rarely get starstruck but having the Darkness belt out "Love On The Rocks" from two meters away was cool as fuck and made the experience all the more memorable! It was not conducive to the survival of my eyebrows either because the pyros were rather hot at times...
I don't actually remember what tunes they did, but they finished with their cheese-tastic Christmas single "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bell's End)" and a shower of glitter.
At the end of the gig, Jay was absolutely distraught because he had lost his Soundgarden top. He was in a total panic as he loves that tatty old thing but, of course, Maffy found it and saved the day. I honestly thought he was going to cry with joy when I gave it back to him.
I have seen a couple of interviews since the gig and it seems the The Darkness are being stifled by their record company who want them to tour this album to death and squeeze every last drop out of it. I sincerely hope that they are strong enough to fight this and get on with another album as soon as possible because you can't survive on 10 songs and a couple of B-sides for long. I hope the fact that they are saying this is a positive thing.
Long Live The Darkness!