Recently reunited after a five-year split, seeing The Darkness strut onstage is like being in a time warp back to 2003. Sporting a striking new beard and moustache, singer Justin Hawkins looks nervous for a split-second before relaxing into his role – and soon after, scissor kicks and hair flips abound.
It’s true that they have a tendency to treat every song as though it’s the last of the show, complete with fake endings and overindulgent guitar solos. Still, it’s hard to deny them anything when they are so clearly enjoying themselves on stage.
Often treading the thin line between parody and glam rock, it’s all too easy to forget that under the glittering catsuits and back-to-back guitar playing, The Darkness are actually talented. New songs Cannonball and Best of Me demonstrate that they’re not just cashing in on old favourites, with theatrical guitar riffs and catchy new rock anthems proving a strong return to form.
The old favourites are still there, however. A rousing encore of I Believe In A Thing Called Love has everyone in the venue singing along on the chorus, and the seasonal classic Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) is introduced with, “You know what the best thing about Yorkshire is? It’s already Christmas!”
Ending the night with a promise to come back, Hawkins looks almost emotional as he tells Sheffield that they were the best crowd of the tour so far. And after tonight, you can believe it.