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The Darkness review: The new album was made to be performed live

PUBLISHED: 14:21 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 06 December 2019

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

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With Norwich being the closest gig to The Darkness' hometown of Lowestoft, it was no wonder it was one of the first to sell out on their Easter Is Cancelled Tour.

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

The band are fresh from supporting Ed Sheeran at Chantry Park in Ipswich, playing to a combined total of over 150,000 people across the four days in August and released their album Easter Is Cancelled" in late October.

At 19:45 Rews took to the stage to the already full Nick Rayns LCR. The sold out crowd had turned up in force, and they were ready to rock from doors open.

Rews describe themselves as a "high energy, empowering, infectious alt-rock/pop band" and they certainly proved that, filling the stage with their energy.

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

Starting their set with the rip-roaring hit Rip Up My Heart they got the crowd moving right from the start. The grungy guitars and catchy sing-along choruses didn't stop and by the third song, Your Tears, the Norwich crowd were fully engaged by the trio on stage.

The lead-singer and front-woman, Shauna Tohill, clearly loved every single little piece of appreciation she got from the crowd and thanked the audience for singing along. By the time Rews were playing their final song Shine the crowd were clapping in rhythm with their hands in the air.

The bass and lead guitarists left absolutely nothing on stage, giving every last bit of their energy to the final flourish of Shine. They knew that the crowd had paid to see an absolute powerhouse of a glam-rock band play and they could not have warmed-up the Norwich crowd better for The Darkness if they had tried.

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

Other highlights from their set include Shake Shake and their latest single Birdsong.

The members of The Darkness, hailing from Lowestoft, took to the stage at 9pm...well, three of them did. A somber acoustic version of the opener to Rock and Roll Deserves to Die plays as Justin's voice can be heard from backstage. The lights come on and the crowd is blasted by the wailing guitars, Justin's falsetto voice and crashing drums. A complete attack on the senses.

The band played the entire new album in order, followed by an equally energetic selection of well-known favourites. Usually a gig for The Darkness involves a lot of crowd interaction and tonight was no exception. Whether Justin was making quips about fans not knowing the lyrics to the new material, talking about high-schools in Lowestoft, or even throwing a drumstick at a toy chicken in the rafters during Get Your Hands Off My Woman, the crowd were very much a part of the show's theatrics.

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

The new album sounded like it was made to be performed live with a stomping, in-your-face first few songs, a deceptively mellow track Deck Chair, then straight back into shredding guitar riffs with the title track Easter is Cancelled and Heavy Metal Lover, with We Are the Guitar Men rounding the album off.

Justin joked that the "crowds at the show didn't know the lyrics to this one, so this is where the band leaves me to perform on my own". With thunderous applause, the end of the last track on the album marked the end of the first half of the show.

After a quick costume change, bassist Frankie Poullain took to the stage with a cowbell. After playing with the crowd, the rest of the band took to the stage and crashed straight into One Way Ticket. Front man Justin, in pure glam rock style, was dressed in a bright red latex bodysuit. He darted around the stage jumping from the raised drum platform and whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

Other highlights from the second half of the evening included Solid Gold, their most popular tune I Believe in a Thing Called Love, which got the whole room singing, and a special encore performance of their number two Christmas hit Don't Let The Bells End.

The Darkness have no problem selling out and entertaining large venues; there is a clearly devoted and varied age range of fans. After the release of their new album there is no doubt The Darkness will be playing some big festivals this year. So keep an eye out for future events because you certainly won't be disappointed.

- For more Norwich music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News or follow Enjoy Music More on Facebook and Twitter

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

The Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel SmithThe Darkness headlining The Nick Rayns LCR UEA in Norwich on 5th December 2019. Picture: Daniel Smith

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