Respect the

People either love their cock-rocking theatrics or find the whole thing ridiculous.

But this Autumn nobody can avoid THE DARKNESS Woitlr; Henry Northmore

don‘t mind it‘ you don't like the music. that's line.

but it' you don‘t like it because you think we are

taking the piss. that‘s basically ignorance. We’re not cheesy despite what people say. he always said one man's cheese is another man‘s meat.’

l-‘rankie l’oullain. the (ilasgow-bot‘n bass player ol‘ the Darkness. is talking hard and last. And he's got some talking to do. Now that his band has become the most hyped British music act of the year. plenty of people are ready to tile the Darkness as just another ‘jokc rock‘ act. in the same category as Ali (i or Spinal Tap. Whether they are deadly serious or just haying a laugh. one thing's for sure: the cock rock beast that is the Darkness. all wailed lttlsctttis. chugging riffs and duelling solos. is conquering all before it. Spawned in the most unlikely ol’ rock Meccas. Lowestol't. the band's debut album. I’i'rniissnm to Land. crashed into the charts at number two on the week ol‘ its release. rising to take a stranglehold ol' the number one spot for weeks on end. The Darkness haye split the public into diametric opposites: either you loy'e them or you loathe them. But are they natural heirs to the throne of British rock or are they simply young pretenders playing in waters so deep that they‘ll sink bel'ore their (‘hristmas champagne's gone llat'.’

Their single. ‘(iet Your Hands ()l'l' My Woman‘. was one ol‘ the most dynamic statements of intent a band could release a soaring anthem which had rock‘n’roll insiders conyinced immediately. .\'ow. as the follow-up. 'l Belieye in a Thing (‘alled l.oy'e'. hits the top ten. they are seeking conyerts from all areas of society. They could well be the next l'K act to crack the States: a rumbling juggernaut ol' good time y'ibes and preposterously inl‘ectious guitar stylings. The US consumes rock like no other nation: stadium rock neyer died. it never became a lumbering dinosaur in danger of extinction across the pond. They have two jam-packed American dates under their belts and head back to the ['S in November to step things up a notch. They are racing


ceits to take the MTV: l'ndei'ground to ()yei'groiind Award as MTV litirope comes to town. ('ome (’hristmas we'll all haye our thumbs in the air (the Darkness' own take on the rock saltitci as they race to the coyeted number one slot. with only I’n/i [(10] and tyikesl (‘lil'l‘ Richard ol'l‘ering any real threat.

In a world in which inn and music haye become increasingly mutually esclusiye with the Radioheads and (‘oldplays ruling the airwayes and the minds of the record buying public the idea ol actually haying a good time at a concert instead ol digesting eyery key change and distopiaii lyric has become more and more alien.'s bear in mind that music is entertainment. it must light l‘oi' space with TV and lilm for our hearts. minds and dollars. And that is what the Darkness are all about: showmanship. giying y'alue l'or money. lilting the spirits and rocking out. Old school in their yalues ol' giy‘ing the punter what they want. hell. desery‘e. They may hark back to the glam days til Motley ('rtie. KlSS and Aerosmith. but it is with their own contemporary twist and a thoroughly ingrained l'K outlook on showmanship. .\bsurdity' is entertaining. and as anyone can testil'y. the biggest roar you will hear at a Darkness gig is as l'rontman Jtistin Hawkins slips into a \plll-[()-lllL‘-Cl'()lCll leotat‘tl midway through their set.

And that is the element most lind contentions in the band. it's the yoice. the balls in a yice pitch. How can anyone take that seriously'.’ The showmanship and musical aptitude cannot be laulted. “A gig is a microcosm of what has been happening in the last few years.‘ explains bassist lirankie l’oullain in his still. considered tones. ‘With eyery gig playing to a new crowd there‘s resistance at lirst. people are a bit uptight. looking at their males. as it to say "do you think it's cool to like this kinda sttill"? Is it OK to punch the air?" Not in Scotland. though. I should say. In Scotland they are always much more open and more into haying a good time. I'm talking about the uptight southerners.‘ And l’oullain shotild know.

Just where did these 15 billion First day Third day 65 million so overtords in spandex and it“? 99°, 1” ’f f '1 ft, If '.:.'"'LI"'. fringes come from then? g i T .. ,_ ', .‘L .f,‘7::;,“’.,.'... Find out in our history of ' ; : 2 ' rock time line. Words: fj’fn'f; ’f "it" ",iiif'“ Paul McGarvey j ' ' ;, I

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