Album Review: The Darkness-Live At Hammersmith

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Album Review: The Darkness-Live At Hammersmith-Release date June 15, 2018 – CD, gatefold double vinyl, cassette, download and stream

Rock At Night has been following glam rock band The Darkness in the UK and US, so it was with great pleasure to see the band is coming out with a live album entitled The Darkness-Live At Hammersmith, which was recorded on December 10, 2017, at the world famous Eventim Hammersmith Apollo in London, England. This is the band’s first live album and is a really great introduction to those who are not familiar with the band’s music, without sounding like a greatest hits album. Long-time fans will be able to experience the energy of a live concert, with the chatting and banter between songs, as well as the familiar claps and cheers.  The quality of the recording is solid and you get a chock-full of hits—19 in all!

In October 2017, The Darkness released their fifth studio album Pinewood Smile, so the Live At Hammersmith album features recent music, as well as plenty from their smashing 2003 debut album Permission to Land and others.  Two songs that are “must listen to’s” are “Solid Gold”  and “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” with their infectious guitar riffs and vocals that nod to 70s or 80s rock (think AC/DC).

As in most  of The Darkness songs, there is a bit of cheeky humor and a lot of fun. The song “Every Inch of You” from Hot Cakes tells the classic rock and roll “autobiographical” tale of being on the dole but then achieving the “rock and roll dream” and rubbing it in….And every man, woman and child…wants to suck my cock.

 Southern Trains” with its fast killer drums and lead guitar solos has a Southern rock feel with a punky edge, and criticizes the UK train system saying….

 It’s a journey into pure despair/There are fucking assholes everywhere/ I can smell piss and shit in the air..Fuck you, southern trains, we’re not  getting anywhere/ Hear the cheering.

As always, The Darkness are great story-tellers and purveyors of history with “Barbarian”—hot, sexy, pure, rock and roll fun as the song describes rollicking Vikings. Who would think that a visual of a Japanese prison could sound like an upbeat rock song but “ Japanese Prisoner of Love” does just that! “Buccaneers of Hispaniola” is totally hard drivin’ with falsetto rock screams—think,  perhaps, Deep Purple with pirate flair.

More humor ensues with a tale of love obsession with “Growing On Me” and “Makin’ Out”, which sounds almost like The Who initially and develops into what I call a “total sex on a stick” song—pure lusty hard rock. “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” is funny and chivalrous in a naughty way.

“Friday Night” brings me back to the 70s Mott the Hoople glam rock sound as well as “All The Pretty Girls”.

The Darkness even included their holiday hit “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” into the mix, which is so rocking, you forget it’s a Christmas song.

Rock At Night totally recommends this album for all that love the sound of 70s hard rock and glam rock–but with smart lyrics and a lot of naughtiness.



Justin Hawkins – vocals & guitar / Dan Hawkins – guitar /
Frankie Poullain – bass / Rufus Tiger Taylor – drums




  1. Open Fire
  2. Love Is Only A Feeling
  3. Southern Trains
  4. Black Shuck
  5. One Way Ticket
  6. Givin’ Up
  7. All The Pretty Girls
  8. Barbarian
  9. Buccaneers Of Hispaniola
  10. Friday Night
  11. Makin’ Out
  12. Every Inch Of You
  13. Solid Gold
  14. Stuck In A Rut
  15. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
  16. Growing On Me
  17. Japanese Prisoner Of Love
  18. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
  19. I Believe In A Thing Called Love


In case you want to catch the band’s live tour, The Darkness are hitting the road and will be playing arenas across the UK and Europe in support of The Hollywood Vampires supergroup featuring Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.

16/06 – Birmingham, Genting Arena
17/06 – Manchester, Arena
19/06 – Glasgow, The SSE Hydro
20/06 – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley

06/07 – TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow
08/07 – Dublin, Marlay Park

Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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