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The Darkness Biography

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The Darkness are an English hard rock band. Their highly retro style of music seems to have been influenced by 1970s rock bands like Queen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, T. Rex and Led Zeppelin, and 1980s rock bands such as Van Halen and Def Leppard. They are known for their former lead singer Justin Hawkins' soaring falsetto. Hawkins left the group in 2006.

Originally from Lowestoft in Suffolk, brothers Justin Hawkins (vocals and guitar) and Dan Hawkins (guitar) found themselves in London where they met up with childhood friends, Frankie Poullain (bass) and Ed Graham (drums), and thus The Darkness was formed. Dan initially saw his brother's potential of being a frontman after Justin did an impressive recreation of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at a New Year's Eve party in 1999, thrown by Justin and Dan's aunt in her Norfolk pub. Playing at first only in pubs and bars, their catsuits, pyrotechnic guitar solos and over the top performances soon brought them to the public knowledge. Frankie Poullain, the original bassist left in 2005 due to 'musical differences'. His replacement, Richie Edwards is still with the band.

In August 2006, lead singer Justin Hawkins was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic in concern of his health, which caused the band to cancel several concerts. . Around this same time the band confirmed that they were to start working on their 3rd album to be released early 2007.

However on the 10th October 2006, The Sun newspaper reported that Justin Hawkins was leaving the band after completing his course of rehabilitation from alcohol and cocaine problems, and the band would continue on without him, with Richie Edwards expected to take over as the frontman. It is however unknown as to whether the band can continue without their influential frontman whose voice partially defines who The Darkness are.

In response to the story being reported by the media, the following message was posted on The Darkness' official forum:

Their debut album, Permission to Land, went straight to number two in the UK charts upon its release on 7 July 2003, before going to number one and staying there for four weeks, eventually going on to sell one and a half million copies in the UK.

The success of this album led to heavy touring for the band, including Europortions of Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003 and then which included headlining the Carling Festival in 2004. The band won three Brit Awards in 2004, including Best Group, Best Rock Group and Best Album. They also won two Kerrang! awards in 2004 for Best Live Act and Best British Band.

By late 2004 the band's constant media coverage led to a general public backlash of antipathy, with the commonly-heard claim that they were no more than a novelty band. The band responded to this criticism by touring the UK's top arenas on their Winter-National Tour. One part of the show included Justin climbing upon a life-sized tiger during "Love on the Rocks with No Ice" and being elevated around the audience whilst still playing guitar. The majority of the shows on the tour sold out.

On May 23, 2005 bass player Frankie Poullain left the band during recording of their second album, apparently due to "musical differences". Frankie has disputed this version of events, claiming he was "frozen out" and forced to leave the band. On June 13, 2005, The Darkness announced that Richie Edwards, formerly Dan's guitar technician, had replaced Frankie as bass player.

In 2005, frontman Justin Hawkins also recorded a solo single, a cover of the 1974 Sparks hit "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us" under the pseudonym British Whale which peaked at 6 in the charts, but attracted poor reviews.

In October 2005, around a month before the album was to be officially released, Hawkins won an eBay auction for a copy of One Way Ticket to Hell...And Back for £350 under the username 'turbogunhawk'. He claimed he did this so that he could track down whoever sold the digitally-marked advance copy of the album and try to prevent it from happening again. [1]

All chart positions are based on UK entries.
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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