Live Review: The Darkness, Voodoo Sons - UNSW Roundhouse

7 May 2012 | 12:43 pm | Liz Giuffre

More The Darkness More The Darkness

Ironic or not, tonight was a cliché-ridden, boys-onstage-squealing, topless-girls-in-the-front-row-singin', boys-in-black-up-the-back-dancin' festival of awesome. Yes, it was knowingly formulaic (at one point The Darkness' divine frontman Justin Hawkins simply asked from the stage, ”Who in this room is jealous of me?”), but there was also some great little twists. A cover of Radiohead's Street Spirit (Fade Out), with the reverence that only a certain volume can offer? Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and that was a gorgeous present indeed.

It's been almost a decade since the goodness of Permission To Land, and lots of it got aired tonight as a 'thanks' for hanging in there. Growing On Me, Get Your Hands Off My Woman, Black Shuck, a gorgeous part a capella then all-in sing-along/play-along of Friday Night and, of course, I Believe In A Thing Called Love. It's also been a while since their triumphant difficult second album One Way Ticket To Hell And Back, whose choice tracks also got an airing. Obviously since then the band have also broken up and with this reunion and the original line-up back together, tonight also allowed the boys to demonstrate their renewed combined energy and some new tunes from upcoming album number three, Hot Cakes. While getting the subtleties of the lyrics when played live is always a bit of a challenge, this writer is sure she heard one that featured the phrase “pussy galore” sung loud and fast and with a great beat and while Justin Hawkins thanked us for “being so attentive” with the new, unfamiliar stuff, it was hardly a chore. He even thanked the bouncer down the front who 'overlooked his duty' and allowed a topless girl up the front to keep her pride of place, rewarding him – and her – with a song dedication and a shower of plectrums.

Sadly, by the end, supports Voodoo Sons had been all but forgotten (they weren't bad, but their rock clichés were a little less convincing and not nearly as well executed). Given The Darkness' return to the other side of the world soon to support Lady Gaga (a sad injustice that makes this writer question the very idea of right and wrong), let's hope she gets hers and is upstaged right royally by these boys in their renewed glory.