The Darkness – Ulster Hall
December 10, 2011 Chris Caldwell 1 Comment
Let me first start by saying that one one my major pet peeve’s of going to concerts is how hard it is to find out stage times. My ticket for the darkness says “Doors 7:30pm” the website says “Doors 8pm”, Facebook and Twitter are saying nothing, Ulster Hall doesn’t have a phone line for such enquiries. So after much searching on Facebook I hear whispers that Million $ Reload are doing local support, so it’s only as I’m having a Pre-drink (Prink) in Wetherspoon’s that I finally see that the first act was on at 7:30pm M$R on at 8:10Pm and Darkness at 9pm. This is at 8:20pm. So, I’m sorry to say that by the time I drink up and get over to The Ulster Hall I only catch about 2 songs of Million Dollar Reload’s set. I can only assume that the band before them, “Crown Jewel Defence” played literally as people where walking through the doors.
Million Dollar Reload
Moving swiftly on to a more positive note what I heard of Million dollar Reload sounded great. they instantly reminded me of Buckcherry. Balls out Rock n Roll that’s a little sleazy. The singer at times sounding like Cormac Neeson of The Answer fame. They’re like the sort of band that you would think you would only find playing large arenas across America, but then you hear M$R and realise that for such a tiny country we’re actually producing some of the best Rock n Roll in a long time. I really can’t wait to see these boys play a full set next time.
Sufficiently warmed up by local boys million $ reload and judging by the amount of drink containers in the air sufficiently lubricated, The lights go up and the opening strains of Black Shuck could be heard as the Belfast crowd go mad for everything the boys do. You wouldn’t think this was a band that’s not had a “hit” in 6 years as the audience reacts knowingly to every song the band play. Wether it be a single or an album, they sing along to every word. It’s as if when their second album was released at number 11 in the charts (and then fell the next week to 38) the majority of those customers where from Northern Ireland. This was everything you want from a darkness gig. Justin Hawkins cycled through various ridiculous and tight fitting outfits (stripy pink jumpsuit anyone?) the light show was phenomenal, the singles were placed strategically amongst the album tracks and Justin hit all the high notes. the band tore through “Growing on me” “get your hands off my woman”, “Love is only a feeling” and “Dancing on a Friday night” with much aplomb.
There were however 2 high-lights of the night. The first being when Justin Hawkins rode, astride a security guards shoulders, through the middle of the crowd playing his wireless guitar. Quite the sight to behold. The second when they played “Don’t let the bells end” I think, like me, for a lot of people this is the first Christmas song they’ve heard this year played live or judging by the crowd reaction its the first Christmas song they’ve EVER heard! As we all clapped, (we will rock you style) sang along and drunk The Darkness finished off by announcing they’re working on a new album and would definitely be visiting Belfast again next year and it felt great to be back. It felt great to have them back, I have to say!