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The DarknessEssigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
21st February 2020
The Darkness - “Easter is Cancelled” European Tour 2020 - Special guest: DZ Deathrays

British Glam Rock band THE DARKNESS returned in 2012 after a seven-year hiatus with their great comeback album ‘Hot Cakes’ and immediately became the UK’s most important Hard Rock group again - as was also shown by the two subsequent albums ‘Last of Our Kind’ (2015) and ‘Pinewood Smile’ (2017), which immediately climbed high in the charts worldwide. The next big thing was announced for autumn 2019 with their new album ‘Easter Is Cancelled’, which was directly followed by a big headline tour through the UK and Europe, which also took the hard rock stars to Germany for six shows between February 8th and 25th.

DZ Deathrays

The Australian Noise Rock trio from Brisbane has been around since 2008, and they came into existence during a house party, and they claim they will most likely end at one. So far, the band has released four studio album with ‘Positive Rising: Part 1’ being the latest. /

Music & Performance
The Essigfabrik was already quite well-filled, when DZ DEATHRAYS hit the stage at 8pm. They opened their set in the most unpretentious way possible, walking on stage and kicking off their set with the song ‘Witchcraft, Pt.II’ from their third album ‘Blood Lovely’ from 2017. Drummer Simon Ridley, who most definitely has to bring his ID on all social-drinking occasions with him, looked super enthusiastic while he battered away on the drums. The two guitarists, lead singer Shane Parsons and his colleague Lachlan Ewbank, also seemingly had a good time, while churning out their gritty version of ‘Dance Punk’, as they call it. The audience in the Essigfabrik seemed to like what they were seeing, as people came closer to the stage and started to move.

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Slightly irritating was the fact that the band had not only one but two photographers on stage, who seemed hell-bent on catching every moment of the band members, which felt like a slight media overkill. After churning out 7 songs in 26 minutes, EZ DEATHRAYS left the stage, leaving a visibly warmed-up audience.

01. Witchcraft, Pt. II
02. IN-TO-IT
03. No Sleep
04. Like People
05. Gina Works at Hearts
06. Ocean Exploder
07. Shred for Summer

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10

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The Darkness

The rise, fall and return of THE DARKNESS have all the ingredients of a classic Rock opera: an outdated Hard Rock band from Lowestoft finds its way into the pubs of Camden and gains such a large fan base by word of mouth that it fills entire theatres even without a record deal. Overnight they become stars, sell their debut album ‘Permission To Land’ three million times, win three BRIT Awards and become one of the biggest bands of the moment. This was followed by the controversial sacking of their bassist during the recording of their second album ‘One Way Ticket to Hell’, which also went platinum. And you experience a singer who can‘t find his way in his new fame, gets out and breaks with his brother, with whom he once founded THE DARKNESS. /

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Music & Performance
After the obligatory change-over, people were more than ready for THE DARKNESS. Shortly after 9pm, the speakers began blaring a gloomy intro, and the lights went low. Then, all band members dressed in white suits walked on stage and opened their set with ‘Rock and Roll Deserves to Die’, which is also the first track of their latest album ‘Easter is cancelled’, while front man Justin Hawkins started singing off stage building up some anticipation. Turns out, he also wore a white cat suit, when he joined his comrades after a few beats. The band played their whole new album for the first ten songs, with Justin in his inimitable style filling the song breaks with his humorous banter. And the crowd seemed to like it, even though most probably came to hear the previous works of the band.

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Their appetite was satisfied after an hour, when the band briefly left the stage after an acoustic rendition of the song ‘We are the Guitar Men’, and exchanged their white suits for something more Rock’n’Roll. THE DARKNESS returned with a bang in the form of the bombastic ‘One way ticket’, which got the crowd roaring and screaming for pretty much of the rest of the night. Because what is better than to start your weekend right with a solid dose of unadulterated fun Metal and Rock. It all ended after a solid one hour and 45 minutes of playtime with the encore ‘I believe in a thing called love’, which probably stayed inside the ear canals of the visitors for the rest of the weekend.

01. Rock and Roll Deserves to Die
02. How Can I Lose Your Love
03. Live ‘Til I Die
04. Heart Explodes
05. Deck Chair
06. Easter Is Cancelled
07. Heavy Metal Lover
08. In Another Life
09. Choke on It
10. We Are the Guitar Men
11. One Way Ticket
12. Barbarian
13. Growing on Me
14. Japanese Prisoner of Love
15. Love Is Only a Feeling
16. Solid Gold
17. Givin’ Up
18. Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead cover)
19. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
20. I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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All pictures by André Wilms

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