Saturday, December 31, 2016

31st Firsts - The Darkness and Scorpions

How could I have forgotten to include my first time seeing The Darkness live!?!

Sepang October 2016
The Darkness live in Sepang - every bit like their records!

The first time I heard that The Darkness was coming to Malaysia was during my morning drive to work. I was a bit blur with sleep and slightly bored with the interview on BFM. I brushed it off as something that I'd probably misheard.

I heard the ad again on my drive back from work and that confirmed that my ears were brighter than I thought! Excitement escalated from then on - literally shrieked in the car at the traffic light! It was so hard trying to find someone to go with, as the usual targets were celebrating Deepavali or away for the long weekend or pregnant. In the end, I bribed LK to go with me.

As the skies would have it, it rained heavily that day and continued to drizzle on and off throughout the concert. Sepang and concerts and me don't seem to have a match - it rained during the Jamiroquai concert some years back as well. We arrived a little later than expected and missed almost the whole set of Wolfmother. From the last and only song we heard, they sounded better on their recordings.

The other bands in the lineup were Wings (ok, I can see why they have a cult following here) and after The Darkness, was Scorpions - as headliners. The Scorpions were really good too, although I am not too familiar with their stuff other than the ones we usually hear on radio. Old is gold. Age is just a number and they can beat any young fart anytime hands down! And their new drummer was like... is that even possible? Their stage graphics were interesting. For some time I was debating with LK that the Marshall stacks were real until it vanished into some other colourful image, and I lost! My eyes aren't too bright.

October 2016 Rockaway
Scorpions and their stage graphics - I just realised that's a cloned image of themselves!
October 2016 Sepang Rockaway
Scorpions drummer Mikkey Dee
But of course, my main attraction was The Darkness! Some bands sound so good on recording but the stakes are lost when you hear them live. For The Darkness, it is the total 100% opposite! They sounded every bit like what I've been replaying on my playlist for years! Even with the memo from government officials on no swearing and hip thrusting, Justin Hawkins managed to make light of it and got creative with all the ways to not say the F-word. The best was his belting "Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar-mer!" which got everyone giggling like school girls. And his cat suit! It takes a certain type of swagger to be able to carry that off - but for Malaysia, Justin toned it down with a striped shirt inside.

The Darkness' stage presence was awesome, dry Brit jokes with the audience and funny role-playing with bassist Frankie Poullain. At one point Justin did a headstand with legs waving in the air, and that was after all the prancing around! I never expected that this band would ever be allowed to perform in Malaysia - but they did!

Sepang October 2016 Rockaway
The Darkness - Justin Hawkins headstand
October 2016 Sepang Rockaway
The Darkness in Malaysia!!!
I knew most of the songs on their set - mainly from Permission to Land and One Way Ticket to Hell.. And Back. Amazing that I could dig out the lyrics from the back of my mind and it's been like 10 years or so. There were 1 or 2 songs which I didn't recognise, probably from a newer album. I think pretty much everyone was blown away - what I gathered from LK's friends who were there.

All in all it was well worth the price and 'bribe' I paid. Although LK later said he could've got free tickets! Dang!

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