Hailing from Lowestoft, a coastal town in the United Kingdom, Justin and Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and Ed Graham are The Darkness. The Hawkins brothers knew they wanted an increased focus on volume and showmanship. Inspired by an interest in classic prog-rock and a spectacular karaoke performance by Justin, a band was formed. Each member took their position, Justin doing vocals, his brother Dan taking up lead guitar, Frankie handling bass and Ed Graham enlisted to slap the skins - The Darkness is born.
The band began by playing week after week at London pubs. The venues were small but the bands pyrotechnic guitar solos, spandex jumpsuits and over-the-top persona gave wherever they played a much larger feel. With their determination and showmanship The Darkness soon gained the attention and respect of an audience that was looking for something new. A huge fan base grew in a modern day grassroots fashion, via hard work and an ever growing online following. Word was spread through their website and they were beginning to get mentioned and linked from other bands pages.
After two years of playing hard and often, there seemed to be too many people interested for them to be ignored. The Darkness began getting gigs opening for arena icons like Metallica, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and Def Leppard. With a growing name and a successful stage history it was time for the band to make an album. Recorded at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, England and Paul Smith Studios in London, 2003 brought the debut release 'Permission To Land'.
The debut album was unveiled in July of 2003 to great success in the U.K. Led by spandex brandishing vocalist Justin Hawkins, the group revels in the type of pop metal made famous by Whitesnake and Poison. Boasting huge guitar riffs and driving rock rhythms this band has brought a new feel to a classic form of music. They've brought back to life the soaring power ballad with songs like 'Love Is Only a Feeling', 'Holding My Own' and 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'.
'Permission to Land' was nominated for Britain's most prestigious Panasonic Mercury Music Prize. It made its debut at number two on the U.K. album chart and quickly rose to number one. The last British artist to hit the top spot with a debut album was Coldplay three years earlier. The album kicked off with 'Black Shuck' and was followed by a triage of remarkable singles - 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love', 'Get Your Hands Off My Woman' and 'Growing On Me'. There was no reason to believe this album and band would be anything but extremely successful.
By January of 2004 the band's debut album rocketed to 39 on the U.S. Billboard chart after jumping a huge 81 slots the week previous. Confident that they could show America the light, The Darkness embarked on a U.S tour just as their second U.S. single, 'Growing On Me' hit the airwaves. They realized most U.K. bands that experienced success in the U.S. did so by touring relentlessly. They know they have already made an impact, but have every intention of finishing the job.
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