The Darkness at Bands in the Sands: The Soundcheck Review

Just in case you haven’t heard about the incredible Bands in the Sands sessions we’ve had so far, let’s put this into perspective for you. Cornish summer sunshine, one of the counties most beautiful beaches, a bar with a view to die for, and an open air stage sporting some massive names in music! It’s been a very busy summer in Perranporth, so the final night had to be something a bit special. So who else would be a better choice other than the pioneers of modern British Rock themselves… The Darkness!

The energy was there right from the start. The crowd were lively and more than ready to go thanks to both The Poet Junkies and Land of the Giants providing thrilling warm up sets. Bang on time, to the delight of a packed-out venue full of excited faces, the band wasted no time by getting straight down to Black Shuck a song plucked back from their debut album Permission To Land. Which set the tempo for the night… Lively, fast, fun and energetic! Exemplary frontman Justin Hawkins wasted no time addressing the crowd, his promise of plenty of the band’s older tracks coming up for the evening was a welcome delight for many of the crowd who you could tell had been there right from their rise to fame in 2003.

Hawkins also had an opportunity to introduce the newest member of the band, Mr. Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of the legendary Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Together with original members Frankie Poullain and Justin’s talented brother Dan, the band looked exciting and they were really enjoying performing! There were plenty of the band’s iconic tracks in store with performances of Love Is Only A Feeling, Get Your Hands off My Woman and One Way Ticket as well as fresh material including Barbarian which is the first single from the latest album Last of Our Kind. All of which ran through the crowd like electricity!

A great atmosphere was formed where everybody couldn’t help but bounce around! I Believe in a Thing Called Love one of the band’s most iconic songs was greeted with a great reception, and even in quiet little Perranporth, the mosh pits soon started forming! Those that remember the Lowestoft Band’s set from Looe Music Festival back in 2013 were greeted with a familiar treat! During final song Love on the Rocks with No Ice. Hawkins gathered up some bouncers, got lifted up and went on a jaunt into the crowd!

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the night and this iconic modern rock group was the perfect kind of energetic sign off that Bands in the Sands deserved! Hawkins was very happy to be bringing the band back to Cornwall, and for good reason. The band have been staying in Falmouth, and are in the middle of writing new material whilst they’re here and Hawkins told the crowd that a new album is being put together so expect to see it next year, and a big tour! Result! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this thrilling band, and also we’re looking forward to see who takes to the stage in next year’s Bands in the Sands!


📸: Jacob Woolcock
📝: Tom Richardson