Let there be light: The Darkness launch ‘post-lockdown party record’

Musician Hawkins of the British band The Darkness performs on stage at the Nova Rock music festival in Nickelsdorf
Musician Justin Hawkins of the British band The Darkness performs on stage at the Nova Rock music festival in Nickelsdorf, some 70 kilometres (44 miles) east of Vienna, June 11, 2011. Nova Rock is Austria's largest rock festival which takes place from June 11 to June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

November 17, 2021

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters) – The Darkness lead singer and guitarist Justin Hawkins says his band’s new album is “a post-lockdown party record”, one he hopes will lift spirits and offer some escapism.

Released on Friday, “Motorheart” is the seventh studio album by the British foursome known for tracks like “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, “Love Is Only a Feeling” and “Christmas Time”.

“It’s a powerful rock album … there’s no love songs on it … It’s … a post-lockdown party record for everyone,” Hawkins told Reuters in an interview.

Known for his falsetto voice and eye-catching jumpsuits, Hawkins recorded vocals from Switzerland, where he lives, while the rest of the band – including his brother, producer and guitarist, Dan Hawkins – worked in Britain due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Songs include the title track about a sex robot and the 1980s-influenced “Jussy’s Girl”. In its video, Hawkins, dressed as leather-clad biker, enters a phone box and travels back in time.

“We wanted to make a record that wasn’t informed by the lockdowns and pandemic and we didn’t want to make one that was feeding off the uncertainty and the suffering,” Hawkins said.

As well as a new album, The Darkness embark on a UK tour kicking off in Brighton on Wednesday, playing in front of audiences again after they were forced to cancel shows in early 2020 due to the pandemic.

Further concerts across Europe follow next year.

“If there’s ever been a time for us to get on tour it’s now, so we’ve got to do whatever we can to make it viable throughout,” Hawkins said.

“We have a very stringent COVID concept in place because we can’t allow the tour to stop.”

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Mike Collett-White)