LIVE REVIEW: The Darkness, Massive Wagons, Barrowlands Ballroom, 09/12/2021
Photo Credit: Jack Geddes
Even on a cold winter’s evening in Glasgow, The Barrowlands Ballroom still hosts some of the hottest shows in the city. Bringing them back to Glasgow after their seventh studio album Motorheart, The Darkness took to the iconic stage in what you could call a ballroom blitz! A lively audience with pint in hand, worn-out merch and a Glaswegian glow stood before the barriers as they waited patiently for the opening band.
In no time at all, Massive Wagons burst onto the stage like giants as they bellowed their first song Fee Fi Foe Fum. The crowd moved immediately and welcomed the band with open arms, moshing, swaying and moving to the music in any way they could. Swinging his mic stand like a mighty sword, Baz Mills skipped from one side of the stage to another with glee as the crowd cheered along. Massive Wagons bring insane amounts of energy to both their performances and their music, making them the latest addition to our Spotify cycle. 8/10
In the absence of live music, the crowd hummed with anticipation as they waited for The Darkness to finally arrive. The tracks playing simply weren’t cutting it for some as hecklers started to chant for Hawkins to appear. As the chanting died, the lights followed as well as restless screams. If anyone up the back didn’t see The Darkness take the stage, they most certainly heard them. The introduction greeted us with the sound of home, a low hum of bagpipes and rumbling drums, as they took us into their first song Welcome Tae Glasgae. Whether you say Glasgae or Glesca, you couldn’t resist the audience rally that put William Wallace to shame and set the room alight for the rest of the set. Hawkins brought the audience in close, telling them: “It’s difficult touring when there’s a pandemic changing the rules all the time, but we just wanted to get here, to The Barras!”.
Throughout the night, Hawkins had a couple costume changes and maybe some bruises from jumping around all over the stage. Playing a steady stream of hits such as One Way Ticket, Love Is Only A Feeling, I Believe In A Thing Called Love as well as new tracks like Motorheart and It’s Love, Jim, this show has something for everyone! Including Frankie’s Mum. What made this show so special, however, was the absolute madness that occurred during a Christmas Medley. You heard that right, The Darkness and Christmas. What’s a better way to lose Whamageddon than at the voice of Justin Hawkins? In a mashup of Band Aid, Cliff Richard and Wham, each member pranced around the stage in an array of ridiculous costumes as the crowd came together like a choir.
Last but not least, they finished this incredible performance with their very own Christmas cracker, Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End), a song on every The Darkness fans wish list. So, it seems after all that they believe in a thing called love and a Christmas miracle. 10/10
Written By: Mya Brown
Photos By: Jack Geddes