The Darkness @ Cambridge Corn Exchange 6.12.19

On Friday 6th December in the remarkable city of Cambridge, we waited in anticipation outside the doors of the Corn Exchange. A fantastic venue to which has played host to many events including music artists, theatre productions, comedians and more. The reason why we were there was to attend another awesome event The Darkness live!
The Darkness are an alternative rock band originally from Lowestoft. The act formed back in the year 2000. The band consists of musicians Justin Hawkins on vocals and lead guitar, Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass and last but not least Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums and percussion.

Upon entering the venue, our photographer and I came into the foyer, which inclued a bar at either side and also a merch stall selling products for both The Darkness and also the evening’s support act Rews. The venue filled up fairly quickly with eager and excited fans.

First, to take to the stage, were Rews, a female fronted alt/rock band that formed in Northern Ireland back in 2014. Shauna Tohill, Ele Lucas and Scott Hislop really got the night off to an energetic start! Their first realeased albums were titled ‘Pyro’ and ‘Your Tears’. The band were so full of energy filling the stage with jump kicks and lots of dance action. They sang a total of eight hits, including ‘Shake Shake’, ‘Can You Feel It?’ and their latest single ‘Birdsong’. Their music had a great variation in style, so there was something for everyone, including a mix from heavier rock to softer more ballad like tones. A great all rounder. The band showed great interaction with the crowd and you could tell the audience really loved their musical styles. Their new album is due for release in 2020, so make sure to be on the look out for that!

After a short interval, the band members of the night’s headline act, The Darkness entered wearing white suits and Justin Hawkins donning his expected flamboyant and show stopping attire. The band had performed two sets on the night in which they played the whole of their lastest album ‘Easter Is Cancelled’ and then the second half of their show featured their older well known hits. The audience was a wide range of ages, from older generations, to younger ones. Their was one young lad in the crowd who looked only around six years old, who was clearly having the time of his life, sitting on his parent’s shoulders wearing a sleeveless denim jacket with band patches on. His parents must be so proud!

There were 3 arches decorated with lights at the back of the stage in which cartoon clips were playing during the band’s set, this included cows in a field and also characters from the James Cameron’s infamous film Titanic. On the last song of the first half the band all except Justin left the stage. Justin was left on stage with just an acoustic guitar in which he sung ‘We Are The Guitar Men’.

After another short break, Frankie came back on stage with a cow bell and got the crowd to clap along with the beat of the bell. After a quick costume change the band returned to the stage once more. Justin wore a festive red jumpsuit with the front uncovered showing his tattoos and all kinds of nipple.

Justin was brilliant at getting the crowd involved with the show. He was getting them to try and reach the same pitches that he can even chanting out “F**k’. The whole room filled with amusement and ended up singing throughout the whole performance. When the initial bars of their infamous 2003 hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ were played everyone was elated and sang along. The night was brought to a close in the only festive way that it could have been, the band ended with their Christmas song ‘Christmas Time (Dont Let The Bells End)’, this was great as Christmas is only a few short weeks away.

Both bands were highly enjoyable to watch live and a definite must see if you get the chance.

Review by Ellie Siemianowicz

Photos by Kane Howie

Splendour Festival 2016 Review

The sun was shining hotly and brightly on Nottingham’s favourite festival, Splendour 2016.  Set in the grounds of the stunning Wollaton Park, I was delighted to be attending for the second time and it didn’t disappoint.  There was definitely no shortage of festivals this weekend but with a fantastic line-up and variety of entertainment, Nottingham’s sell out festival was definitely the best place to be.

The site was well set out with plenty of toilets and water points.  The food stalls were spread evenly across the site and offered plenty of choice including vegan and gluten free options.  I enjoyed a gorgeous gluten-free chicken and chorizo paella topped with a delicious salsa and lemon for £7.  Later on I tucked into nachos with guacamole, salsa and cheese for only £3.50!  Drinks tokens could be purchased for £4 each or in multiples.  Tokens were then swapped for alcohol and soft drinks at a choice of 3 bar areas.  Given that there were over 23,000 people attending, we didn’t have to queue once to get a drink.  The bar staff were really friendly although with only beer, cider, JD and coke and wine, there wasn’t much choice.  More spirits would have been welcomed.  Stalls offered a variety of clothes, jewellery and trinkets all reasonably priced.  Fringe entertainment included songs and laughs from Mrs Green; circus shows; activities for youngsters in the Kids’ Zone, silent disco and Magician, Daniel Dore.  It was clear that Splendour has a great family atmosphere and well catered for all age groups.

Headlining the main stage was Grammy award winner, Jess Glynne.  After dropping out of Splendour last year due to illness, her appearance was hotly awaited.  She opened up with ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’ which instantly got the crowd dancing!  She looked stunning in a two piece gold outfit and I loved the focus that she gave to the music and the audience rather than dance moves and outfit changes.  She followed up with hit after hit; ‘Rather be,’ ‘No rights no wrongs,’ ‘Gave me something,’ ‘Not letting go,’ and ‘It ain’t right.’  She then did a beautiful acoustic version of ‘My love’ which she dedicated to her dad who is from Nottingham, which the crowd loved.  She engaged with the crowd and asked everyone to shine the torch on their phone which created a beautiful sea of light as far as the eyes could see.  She followed up with hits such as ‘Home’ and ‘Real love’ and then did a cover version of Chaka Chan’s ‘I feel for you’ where she pulled off some funky dance moves with her backing singers.  For the encore she sang ‘Right here’ and her number one track ‘Hold my hand.’  The crowd went crazy singing and dancing and it was a perfect end to a fantastic headlining artist.  Jess Glynne did Nottingham proud!

Over on the Confetti Stage, a large crowd gathered for the headlining act, The Darkness.  Donning a flamboyant purple one-piece glam-rock-esque cat suit, Justin Hawkins thrusted himself into their opening track ‘Black shuck.’  The charismatic front man belted out ‘Growing on me’ ‘Love is only a feeling’ and their original glam rock track ‘I believe in a thing called love.’  Justin entertained the crowd with his own brand of sweary banter adding to an electric atmosphere.

Set list was

Black Shuck

Growing on me

Givin’ up

One way ticket

Love is only a feeling


Get your hands off my woman

Stuck in a rut

I believe in a thing called love

Love on the rocks with no ice

Scottish rockers, The Fratellis,  kicked off with ‘Henrietta’ and finished with a crowd-rocking ‘Chelsea Dagger.’  Earlier in the day veteran Irish punk rockers, Stiff Little Fingers, played a fantastic set to a large crowd.  Legendary tracks ‘At the edge, ‘Tin soldiers’ and ‘Gotta gettaway’ got the crowd rocking.

UB40 got a warm response with one reveller shouting ‘UBeee, UBeee, UBeee!!’ ‘You gotta love UB!’ she tells me.  The crowd are dancing and singing to the glorious reggae tunes of ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ and ‘Red Red Wine.’

The Human League put on an impressive show opening with ‘Mirror Man,’ and ‘Electric Dreams’ is slickly played into ‘Don’t You Want Me’ for the finale.

Over on the acoustic stage, Jonny Olley kicked the day off, with acts like Josh Wheatley, Bru-C and Brad Dear performing throughout the day.

With its eclectic mix of artists and bands, there is sure to be something for every age group at Splendour Festival which makes it the perfect family day out.   I cannot wait for next year! Roll on Splendour 2017!

Splendour 2016 lineup confirmed

One of the biggest artists of the past 12 months, Grammy award winner and Brit nominated pop sensation Jess Glynne is to headline Splendour on 23 July 2016.   

The booking comes on the back of an amazing year for the artist after her debut album –  ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ – made her the biggest selling debut artist of the year. The album features her five number one singles including smash hit ‘Hold My Hand’ and its equally successful follow up ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’, along with the recent single ‘Take Me Home’, the official song for Children in Need. 

Jess is the first solo female artist to headline Splendour since Kate Nash took to the main stage in the first year of thefestival in 2008. 

The singer, 26, has already equalled the record for the most number one singles by a British female solo artist — five —  and has now announced a brand new single from the album, ‘Ain’t Got Far To Go’, due for release on 26 February via Atlantic. 

The Human League and UB40 – two legendary bands with an outstanding back catalogue stretching back more than 40 years – join the bill on the main stage headlined by one of the hottest artists of the moment Jess Glynne, the Grammy award winner with an unbelievable 5 UK Number 1 singles from her chart topping debut album.

Another British singer with a debut number 1 album, Jamie Lawson is next on the bill with Turin Brakes, Jeremy Loops and local Nottingham artist Ady Suleiman also announced for the main stage. Suleiman has been earmarked as one to watch, his timelessly classic yet fresh sound has garnered him a broad range of influential fans from both sides of the Atlantic. The festival will once again be championing local talent by offering the opening slot of the main stage to the winner of the hotly contested Future Sound of Nottingham battle of the bands competition.

Across the park, multi-million selling megaband The Darkness will headline the Confetti stage along with The Fratellis, The Rifles, Stiff Little Fingers, Louis Berry, These Your Children and Eyre Llew.

Headlining the Acoustic Rooms stage will be British folk singer Will Varley, who has recently sold out The Bodega and supported Frank Turner at Rock City, followed by Brad Dear, Tom McCartney, Bru-C, Ellie Keegan, Josh Wheatley, Raphael Blake and Lowrie.


Over on the Funhouse Comedy stage, acts will include: John Ryan, Patrick Monahan, Ivan Brackenbury, El Baldiniho, Tom Binns, Vince Atta.  


Formed in Sheffield in the late 1970s The Human League evolved into one of the seminal 80s electro pop bands. The band sold more than 20 million records and their classic pop masterpiece ‘Don’t You Want Me’ was a number one hit around the world.


Naming themselves after the unemployment benefit form, UB40 formed in 1978, before releasing their debut album ‘Signing Off’ in August 1980. It was the start of a career that has since seen the band have over forty UK Top 40 hit singles and achieve sales of over 100 million records. Led by Robin Campbell and Duncan Campbell on vocals, UB40 play Splendour for the first time following a sell-out show at Rock City in 2014.


British singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson is quickly making his mark on the music industry, as the first artist signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label, Gingerbread Man Records. In the whirlwind that followed, Jamie toured with Ed across the world and supported One Direction on their final full UK arena tour. His self-titled album reached #1 in the UK and has sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide.


After a fantastic sell out show at Rock City in December, three-times Brit award winners The Darkness will be bringing some glam rock to the Confetti stage. Revellers can expect a high-energy set, full of remarkably catchy material, and unapologetic worship of old-school rock & roll including their classic “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”.


Scottish rockers The Fratellis will bring their turbo charged indie guitar tunes including top 10 hit singles "Chelsea Dagger" and "Whistle For The Choir".


2015 saw indie band The Rifles mark the ten year anniversary of their debut album ‘No Love Lost’ with four triumphant sold out Electric Ballroom shows in London and 2016 will see the release of their 5th album.


Punk rock stalwarts Stiff Little Fingers take to the stage before hotly tipped Liverpool-born singer-songwriter Louis Berry will take things in a soulful direction with his gritty rock 'n' roll with soul. Louis has won praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, John Kennedy at Radio X and Zane Lowe.


The Darkness, Shadow Child and more added to Brownstock lineup

Amongst the plethora of dance and pop on offer at this year’s Brownstock, The Darkness and The Hoosiers are to crash the party, bringing with them a heady slice of rock and indie. To keep the dance floor packed are yet more new names from the electronic world including Shadow Child, Bondax, Friction, MJ Cole and more.

After a 2011 reunion, quadruple platinum selling rock outfit The Darkness returned to our stereos and stages, now they are headed for Brownstock. The glam four piece, fronted by falsetto-reaching frontman Justin Hawkins have bagged BRIT, Ivor Novello and MTV EMA awards during their high-octane international career. Essex is preparing to head bang to hits such as ‘Growing on Me’ come July.

DJ and producer Shadow Child is known to many via his shows on BBC Radio 1 and Rinse FM, he joins the line up for Brownstock having previously remixed fellow performer Example. Also appearing will be Lancashire future garage duo Bondax and Indiana, a singer making waves with her single ‘Solo Dancing’. With a number one debut album under their belts The Hoosiers will offer up indie rock to the festival’s menu.
Elsewhere amongst the recent additions are triple deck spinning Drum and Bass DJ, Friction, UK garage leaderMJ Cole and the hip-hop/jungle infusing DJ Zinc. Ibiza Rocks resident DJ Doorly, warehouse rave originatorsRatpack and Brightonion Fono are also in line to get Brownstock jumping. RAM Records’ will be represented by artists Rene Lavice and Culture Shock whilst the much hyped Rat Boy and eye catching Them&Us prepare to take to the stage.
The Treehouse Stage, hosted by Fréses events also unveils the first of its acts today. Anna Mcluckie, best know for her appearance on The Voice in which she wowed judges not just with her singing but also her harp skills, crowns The Treehouse Stage. Elsewhere a number of Essex’s very own up and coming, unsigned and grassroots talents will be taking to the Treehouse stage including Youth ClubCourts, Dojo, Midnight Barbers, Stealing signs takeover, October Glow, Calgary, Local Life DJs, John The Baptist, Darcy andFréres DJs.

Y Not Festival lineup update

Joining The Cribs, The Horrors, The Darkness, The Enemy, Ash and the Mystery Jets and many many more are: Deaf Havana, IsMe, Chapel Club, Temples, The Temperance Movement, Nightworks, Maybeshewill and Chloe Howl. For the full line-up go to

The Darkness

Also revealed are the chosen 20 unsigned bands who emerged from Y Not's search for the best of new talent. The festival, found in the heart of the Peak District, has a tradition of supporting emerging artists – stemming back to its birth in a quarry.

Festival organiser, Ralph Broadbent says, "There's been an excellent response this year – we had over 1,700 artists apply".

In addition to Y Not, the judging panel included BBC Introducing, Naim Label and top bands, The Horrors, Mystery Jets, and We are The Ocean. The results are on the Y Not website. BBC Introducing's Dean Jackson said: "I was happy to listen and watch the new artists as, having a long association with Y Not, I know what a fantastic opportunity it is for emerging artists to play."

Dean also explained, "I'm passionate about development of the next generation of bands and musicians so, consistent with what I do every Saturday night on the radio, I jumped at the chance to help new artists get this important early exposure". There's been widespread support through Twitter and Facebook from the bands already playing at Y Not.  

Aled, from Kids in Glass Houses, said " Every band has to start somewhere and while the computer has made it easier than ever for bands and musicians to express themselves and produce professional quality work, they still need that bit of help to get seen and heard – and luck." Their experience, he said was very similar, "We got our breaks as an unsigned band by sending our demos in the post to competitions similar to the Y Not one and magazines as well. I think Britain is very open and eager for new bands so it's great that Y Not recognise that and are actively supporting and seeking new talent. These festivals aren't gonna headline themselves in five years!"

And Y Not meanwhile is ensuring this will be a spectacular of a festival. Between the gaps in the music, there are bars, a drive- in cinema, dodgems, helter skelter, a roller disco and unusual sightings rumoured. Younger families are also being looked after – with expanded family camping and kids activity area. This year the festival runs from 2-4 August, near Matlock, Derbyshire.

The Horrors, The Cribs & The Darkness to headline Y Not Festival

Y Not Festival today announced all its headliners and most of its line-up for this year's festival. It's an eclectic mix of genres: household names and established artists are found next to buzz bands of 2013 and local talent.

On Friday – headlining are The Horrors, supported by the Mystery Jets, Saturday, it's The Cribs, supported by Ash and on Sunday, it's The Darkness, supported by The Enemy.

The Darkness

Other key acts include: The 1975, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Dry the River, Electric Six, Kids in Glass Houses and The Joy Formidable

Also to follow are the announcements for the Allotment Stage – this is the stage which nurtures home-grown talent and gives it the opportunity to bloom. Over 1,700 bands applied via this route and Y Not have dedicated 20 slots to the brightest and best of them.

To help festival goers see as many bands as possible, Y Not has also launched a planner. Accessible via the Y Not website, this nifty piece of software shows at a glance what time they need to be where and when there are clashes between their favoured bands which might test their loyalties.

The Darkness and Reef for Looe Music Festival

Place your hands on tickets to see Brit rockers Reef, and The Darkness on Looe beach this autumn. Looe Music Festival 2013 promises 60 bands, 3 stages … and 1 big party on the beach over the weekend of 27th – 29th September.

The Darkness, Reef and Dizraeli & the Small Gods will head a hefty line-up of rock, punk and modern ska talent that includes The Damned, Sham 69, Missing Andy and Simon Townshend fresh from his UK tour with The Who.

The Darkness

Folk fans can look forward to a busy weekend of performances from celebrated folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman (making the short journey across the Tamar to take Looe beach by storm on the Saturday night), plus BBC Folk Award winners (Best Folk Duo 2012) Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, singer-songwriter Judy Dunlop, and folk-pop starlet Lisbee Stainton.

If swamp-infested, Latin-American gypsy blues is more your style, Congo Faith Healers are one to catch. Listed as one of The Independent’s Top 10 Bands to see live in London. Carnival outfit Tankus The Henge have a reputation for whipping crowds into a frenzy too. Named as one of Glastonbury 2011’s top 10 bands, check them out for yourself at Looe Music Festival 2013. As always, LMF will be showcasing local talent from Looe, and seasoned performers from all over Cornwall and the South West.

BBC Poetry Slam champion Dizraeli, with world Beatbox champion Bellatrix and a supernaturally gifted 7-piece band make Dizraeli & the Small Gods the ones to see on the Friday night at the beach.

Rockney heroes Chas & Dave will close the weekend in style supported by the pioneers of ‘oom-pop’ the lederhosen-clad, London-based Oompah Brass. Last year sold out … don’t miss the boat. Tickets

Pearl Jam to headline Isle of Wight Festival 2012

Also added to the bill are The DarknessFeederProfessor GreenWretch 32, Loick Essien and Clement Marfo & The Frontline. Tickets are available NOW from for what is sure to be a weekend to remember.

Pearl Jam sold more than 15 million copies of their first two albums, leaping from obscurity to superstardom and will now take the headline slot on Saturday 23rd June at the Isle of Wight Festival2012. Responsible for popularising the Seattle grunge sound and style, Pearl Jam continue to combine guitar-heavy Led Zeppelin-influenced songs with Eddie Vedder's charismatic impassioned vocals. This will be a UK Festival exclusive and so make sure you’re there to witness what will be an unbelievable performance!

Pearl Jam

 The truly eclectic line up will see British glam rock band The Darkness take the headline slot in the Big Top on Sunday 24th June closing the Festival weekend. The band, who reformed this year are renowned for their elaborate stage performances, so expect a show you won’t forget in a hurry. 
Since they started releasing records fifteen years ago, Feeder have never been far from the charts or strangers to the stage. After a crowd pleasing performance in 2008 the band will open the Festival’s main stage on Friday 22nd June.
On Saturday 23rd June, Hackney boy Professor Green will bring his slick rap lyrics to the atmospheric Big Top. After recently celebrating success with the number one single ‘Read All About It’,Professor Green comes to the island for a not to be missed performance! Joining the Big Top bill is one of the biggest music success stories of 2011; Wretch 32. Sure to wow the crowd with tunes such as the chart topping, ‘Don’t Go’Wretch 32 is the perfect addition to the Isle of Wight Festival line up.
Loick Essien came to music almost by accident and now brings his sophisticated, smooth, accessible British urban soul style to the Big Top  on Saturday 23rd June.  Next up is Clement Marfo & The Frontline, whose inimitable sound comes from their deft ability to fuse hip-hop, grime and rock and pop in a brilliantly idiosyncratic fashion.
John Giddings, the Festival’s promoter, says‘Pearl Jam completes our American trilogy for this year. They have been on our wish list for a long time and we are proud for them to come to the island for the first time. Meanwhile we intend to provide plenty of other entertainment in the Big Top and Garden Stage starting with contemporary urban entertainment of Professor Green and Wretch 32.’
The much-loved Isle of Wight Festival is one of the most important dates on the summer calendar and a truly remarkable weekend of music and fun. Taking place across three stages festivalgoers can expect unmissable performances from artists including; Tom Petty and The HeartbreakersBruce Springsteen & the E Street BandElbowNoel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsExample,Noah & The WhaleThe Vaccines, Madness, and The Christians.  More acts will be announced soon…