Hit singles like ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ and ‘Love is Only a Feeling’ launched their careers over a decade ago but later this year, The Darkness make their long-awaited return to Glasgow as part of their Blast of Our Kind tour. The Lowestoft band will be touring in support of the release of their album Last of Our Kind which became available to buy earlier this month. Speaking to TSA in time for the album’s release and forthcoming tour announcement, the band’s larger-than-life bassist Frankie Poullain talked of what you can expect to hear on the album and of some of the more unusual experiences he has had while on tour with The Darkness.
The Darkness are no strangers to arena tours. Are you looking forward to your UK tour later this year?
Naturally. With the magnificent Rufus Taylor on the drum set we’re egging each on even more than usual. He’ll be belting out gold-plated harmonies by then I expect. We’ll also be debuting our new single which we’re writing in Ireland next month. There, I said it.
With the upcoming release of your fourth studio album, Last Of Our Kind, can fans expect to hear a large set list of songs, including your older material?
Technically you are correct in your underwhelming assumptions. I can reveal that the set will be large, and yes, we shall be playing “older” material, as well as newer material. I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised.
Which single from your new album are you most looking forward to performing?
‘Mighty Wings’ is pretty special. Will it be a single? I’ve no idea. It deals with mortality – what more do you want?
Your new material has been described as “An album of unparalleled beauty and power”. Do you still feel humbled by this kind of reaction? And what has the fan reaction been like?
It’s hard for a western person to feel humbled as we have been indoctrinated by greed and entitlement. If you want humble you look to the east. Buddhists can be humble, when they stop bragging about all the yoga moves they can pull off. Atheists are often arrogant about their supposed superior understanding. So what’s the answer? The fan reaction has been incredible. The Darkness Army have a Facebook page and I refuse to look at it for fear it will make me the opposite of humble.
As this is now your fourth album, do you feel like your music is continually changing and allowing a new generation of fans to appreciate your sound and come to the tour, or do you feel that your fans, who were there from the beginning, are the ones who appreciate the tours the most?
Lots of our fans were too young first time round and now their parents will allow them to go to a proper rock show. They were there from the beginning, five-year-olds getting their rocks off to ‘Growing on Me’ on MTV 2. Now they’re 17 and can finally get into a Darkness gig – unless the promoter has stupidly made it an over 18’s only show?
Glasgow is known for its vibrant music scene and great atmosphere. What has your experience of playing in the city been like?
Always very intense in a good way. Glasgow fans are willing you on to make it into a special night and you just have to oblige. They’re not embarrassed or self-conscious like southern crowds can be. King Tuts and Barrowlands are sacred places, anyone who’s been there knows that.
You’ve previously made use of huge stage props to do with certain areas of the body (ahem), do you have any similar plans for this tour?
We never did manage the ‘arse de triumphe’, who knows what’s in store?
What is your favourite aspect of touring, and what has been your best/craziest memory?
Sleeping in the tour bus and pretending I’m in a coffin. Actually when it’s icy outside, it is pretty nerve-wracking because I keep thinking the driver’s going to skid and we’ll topple over. Sometimes I convince myself that the driver is bound to fall asleep, because if I’m so knackered he must be too.
Finally, as the Glasgow tour date is in December, can fans expect to hear a rousing rendition of ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’?
Can’t think of any reason why not. Christmas is a time for giving.