Live review and photos: The Darkness with Massive Wagons. O2 Academy Bristol – 07/12/21

After the release of their new album Motorheart earlier this year, it was only appropriate for a UK tour to follow, with a massive 22 shows, all within the UK, supported by rock favourites Massive Wagons. We caught the show when they played at The O2 Academy in Bristol.

With only one opener for a band of this magnitude, Massive Wagons had a big job on their hands, getting this cold – albeit excited – Tuesday night crowd warmed up and ready. But they did it well, and if there were people there who somehow hadn’t heard of these guys, then they probably went away with some new fans.

Lead man Baz jumped and danced around the stage like a man possessed, getting the crowd moving along with him and the rest of the band. It’s clear these guys have great chemistry between them, all rocking out and vibing off each other throughout the set. Definitely a band worth checking out if you’ve not seen or heard them before.

And then it was onto the main act of the night. The lights went out, the intro music started and the crowd went wild, cheers and applause from all around the venue, everyone was excited to see the rock legends that are The Darkness.

Although the venue wasn’t quite sold out, the atmosphere was one of pure enjoyment and electricity. Playing us through a massive 19 song setlist, these guys treated us to everything, from the oldest to the newest music, with everyone hopefully enjoying it.

In true glam-rock style, The Darkness have kept wearing the same style of stage outfits since they first began, with massive flared trousers, one-pieces that don’t leave much to the imagination and the dance moves to match. When you come to see The Darkness, it’s not just the music you are coming for.

Throughout the rest of the night, frontman Justin kept the crowd and band as one, chatting to audience members and security, and even offering them to charge their phones at one point. And although one person tried to ruin the night for the rest us, security were brilliant at getting him out and The Band did a brilliant job of keeping the show going. At any show, we all know there is no space this to happen.

The Darkness are well known for doing more than just play their music, they were truly putting on a show for us all night. The non-stop dancing across the stage from all band members, even accompanied by a handstand from Justin near the end, these guys put in the effort to make sure everyone has a good time.

The first big finish of the night was of course going to be I Believe In A Thing Called Love, with some of the loudest singalongs I think I’ve ever heard, almost everyone hitting the high notes! And after a longer-than-usual wait, the team donned festive outfits to end the night with ‘The Christmas One’. A special mention to the Drummer Rufus for playing in a full blow up Christmas tree.

And that was the end of a spectacular festive night of rock and roll madness. Although The Darkness have been going for a long time, they still put on one hell of a show and if you get the chance to see them, then we can only recommend that you do. A massive thank you, as always, to all the venue staff and security for also making the night as good as it could be.

Review and photos by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic

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