The boys are back in town – for new album

LOWESTOFT rockers The Darkness are set to complete their comeback with a long-awaited third album that has been partly recorded in their home town, they revealed this week.

The band re-formed this year and, after going back on the road, they have been wowing live audiences – and a new generation of 'Darklings' – in Spain, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Japan and across the UK.

But in an exclusive interview with The Journal, guitarist Dan Hawkins revealed yesterday that their eagerly-awaited third album was 'almost complete' – and much of the recording had been done in a Lowestoft studio.

After they were formed in 2000, The Darkness' debut album Permission to Land went quadruple platinum in the UK, and they won three Brit Awards as well as enjoying five Top 10 hits – including I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

The band – comprising former Kirkley High School pupils Justin Hawkins (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Dan (guitar, backing vocals) and Ed Graham (drums), along with Scotsman Frankie Poullain (bass, backing vocals) – went on to enjoy worldwide success before splitting up in 2006.

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But after a five-year hiatus, they are now back to rock a new audience.

Speaking ahead of a sell-out gig at the UEA in Norwich next Thursday, Dan, 34, said: 'It has been a crazy time. I started writing songs with Jus well over a year-and-a-half ago, and then the band got back together in March this year – it's almost as though we haven't been away.

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'Myself, Jus and Ed are all back in East Anglia now and it is back to our roots and back to our best.'

The original Darkness line-up made their welcome return to the live scene earlier this year with a warm-up gig at the Waterfront in Norwich ahead of a triumphant performance at Download Festival in June.

Delighted with how their return has gone, Dan Hawkins said: 'We knew when we started working on the album we wanted to get it out for next spring. But there were only two gigs on the opening run that did not sell out and considering we don't even have a song out at the moment all the support has been mind blowing! We put out a lot of dates to let people know we are making music again, and the responses have been fantastic.'

Looking forward to next week's gig in Norwich, Dan said: 'I can't wait. It's great to come back to Norfolk, I live down the road and my family can come and see us – the show sold out in 30 minutes and if there was a much bigger venue we could've filled it. It's just great to know we have that support locally.'

Speaking about the support they've received and their album, which is to be released early next year, Hawkins told The Journal: 'We have been recording at my farm in Norfolk, and we were the last band to play there as it is now shut, but a lot of the recording was done in Lowestoft. It's nice to have a local influence on the album and I am really confident that this is definitely going to be some of the best material we have ever released.'

So can the Lowestoft faithful expect a return to town for their favourites in the future?

'If there was a venue we would almost definitely play it,' Dan said.

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