Anyone who has known members of a working rock band will bear witness to the weirdness that comes with that job description. In Welcome to the Darkness, we get an inside look at the British band during a time of great personal and professional change. The band members reveal that story, warts and all.
For those unfamiliar, The Darkness rose out of the UK music scene in early two-thousand and then struck gold (and platinum) with their debut album Permission to Land in 2003. It was popular world-wide and sold 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. Their mix of heavy guitar-centric music and outrageous showmanship struck a nerve with the public at that time and they rode the wave until it all came crashing down.
The band’s lead singer Justin Hawkins and his brother, lead guitarist Dan are very forthright with the truth about both each other and the situations that led to the band breaking up and eventually getting back together. There is a very revealing monologue from Justin where he states that the bigger arsehole he became, the more popular the band became, that a toxic lifestyle was what the people really wanted.
The appeal of the train wreck ethos was duly delivered. It doesn’t do a deep dive into their chemical dependency and that is fine as that story is one of repetition and would offer few surprises. Instead, we get to meet the humans behind the act. In line with any good doco, even if you have no knowledge of the band or their music by the film’s end you will have developed a keen interest about its participants.
Welcome to the Darkness (2023) will be available on major streaming platforms starting January 24th.