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The Darkness Reunite

Justin Hawkins rejoins the Brit glam-rock band and writes material for a new release.

William Goodman // March 15, 2011

Good news for spandex-lovin’ glam-rock fans: The Darkness are back!

After a five-year split, all four original members of the British outfit, including frontman Justin Hawkins and bassist Frankie Poullain, have reformed and scheduled their first gig — an opening slot for Def Leppard on June 10 at England’s Download Festival.

Hawkins, 35, who quit the band in 2006 shortly after a stint in rehab for cocaine addiction, spoke to the BBC about the reunion: “The main thing for us is to make sure that musically we turn the experience into something positive again. We’ve been remembering why it was so much fun in the first place, just four men making loud music in a room.”

Hawkins added that for the past few years he’s been working on tracks with his brother, the Darkness’ guitarist Dan Hawkins, for an upcoming release.

Between 2003, when the band formed, and 2006, the Darkness released two studio albums and five U.K. Top 10 hits, including “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.” They became known for Hawkins’ falsetto, as well as their wild live performances, during which Hawkins would dress in colorful spandex suits and strut the stage like his hero, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

For their comeback shows, Hawkins promises even more Spinal Tap stage costumes. “I think it should be a new phase and that should be extended to the clothing,” he said. “Not a lesser phase, if anything a cranked up version. They’ll be more good.”

During the Darkness’ hiatus, Justin Hawkins formed Hot Leg, which rocked SPIN’s SXSW party in 2009.