The Darkness — Motorheart (Cooking Vinyl)

Think of it as an early Christmas present.

The gift that keeps on giving.

A celebration of all things festive and frolicking.

When The Darkness falls over December it’s the signal to party. Hard.

And this year the band comes armed with a brand new record to support an extensive UK tour.

Winter gigs from Justin and the boys have become a bit of a Christmas tradition.

Of course, it’s a perfect excuse to roll out that entendre-rich holiday hit.

But it’s also a golden opportunity for the pantomime dames of rock and roll to unleash their inner ugly sisters.

Almost by accident (or maybe by design?) The Darkness have become synonymous with Chrimbo.

Like turkey, mince pies and sozzled in-laws they’re a fixture of the festive period.

And if Motorheart’s lacking that seasonal single, it’s the still the uncensored sound of overblown celebration.

A joyous reminder of goodwill to all men (and women).

And confirmation that nobody does daft dafter than jolly old Justin.

The Motorheart beat goes on…

The title track’s ever-so-2021 take on cybersex sets the thoroughly ridiculous scene.

The touch of a button, a steely caress/You need a Phillips screwdriver to get her undressed’ is peak Darkness.

Justin, his bro and their buddies have built a career on clever wordplay and catchy riffs.

And Motorheart is like a pun-fuelled production line of impossibly invasive earworms.

Skittish opener Welcome Tae Glasgow would have Scots screaming for vengeance if it was any other band.

It’s less taking the pish and more awkward love letter to a city close to the band’s heart.

Jussy’s Girl (even Rick Springfield must find that funny?) is another ham-fisted attempt at penning a love song.

But Justin’s the master of toe-curling romantic missteps.

Sticky Situations could be one of the Hawk’s most personal songs yet…tissue at the ready.

But it’s the rousing road trip soundtrack Eastbound that steals the show as the main man heads home to his happy place.

All of these top tunes and more would slot seamlessly into any Darkness setlist.

Spoiler alert: it looks like most of them do!

Omicron’s Motorheart attack

Motorheart versus Omicron.

It might sound like something out of the next Transformers’ movie but it’s a serious dilemma.

We’re being told to bin the Christmas party but what about THE party?

It’s so far, so good for the rapidly testing band as they bounce from city to city in their Covid-secure bus.

But The Darkness’ bubble bursting is the least of our worries.

For some, the thought of a sweaty gig in rammed venue is anathema as the new Covid variant takes hold.

For others The Darkness’s tour represents a chink of light 21 months into a punishing pandemic.

Yes, Motorheart’s an album that’s made for the stage.

And sure, The Darkness is a band pitched at pure escapism.

But if this Christmas’s concerts have come too soon for you then take solace in the fact that Motorheart has been made for living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms too.

And it’s been made by the finest rock and roll craftsmen on the planet.