Celebrating 20 years of Permission To Land
2003 saw the start of a love affair between one of the most extraordinary and best loved bands to come from the UK and fans all around the world. The Darkness exploded from their Lowestoft roots to global success when they released their debut album Permission To Land to almost overnight success. It topped the UK charts, going 5x Platinum and selling over 1.5 million copies in the UK alone, whilst also becoming a huge success everywhere from the USA to Australia, Germany to Japan.
The album spawned a series of hit singles including ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’, ‘Growing On Me’, ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’ and ‘Love Is Only A Feeling’. It also clocked up a series of awards including three BRIT Awards, two Kerrang Awards and an Ivor Novello for ‘Songwriters Of The Year’ amongst many others.
The Darkness played a number of landmark shows, including a headline set at the 2004 Reading & Leeds Festivals, as part of a whirlwind career of global touring and international success. The band then followed the success of their debut with the 2005 album One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back, which produced the Top 10 hit ‘One Way Ticket’.
However the pressures of fame took their toll and in 2006 lead singer Justin Hawkins left the band, checking into rehab and The Darkness were no more. Yet, like a veritable phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, the band reformed in 2011 touring Europe and South America the following year with Lady Gaga. They released their comeback album Hot Cakes that year and Last Of Our Kind in 2015.
In 2017 the band ushered in a new era with the release of Pinewood Smile and the critically acclaimed record became their third UK Top 10 album. With its successor Easter Is Cancelled (2019) achieving equally great heights there seemed no stopping the band. However, that album’s title proved semi-prophetic and following its release the world plunged into the Covid-19 pandemic.
Undaunted, they released their latest album Motorheart in 2021 which not only received rave reviews but once more catapulted them straight back onto the upper echelons of festival bills such as Download and saw them pack out the arenas around the country with fervent fans hungry for the band’s return to the stage.
2022 saw The Darkness perform incendiary shows around the world while, in tandem with their touring, fabulous frontman Justin was quickly becoming the internet’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll personality with his highly revered Justin Hawkins Rides Again podcast.
The Darkness have now come full circle as their game-changing debut album Permission To Land turns 20 this year. The band are as hot on rock fans lips around the world as they were all those years ago, having sold out arena shows including Wembley with Black Stone Cherry earlier this year. And they even kicked off 2023 in style, ringing in the new year with a performance of the timeless classic ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ on BBC One’s New Year’s Eve programming.
That uber hit, and all the other solid gold stonkers from The Darkness’s debut and beyond, will be hitting venues around the globe on the 2023 Permission To Land 20 world tour, bolstered by a special expanded Permission To Land deluxe album release coming via Warner Music too.
The band continue to be billed alongside the pantheon of rock gods this year and have performed with Guns N’ Roses at BST London Hyde Park, as well as KISS in Norway this summer.
20 years after The Darkness landed in 2003 with a big bang that changed the face of British rock music forever, their cheeky, spandex-clad anthems continue to probe and capture hearts around the world today.