THE Darkness – fronted by former Huddersfield student Justin Hawkins – are on the comeback trail.
The band are getting back together to play the Download Festival five years after splitting up.
The rockers, who had five top 10 hits including I Believe In A Thing Called Love, are appearing as special guests of headliners Def Leppard on Friday, June 10.
Frontman Justin Hawkins – 36 tomorrow – said: “The idea of playing Download terrifies us. We played in an early slot on the main stage in 2003 and we were frightened then.
“It’s reassuring to know that nothing has changed.
“On a more serious note, it is the rockiest of festivals and the perfect place for us to begin the next phase of our journey.”
The band, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, had a No1 with their first album, Permission To Land, which won the Best British Album award at the Brits in 2004.
Flamboyant frontman Hawkins shot to fame with The Darkness – and fell from grace when the rock group split.
He tried again with his new band Hot Leg, but they soon disappeared.
The king of the catsuits – who studied music technology at Huddersfield Technical College – wowed crowds as much with his skin-tight outfits and huge hair as he did with his falsetto vocals.
For a while the singer lived the rock star dream as The Darkness’s 2003 debut album Permission To Land sold over two million copies and won them three Brit awards.
With hits including I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Love Is Only A Feeling and even a Christmas single it appeared The Darkness could do no wrong. Hawkins even got his own waxwork in Madame Tussaud’s.
But, like so many bands, they fell victim to the curse of ‘that difficult second album’ and their follow-up effort failed to win over fans in 2005.
Their meteoric rise was followed by the usual rock and roll fall from grace when Hawkins resigned from the band in 2006.
The Darkness subsequently split and Hawkins spent a month-long rehab spell in The Priory.
He admitted spending £150,000 in three years on cocaine and at one stage said he was taking ecstasy every day.