19 Feb 2009

Former Darkness singer Justin Hawkins back on tour with new rock band Hot Leg

+ posted by FlamingWhopper

FLAMBOYANT frontman Justin Hawkins shot to the heights of fame with The Darkness and fell from grace when the rock group split.

Now the former Huddersfield student is back for another taste of stardom with his new band Hot Leg.

They have released their debut album and are just about to embark on a UK tour.

In 2003 Justin burst onto the music scene, unashamedly celebrating everything camp and overblown about rock music.

The Lowestoft-born king of the catsuits who studied music 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 33-year-old 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. Justin 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 Justin resigned from the band in 2006.

The Darkness subsequently split and in August that year Justin 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.

Although he cleaned up his act, a series of ill-fated solo projects followed, including novelty act British Whale and a bid to be 2007 UK candidate for Eurovision Song Contest something he still does not like to talk about.

But sober and drug-free for two years, it now it seems Justin has finally found a project that fits him as well as his spandex jumpsuits.

“I had written a lot of songs and put some of them up on Myspace as a solo artist,’’ he said. “But I always get more from collaborating with others. There’s nothing as magical as a live band.”

His Hot Leg bandmates are guitarist Pete Rinaldi, bassist Samuel Stokes and drummer Darby Todd.

They set up their own label, Barbeque Rock and released debut offering Red Light Fever. The album shows Justin has not lost any of his eccentric ways or his knack for melody.

Go to www.myspace.com/teamhotleg

Credit: www.examiner.co.uk

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