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The Darkness has announced that they have finished recording nine songs for their comeback album out in the spring of 2012.

This will be the first album since 2005's 'One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back', and frontman Justin Hawkins revealed that the band are expecting to finish recording the remaining tracks by the end of January in time to release the album on his birthday, March 17.

While speaking to Billboard, Hawkins said “[We've got] nine of the required songs done, all finished, all sounding shining and good. We've got about two weeks of recording in January, and bits of it are already going off to be mixed even as we speak, so it's kind of nearly finished now.”

The original line-up of The Darkness reunited earlier this year for a round of live shows, including an electrifying performance at Download festival (a clip can be seen on

Hawkins' brother Dan added that the band had been looking to return to the "more organic rock sounds" of their 2003 debut 'Permission To Land', which spawned hit singles 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' and 'Love Is Only A Feeling'.

"Rather than a big-name producer we decided to do it ourselves, as per the first record. We just wanted to develop the songs and make sure they were really spot-on and basically take a minimal approach across the board - apart from when we needed to go really over the top," he explained.

Material for the as-yet-untitled album was rehearsed in their Lowestoft hometown and recorded at Dan's home studio.

"Home is where the heart is," says Justin. "When you write songs, you need a grounding to set the stories in. There's a lot about small-town life. The album has songs about stuff that's happened to us in the town. [As for influences], it's AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, et cetera."


Little Mix beat off stiff competition from fellow finalist Marcus Collins to become the first band in the history of the ITV1 show to be crowned champions.

It is estimated punters will collect over £200,000 in winning bets after the girl group had been the favourites for several weeks, but it is the girl group themselves that are set to rake in millions with music tycoon Simon Cowell laying plans to turn them into the next Spice Girls.

The girls were very emotional, wiping away tears as they told of their delight after the decision at the packed Wembley Arena in North London.

The four girls won the public vote and beat hairdresser Marcus Collins, to the title. Gracious in defeat, Marcus said: "The girls really deserve it. They are amazing."

The girl band have already launched their attack on the charts with a rendition of Damian Rice’s “Cannonball”, which was chosen to be the winners track a few weeks ago. However, Little Mix weren't installed favourites to be Christmas Number One by bookies last night.

In recent years the X Factor winner has been the most fancied to be the festive top seller. But last night they were only made 9/4 second favourites behind the Military Wives track "Wherever you are".

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "Little Mix will serve it up to the Military Wives in the battle for the Christmas Number One race. We still reckon Gareth and the Wives are in pole position for now, however."

The X-Factor winner is set to release a cover of Damien Rice's 'Cannonball' as their debut single, according to the Sun.

According to the article, all four of the show’s remaining contestants have recorded a version of 'Cannonball', which one of three tracks being considered for release.

A source told the paper: "It's one of three songs being considered for release. The acts are still recording the different options but Cannonball has a good shot. After reworking Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' for Alexandra Burke then Biffy's track 'Many Of Horror' for Matt last year, it's the next step. It would be a safe bet to sell well in the run-up to Christmas."

This year’s “talent” competition ends on December 11, with the named winner releasing their debut single on that very same night. With the Christmas Number One being announced on Christmas Day itself this year, the single will need to secure two weeks at Number One to become this year’s Christmas chart topper.

When 'Cannonball' was released as a single back in 2004 it peaked in the charts at Number 19, but the track been in constant use ever since on television and film, and is considered as one of the iconic songs of the “noughties”.

After the success of 2008 winner Alexandra Burke’s covering of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' as her debut release, Rage Against the Machine beat X Factor's Joe McEldery to Christmas No 1 after a Facebook campaign against Simon Cowell's chart domination of the Christmas number 1.

X-Factor winner Matt Cardle covered Biffy Clyro's 'Many Of Horror' (renamed 'When We Collide') when he won the competition last year but there are further grumblings of another campaign to take back to top spot from the X-factor Christmas No 1 juggernaut.


Elbow have been chosen to record the BBC's soundtrack for the London 2012 Olympic Games, it has been announced.

The Salford five-piece who in 2008 won the Mercury Music Prize for their album The Seldom Seen Kid, have been nominated three times, including this year for the album Build a Rocket Boys!, and are one of the most popular groups in the country right now.

The band, who released their fifth album earlier this year, have written and recorded a six-minute long track that will be used for BBC's coverage of the events next year.

The Elbow theme will be used by the BBC across its Olympic content. Further details of the track itself have yet to be released.

The track will follow in the footsteps of previous Olympic them

es including the Monkey theme by former Blur front man Damon Albarn's group Gorillaz for Beijing 2008.

Speaking to BBC News, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey described recording the track as "a real responsibility" and revealed: "We are knocked out to be involved and it's been quite a challenge.”

“We have feelings of real responsibility as we will be the soundtrack to so many images of personal sacrifice and endeavour while the nation roots for and celebrates with Team GB."

The BBC's Director of London 2012 Roger Mosey said Elbow

's piece had yet to be recorded. The first section of the song would be aired around the time of the beginning of the torch relay in May 2012, with the full track unveiled nearer to the Olympic Games opening ceremony later that year.

He continued by adding: "It should be just-about the most heard piece of music in 2012.”

Meanwhile, the band, who began playing together in 1990, have revealed that they are already working on their next album, though a planned release date is still unknown.


Heavy metal supergroup Metallica have announced that they will perform their best-selling self titled album Metallica, also known as The Black Album, in its entirety when they step onto the stage to headline at next year's Download festival at Donington Park.

It will be the band's eighth visit to Donington Park when they step onto the stage at Download 2012. They first played at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1985 and most recently back in 2006, Metallica headlined Download festival.

Co-founder and drummer Lars Ulrich revealed on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show that the reason for them performing the 1991 album in full is to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Download heavy metal festival.

Lars Ulrich said: "Six years is way too long to be away from the hallowed grounds of Donington Park. We are beyond psyched and feel privileged to come back once again to soak up the energy and vibe of the most legendary of festival sites."

Vice president of promotions at Live Nation, which runs the festival, Andy Copping was “bowled over” by Metallica's decision to perform in such a way, noting "The album is up there as one of the greatest albums of all time, everyone knows the songs,".

The “Black album” was the band’s self-titled fifth studio album and reached number one in more than 25 countries selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. It includes the six hit singles that are considered today among the band's best-known hits including Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam, Nothing Else Matters, and The Unforgiven.

Black Sabbath are also set to headline the main stage on the 10th of June, closing the  Download 2012 festival which takes place from June 8-10. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (November 18).