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Justin Hawkins formerly with The Darkness in Swindon on Ocotber 28

October 22, 2008

6:23pm Wednesday 22nd October 2008

By Flicky Harrison »

Justin Hawkins, former lead singer with The Darkness, wanted to be a helicopter pilot or a marine biologist but after joining the air cadets and taking a couple of flying lessons he realised it was not all Blue Thunder and turned to music.

“It wasn’t what I expected it to be. I was frisked when I joined the air cadets and this was way before 9/11and the war on terror. I took some flying lessons but I thought it was going to be like Airwolf and Blue Thunder on the telly.”

Fortunately the singer and guitarist chose a career in music and his first big break came in 2003 with his band The Darkness which also included his brother Dan. Their single I Believe In A Thing Called Love shot up the charts to number 2 and they almost made the Christmas number one with Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End), which only just fell short at number two.

The band’s trade mark was a reincarnation of the glam rock of the 1970s with Justin out front in a lycra cat suit and a voice with a terrific range particularly in the upper reaches.

Today Justin has a new band called Hot Leg who he says are man rock instead of glam rock.

“We are very different from The Darkness, much louder, bigger and hairier,” he said.

Hot Leg have released their first single this week free on download called Trojan Guitar and their first album, as yet untitled, will be out in the New Year.

“The single is a tight medieval epic and the album is a collection of man rock songs that is hopefully out on January 12. ” said the singer who is bringing his band to Swindon’s 12 Bar on Tuesday October 28.

Justin is no stranger to the town as he was one of the judges at the Mooncalf Battle of the Bands final at Riffs Bar in Greatfield, and Hot Leg also played at the Mooncalf Cancellation Party.

“Judging was great fun although one of my fellow judges thought that Stage Craft was the name of a band. There was a good standard of bandage. We were supposed to play two songs at the cancellation party and ended up playing for two hours.” he said.

Hot Leg are releasing a Christmas song in time for the festive period although Justin thinks that it will almost certainly be the X Factor winner who tops the pole.

“We are releasing I Met Jesus but we don’t have a hope in hell of being number one but our video is amazing all Fantastic Journey style,” he said.

Justin started off as a lead guitarist and then in the mid 1990s took to singing in a band called Bionic Ride and as a solo artist.

“I did interpretive improv and I opened for bands as a warm-up, and then joined a band called Lung Nuggett,” he said.

Justin grew up in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, East Anglia and studied at the Kirkley High School which was the venue for the second series of Channel 4’s Rock School programme.

His father is a builder and Justin worked with him on site before The Darkness took off. His mother is an interior designer.

“I got my muscles from my father and mum gave me my flamboyance,”” he laughed. “Both brains and brawn.”

But he admits that when he was on the building site he was a bit of a dreamer and thinking up song lyrics rather than concentrating.

“I have always been a bit of a day dreamer.”

Hot Leg Tuesday October 28 12 Bar, Westcott Place, Tickets 10 in advance and £14 on the door & Trivia: Justin sang The Sweet song Hellraiser on a Def Leppard album.

He has a wax work model in Madame Tussauds in London

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