The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins recalls the “worst experience” opening for Disturbed

"David Draiman wasn’t very pleased with me"

Justin Hawkins has recalled the time that The Darkness opened for Disturbed in London, calling it his “worst experience as a support act”.

The frontman told the story during a recent video on his official YouTube channel, Justin Hawkins Rides Again.

In the episode, titled ‘I P*ssed Them Off Big Time’, Hawkins answered “some excellent queries” from his fans, beginning with a question from David Reed. He asked the singer to reveal his “worst experience as a support act. Be that treated [badly] by the main act or backstage.”


Responding to the question, Hawkins explained: “The Darkness supported Disturbed at Brixton Academy [in 2002]. And I really love Brixton Academy; I think it’s probably my favourite venue.

“It was the worst and also one of the best experiences because people were just throwing stuff. But some of the things they were throwing were, like, shoes, bottles and coins and stuff. But the thing about coins is it’s money, so in a way that was a good thing, really.

“It’s funny, though, ’cause I was right at the front of the stage. It kind of made me perform more, which made them more angry.”

He continued: “And somebody – one of the Disturbed fans who… I’ve got a lot of time for Disturbed as a band, I think they’re just brilliant… if you like that sort of thing. But one of their fans threw a piece of chewing gum that presumably had been in their mouth, and it actually landed in my mouth. It was just a brilliant shot. I had to respect it, really.”

Hawkins went on to say that Disturbed’s lead singer David Draiman “wasn’t very pleased with [him]” following the show: “I don’t know [why]. I think I might’ve said something… I think I may have issued an admonishment to the throng, which didn’t go down very well with me.


“But what are you gonna do? Who gives a fuck?… I’m just kidding.”

He added: “When things like that happen… if a band is supporting my band and then our crowd is not very nice to them, I would always go and apologise. That didn’t happen with Disturbed. I think it actually had the opposite effect and they were angry with us. But… not my problem.”

You can watch the video in full above.

Meanwhile, The Darkness have announced a 2023 co-headline tour with Black Stone Cherry. You can find any remaining tickets here and see the full schedule below.

28 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
29 – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
30 – OVO Arena, Glasgow
31 – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham

February 2023
2 – AO Arena, Manchester
3 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
4 – Wembley OVO Arena, London