“You have to be unapologetic to be a rock band,” said Frankie Poullain, bassist of award-winning band, The Darkness, ahead of their headline performance at Cornbury Music Festival next month.

The British rock group, hailing from Suffolk, have been touring their newest album, Motorheart, as well as headlining festivals across Europe.

They are due to perform at the Chipping Norton festival on Friday, July 8 before The Magic Numbers and James Blunt.

READ MORE: This year's Cornbury Festival will be the last ever

Oxford Mail: The Darkness (The Darkness, Facebook)The Darkness (The Darkness, Facebook)

When asked how their performances differ from gigs to festivals, Mr Poullain said: “They are similar performances as there's enough washing down in modern culture.

“I feel like this has happened the last few years, people have watered themselves down because people are too scared to offend others which I find sad.

“So you have to be unapologetic to be a rock band – if you start apologising it’s not rock and roll anymore.”

The band, which have released seven albums, will be heading Pordenone Blues in Italy and Leyendas del Rock in Spain following Cornbury Music Festival after already performing at Download in Derby and Hellfest in France.

Oxford Mail: Frankie Poullain (The Darkness, Facebook)Frankie Poullain (The Darkness, Facebook)

Following that, The Darkness will be off to Australia and New Zealand to continue the Motorheart tour.

“It's a great lifestyle,” said Mr Poullain. “I like festivals at the weekend and weekdays to ourselves – I like that as I’m a contrarian and I don’t like to be out with everyone else over the weekend, stuck in massive crowds and queues.

READ MORE: Six music festivals coming to Oxfordshire this summer

“So I feel quite privileged and really grateful for the lifestyle. I’m not what people call a ‘Karen’.”

The Darkness, also consisting of lead singer Justin Hawkins, guitarist Dan Hawkins and drummer Rufus Taylor, have recently announced a co-headline tour with American rock band Black Stone Cherry.

Oxford Mail: New co-headline tour (The Darkness website)New co-headline tour (The Darkness website)

It will be the first arena tour the band has done since 2006. “The music hasn't actually got that much in common,” said Mr Poullain. “But what we have in common is just earthiness.

“People can expect a lot of curly-haired moustaches and lots of chest hair, more from their band than our band.

“Being as we’ll have more of a budget, wardrobe can obviously take off a bit and we can come up with a conceptual stage idea.

Oxford Mail: Frankie Poullain (Frankie Poullain, Instagram)Frankie Poullain (Frankie Poullain, Instagram)

“There's a bit of talk about wizards, like the ‘Wizard of Odds’, and Justin would be Dorothy, I would be the Scarecrow, Dan would be the Tin Man and Rufus would obviously be the Lion.”

READ MORE: Autistic teen self-publishes his diary entries for hilarious new book

Mr Poullain added that he was “flattered” to be performing at the last ever Cornbury Music Festival.

He said: “We feel honoured to be one of the last performances, it's great. We’ll have to do an extra something or other.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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