Song Of The Day 11/9/2014: Justin Hawkins - "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us"



Quarterly Covers Report: I remember the first time I saw or heard The Darkness, the sumptuously comic retro hard rock band that tried to bludgeon their way into US hearts in the earlyish part of the millennium. It was on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2003. Kate and I were watching in her apartment. Lead singer Justin Hawkins was covered in red candy stripes from his open-necked jacket to his flared trousers. He was very much in the wrong studio, the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong business. He slung a guitar around his neck but almost never played it. He hit ridiculous falsetto notes designed to shatter cheap-ass champagne glasses as he sang "I Believe In a Thing Called Love." I was wholly enraptured by him, and the feeling wouldn't subside for another ten minutes.

Two years after this Hawkins went solo under the audaciously marine moniker "British Whale." His first single was a cover of Sparks' "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us." Sparks themselves were much bigger in the United Kingdom than in the United States, which always made sense to me since their music actually possessed a sense of humor. Their original version went to #2 in the UK in '74. Hawkins' version went to #6 more than thirty years later. It's amazing, and yet not surprising, how much this songs suits him.

But the real reason I'm dragging you here is to watch the video for the remake, which features Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks in major supporting roles, and World Darts Champion Phil Taylor as Hawkins' nemesis. As with "Too Many Cooks", I'll just leave it here without much comment and let you discover the glory for yourself.
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