“My Gibson is still the coolest looking bass guitar ever!” Frankie Poullain remains a committed Thunderbird player – just don’t ask him about beer-throwing fans

Frankie Poullain during the Darkness perform live at the Estragon club in Bologna for their "Blast Of Our Kind" tour 2016.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You couldn’t make The Darkness story up, but essentially it runs as follows. Formed in 2000, they rode on the success of their multi-platinum debut album, Permission To Land, building a loyal fanbase who enjoyed their curious blend of soaring falsetto vocals, pop hooks and guitar heroics led by brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins.

At the peak of their powers they won three Brit awards, and an Ivor Novello, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “There’s only so much partying you can do before it starts to turn sour,” says bassist Frankie Poullain. “No one wants to be around people who are just partying all the time. We were winning all these awards, but it gets tedious, you know?”

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.