Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 09:50 UK

Ex-Darkness star returns to stage

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Justin Hawkins at Hot Leg gig
Hot Leg are embarking on a mini-tour of the UK

Former Darkness singer Justin Hawkins has made his live comeback, unveiling his new band Hot Leg two years after suffering a drug-induced breakdown.

Wearing skin-tight tiger-print trousers, the flamboyant frontman returned to the high-octane, high-camp rock with which he made his name.

It was his first gig since leaving The Darkness, who won three Brit Awards in 2004 and scored five UK top 10 hits.

Hawkins quit the group in 2006 amid a high-profile drug battle.

"It's the first time I've done a proper music concert in a couple of years," he told the crowd of several hundred at Proud Galleries in Camden, north London.

"I think in the time since then I've suffered what you might call a breakdown."

Justin Hawkins at Hot Leg gig
Hawkins sported pink fingernails at his new band's first full gig

But the singer was back on form, performing familiar stage theatrics to an enthusiastic reception with his three new bandmates.

He closed the show with one of his former band's biggest hits, I Believe in a Thing Called Love.

Hot Leg also played cover versions of two 1980s hits called The Power of Love - one by Jennifer Rush and the other by Huey Lewis and the News.

They are now continuing their mini-tour in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

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