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The Darkness Light Up British Rock Awards

British rock band The Darkness struck a blow for the big hair, skin-tight catsuits and wailing guitar solos of the 1980s Thursday, outshining rivals at Britain’s biggest heavy metal awards.

The much-hyped quartet won two awards, for best album and best live act, at music magazine Kerrang!’s 10th annual ceremony in London.

It was a far cry from the band’s humble roots in rural Suffolk, eastern England, where lead singer Justin Hawkins and the band used to perform before tiny audiences in bars.

“We’ve always behaved like stadium rockers, even at the beginning when we were playing in pubs,” Hawkins said in a recent interview.

Riding a wave of popularity, The Darkness’ debut album “The Promised Land” has gone gold and they supported Robbie Williams at one of Britain’s biggest ever rock concerts earlier this month.

The band are one of the favorites for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, the respected British music awards ceremony.

Among the other winners were veteran U.S. rockers Metallica, who won a special award in recognition of their huge success over more than 20 years.

Californian band Red Hot Chili Peppers won the Classic Songwriter award after their latest album “By the Way” scored big sales.

Nu-metal favorites Linkin Park won Best International Act, while Best Single went to Maryland four-piece Good Charlotte for “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous.”

Other winners included Arkansas band Evanescence (Best International Newcomer), Feeder (Best British Act) and Jackass (Spirit of Rock).

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