Fiorinda walked on stage, picked up her Strat from the piano stool, and stood there. She couldn't see much, but the atmosphere was thick with tension. They'd made the crowd wait. Now she was making them wait again, and she could feel the band getting uneasy. Ax not here, Sage not here. Rob and the powerbabes not here. Well, moral authority isn't something you can argue about. If they decide you've got it, you've got it. She walked to the front, taking a mic from a stand, the guitar clutched by the neck. (She looked, on the big screens, like a little girl dangling her favourite doll by the hair).
Thank god, at least no technical meltdowns tonight.
The yelling stopped. There was almost silence, out in that seething, spinning void-
'Hey,' shouted Fiorinda. 'I wasn't born here. I can't hardly speak your language, Geordies. But it's a small world. I think I'm at least partly human. So do I stay or do I go, and DO YOU GET THE MESSAGE?'
Without waiting for them to answer, (don't tempt fate) she swung around, donning the guitar, grinned at Charm, and they plunged together into the opening chords of 'Wholesale'.
And DARK delivered it-


Newcastle Arena (and thereabouts), 7th July: NME reports from the Edge of DARKness:-She made us wait, but we don't care. She came up front and gave us a sound telling-off, and we loved it. She leaps into action, and the crowd explodes in sheer relief because it's bad and nasty and violent out there, but we're going to be ALL RIGHT NOW. We're in the engine room right next to the fire and we are fine, we are ecstatic, we are wonderful, and she's hauling this whole fucking Titanic of a national emergency around by sheer blackhole radiating female energy. Damn the torpedoes, damn the giant berg of human flesh that just rammed our island. DARK are brilliant and inspired, all power to DARK, but Fiorinda is magic tonight, and I'm going to fucking belt the next person that tries to tell me it's the Ax effect. This girl is the music... She shrieks, she wails, she whispers. She leaps she whirls, she loses the plot and we don't care, we know she'll find it again. She even, for a brief aberration, lets us know how gorgeous *that voice* can be. Fiorinda for God! howls the mosh pit, Fiorinda for God! we all join them. She laughs like a hyena and goes *flying* into the crowd, caught in a hundred arms, the airborne-cams following her, she's dancing with us, if you've got tv that works you can see her doing it in your living room: down in our dirt, absolutely without fear, that hair on fire, flashing piston arms and legs, nothing can harm us now. I swear to God we'd die for her, all fifty thousand of us here tonight. We'd die for her.
Joe Muldur. On the road with DARK
That bad old North Sea....
Hey! Let tyrants fear.

I have always so behaved myself...