The band exploded in their native England last year, thanks in part to a love fest from the British music press, and haven’t stopped for anything. Fans love them, critics love to debate their merit, heck, even the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has admitted liking them.

It looks like 2004 is holding no breaks for the band either. They’ve been steadily on the road since early 2002 and are trucking straight on through next March with shows in the U.K., Australia and Europe.

Now, about those British gigs: if you haven’t got a ticket, best of luck. Save for the December 11 concert, the rest on the Elf Hazard tour are sold out, according to the band’s Web site.

But don’t cry – The Darkness are releasing a Christmas single to cheer all up. Come December 15, the band’s “Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)” will hit shops and is already a bookie’s favorite to top the charts.

“In honor of the marvelous support bestowed upon us by the sweet people of the British Isles, we giveth unto thee the gift that keeps on giving,” lead singer Justin Hawkins said. “It might be a Christmas song, but it still rocks in the unique Darkness fashion.”