Arctic Monkeys

Blank Canvas, Leeds on Mon 17th Oct 2005

Two weeks ago the Arctic Monkeys and Nine Black Alps appeared on the same bill as part of Manchester’s Music in the City. Today two of the current darlings of the musical press played at opposite ends of the city of Leeds.

As I passed The Blank Canvas on my way to see Nine Black Alps, I was pleased to see that the night was important enough to warrant large numbers of ticket touts. In the NME last week I read that ‘Arctic Monkeys’ tickets were going for £100 each in London (reducing to £80 with minimal bartering). I was intrigued to find out how much the Leeds equivalents were worth. Well, even in the North an £8 ticket was now going for £50 (or £40 with token bartering). And the helpful tout would attempt to find a buyer for my surplus Nine Black Alps tickets too!

Eventually I managed to buy myself a ticket for just 40 pence! The only drawback was that the gig had finished. There was a real buzz about the crowd leaving the venue and it is thanks to them that I can offer this unique second hand review.

They opened confidently with radio favourite “I bet you look good on the dance floor” and followed into their only released record “Fake Tales of San Francisco”. It was a triumphant start and the audience went crazy for both songs.

But towards the middle of the set it became apparent that many of the crowd were not familiar with much of The Arctic Monkeys material, which was after all not available in any shops. The raucous mass occupied themselves by throwing bottles (empty ones) and crowd surfing, and even Alex seemed aware that he was losing them.

But they were brought firmly back on side with ‘Mardy Bum’ which for many was the highlight of the show.

There seems little doubt that The Arctic Monkeys songs will soon be on everyone’s lips, and they will sound all the better when the crowd know the tunes. The Arctic monkeys already look destined for success, and success breeds success. Who knows in years to come maybe I will be able to look back and proudly lie, "I was there at a small early gig of just a few hundred!" - with a ticket stub to prove it.

article by: Robert White

published: 19/10/2005 07:53


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