Arctic Monkeys

Plymouth Pavillions on Tue 18th Apr 2006

I arrive late, and miss both the recommended support acts (gutted) but manage (just) to get into the arena before the start of the Monkey’s set and have to buy a pen for my notes from the shirt sellers. The place is packed (not surprisingly) as the tour did sell out rather rapidly. I’m kicking myself for missing the support acts as the noise is deafening and the WHOLE crowd welcome the Sheffield band onto the stage many by lobbing their beers at them! Is this normal or just a new trend?

The lights dim, the crowd cheer and it’s just amazing to think two years ago no one here tonight knew who these four guys were. ‘Riot Van’ seems a bizarre choice of song, but it’s perfect for all the lads in the crowd and accompanied with a drum beat rhythm played out by the lead singer. Sure enough the frenzy begins.

I’ve seen them a few times now and I was impressed from the off. The crowd tonight is very much younger than previously though, not surprising now they’ve been ‘Top of The Pops’ a few times. Lead singer Alex Turner doesn’t say much anymore, that’s the first thing I notice preferring instead to just unleash each song to the throng who sing every word back to them – bizarrely even trying to emulate the Northern accent which is humourous for a crowd from Devon yelling along to ‘The View From The Afternoon’. The crowd are literally howling it back and are now going so delirious I move further back, a lot further back before the mayhem is a bit more sedated, I’ve never known a crowd like it for any band in 25 years of gigs, except maybe U2 or Queen in their heyday.

There’s a sea of mobile phone lights in front of the stage as the grinning quartet unleash ‘Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But...’ and it makes me think what does make these guys tick, they do appear to like performing live and they must all be loaded by now the amount of money they have, what’s driving them now? Clearly it’s not fame or fortune anymore and at the same moment Alex is singing, “Well I ain't got no dollar signs in my eyes, that might be a surprise but it's true”. It seems it is true, they really do just want to just get busy, survive the hype and go on entertaining us. They certainly are doing that, the crowd are dancing, the front is a frenzy of crowd surfers and there’s about twenty security lining the front of the stage.

The band have captured this generation completely, girls are yelling Alex’s name (in Beatles-like fandom) and Alex’s longer hair does give him that Beatles look. ‘Mardy Bum’ is just one huge karaoke session, delivered with pace and tight from the stage to return sweaty and messy from the crowd even at the back of the arena.

‘Still Take You Home’ proves everyone that is here has the album and they ALL still sings all the words back and from this point on the band have won over anyone who wasn’t already 120% behind them and all the girls are happy too. Blimey are this generation really so transparent that the lyrics really are a social commentary and this really is a love song to snog too? Young love!

Some say they’re an over-hyped NME band but there’s more to them than that, they deliver to a crowd only too happy to lap up every line and hook, even with the huge dollops of UV fired off at us for the start of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ everyone still goes berserk! If it were just hype, then surely someone would be disappointed? Not around me there isn’t and not in the whole place by the look of it, even those who appear to be neutral are enjoying the moment.

As if echoing my thought’s Alex sings out, “I’m here to win your heart and soul, that’s my goal!” Before the stage turns red and we launch into ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ that has the crowd in rapture and I’m not sure there isn’t anyone who isn’t dancing now. Well that’s not strictly true but pretty much the whole place from front to back has ‘gone off!’

‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’ the new track ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys’ and ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ are bleedin’ excellent tracks and showcase not only fantastic poetry but also their tight musician skills and all too soon with ‘A Certain Romance’ it’s over there’s no encore and there’s no need for one Britain’s best new band have played their hearts out and we’ve enjoyed it to the full. It’s been very close to perfect. They’ve left us wanting more and it makes me wonder how difficult it’ll be to get the next tours’ tickets. Oh my!

Are they hype? Nope, not in the least! They’ve delivered over an hour’s worth of top tunes but I just wish they’d go back to being a bit more friendly but for tonight at least they’re letting the music do the talking and my god they’re gonna slay audiences at festivals this summer!

article by: Scott Williams

published: 19/04/2006 11:36


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.