Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Arctic Monkeys have come a long way in 2013. And an even further distance from when we used to watch them play to their school mates in the basements of pubs in Sheffield. Now they're proper, LA- dwelling rock stars who sell out venues as big as Earl's Court, headline Glastonbury of a Friday evening and have celebrity ex-girlfriends.
Their October shows in London were hot tickets fo' sure with even work collagues offering quivering dollops of dosh for a way in. But we stood firm and ensured we were down in south west London at a suitable time. Arena gigs these days open their doors at the horrifically early hour of 6.30pm so there's not a moment for din dins - just get on the pints and cigs asap as soon as you're oot the office. The crowd was predictably blokey so by the time the Monkeys came on and started pummelling their way through Do I Wanna Know? the floors were drowning in piss. Our feet were covered in piss. Men were pissing everywhere and anywhere. Never was their so much piss.
While the piss stacked up, the Monkeys sounded lean, fit, sexy and mean. Recent triumph AM sounds as if front dude Alex Turner has finally got his mojo back after a run of slightly less colourful efforts. This record is top conkers - it struts and wiggles in tight jeans with the shiny quiff which now adorns his bonce. But the whole band sound tough and wirey (drummer Helders looks like one mean, thick-necked mother) and they fired through the best bits of their new album and back catalogue with a fine mixture of aural style and muscle. By the time they wound the show up in a shower of confetti, it's been a masterclass in big gig gymnastics. Hats off to the Monkeysssss...