No one can steal their.......THUNDER!
The Arctic Monkeys rode into town before the release of their second album, 'Favourite Worst Nightmares.' For a band whose meteoric rise to fame benefited from internet music sharing, the chances that the new music would be unknown were quite low. That said, there was definitely a small slice of intrepidation in the air, as well as the more realistic excitement and stench of alcohol.
And within two tracks and the opening bars of current single 'Brianstorm', any fears were demolished. Similar to that other Domino Records breakthrough Franz Ferdinand, the way the crowd can sing along to a guitar riff indicates a deep love between band and fan, and the quality of the songwriting. Add this to the pogoing to the stop-start rhythm and it's clear the track is a real winner. There may be a touch of disappointment that the song seems certain to stall at number two in the charts but there was no let-down for any of the crowd, and let's be honest, it's Beyonce and Shakira! You may not like their music or their equally prominent booties but they are genuine global stars and that the Monkeys could put up such a credible challenge should be praised.
Throughout the set, the new songs were greeted like returning heroes, known to some, virgin to others but appreciated by all. And if the new excited, the old delighted. 'Leave Before The Lights Come On' was phenomenal with the drummer powering the song to an almighty end. Praise is due to Alex Turner for his lyrical wit and prose but a major reason for the band's sound is Matt Helders' big hitting. News that he took up boxing lessons before the tour comes as no surprise with the ferocity he attacked the kit.
It was the beginning of the tour but the band did seem energised. All the old favourites return, every sing-song remains and every punch of the air still hits hard no matter how much some people want the backlash to come, it's not likely to happen soon. In a recent interview, Alex Turner himself remarked how, 'A View From The Afternoon' was sounding vibrant to the band again. What must help is the vocal backing the crowd gives, reminding all and sundry that they should bear that in mind tonight. And most did!
Playing venues the size of The Barras in no way meets the demand for the band but it was great to see the fire in the band's eyes and for the crowd to lose the plot so gleefully. A couple of nights in the SECC could have been justified but on a musical and connection level, the choice was perfectly validated.
Final track, 'A Certain Romance' will long remain the band's trump card with its take on modern life and the ennui that comes from being young. It's a near perfect take on what faces UK youngsters today and as every word is screamed back at the band, it's obvious that the Arctic Monkeys are the band of the people these days.
In a few days time the show will be playing to crowds familiar to the material and no doubt will have even more life and energy but for now, it's hard to fault anything the Arctic Monkeys do.