Birmingham goes Arctic

IN 2002 an indie rock band emerged from a quiet suburb in Sheffield. Alex Turner was joined by Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley, Matt Helders and Andy Nicholson, and, 11 years on, despite losing one band member, they have had seven albums and are now performing a worldwide tour. They are, of course, the Arctic Monkeys and they rocked Birmingham LG Arena this week (Wednesday).

The concert was a re-schedule after the original date at the end of October had to be cancelled last minute due to Alex Turner’s laryngitis. Despite this, fans turned out in their droves and almost every ticket was sold. There was only one mention of the cancelled gig which, coincidently, fell the night after a  music awards party with Turner stating: “We wouldn’t have cancelled if we knew you guys could sing like that!” Unsurprisingly this was met by boo’s from the audience but the rest of the night carried no resentment and the crowd were in generally good spirits.

The show opened with a crowd pleaser; ‘Do I Wanna Know’ from their new album AM which is their fifth studio album and currently number 18 in the UK charts after 10 weeks. The second song was Brainstorm from 2007 with the use of 8 rectangular screens each giving a view of the band from a different angle. The cameras added to the intensity by shaking during the song but it was difficult to tell if this was an intentional effect of if it was just a side effect from the massive amount of bass that the speakers were producing.
The bulk of the song choices seemed to be their new stuff but the crowd were able to sing along and never seemed lost or confused. The main focus on the stage, besides the band, was a large AM lighting set up which pulsed throughout the show. It was simple yet effective and acted as yet another promotional tool for their new album.

Alex Turner proved his worth as the bands front man when he put his guitar down and started dancing around the stage and interacting with the audience. He had incredible stage presence and knew how to get his viewers excited.

An obvious difficultly with having such a prominent lead is was the fact that it often felt like the Alex Turner show. Despite this Turner managed to redeem himself by introducing his band members at important times such as when Matt Helders came into his own at the beginning of Teddy Picker.

On the whole the concert went incredibly well and fans left feeling satisfied they’d seen a good show. The band were on top form musically and vocally and the show defiantly deserves a rating of 8/10.

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You can listen to bands new album here;


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