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experiencing the Arctic Monkeys in 40 minutes...

I'll skip to the chase - the Arctic Monkeys are fantastic live.

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by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2006
So then like yeah, their frigging lead singer is roughly the epitome of coolness.
by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2006
So then like yeah, their frigging lead singer is roughly the epitome of coolness.

I'll skip to the chase - the Arctic Monkeys are fantastic live. They only played a mere forty minute set last night but it tore the small arena down (Dublin's cosy Ambassador). You guys should leap on this band once they travel over to you again. England and Ireland have embraced them quickly maybe too quickly. Hyped to the hilt, they can either make it large like a Wayne Rooney or dive-bomb like my beloved Vines (one good album I suppose... Ah no excuses, clearly not good enough at all). They did indeed try so far to distance themselves from media-whoring and warming TV chat-show seats but when the hype itself has its own hype, there's a tightrope to be tread here.

Ok then, I'm twenty-three. I've played guitar on and off for six years and I suck. Like Lester Bangs, he could write well about music but he couldn't play it very well. I play a mean xylophone and tambourine though (Oowww! Watch out!). So then like yeah, their frigging lead singer is roughly the epitome of coolness. He's Alex. He's 19 - bar one of the band members (20), the rest are all 19. If that was not enough, here's the kicker - they've only been playing their instruments for ohh... Two years. Within that time they acquired a mass following of drooling animals, two smash singlesand just recently a number one album ('Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not'). Immersed in pussy, endless free booze and cash up to their eyeballs, my life has to pale in every aspect to this of course (unless somehow I die as Homer once said in a 'naked woman avalanche' or due to 'too much happiness'). Wish I'd rocked out harder when I had the chance. Damnit!

The three of us chose to drink and be fashionably late rather than watch support from We Are Scientists (though that 'Great Escape' single was catchy). I ended up with tier standing at the top but the venue was small and with an over-pricing bar beside me. I'd only just spotted the stage when I realised it was the band themselves strapping on their axes ('guitars' for the lay-people rock lingo you see). WHOOOSH - like a rocket off they went on into their latest number 'When The Sun Goes Down' followed by their last number one 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor'. The latter being a lethally furious extravaganza. I recall stuttering after - 'I wish they'd play that one again'. Hits out of the way then, the Monkeys rambled violently head first through all their other material. The crowd knew all the words, every beat and move. There was no 'filler' material and no waiting around for a particular tune (though I was excited to hear 'Fake Tales of San Francisco'). I seem to remember 'Dancing Shoes', 'Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong', and 'View From The Afternoon', but the vodka stashed in my jacket was, by then, well in use. I kept watching the drummer. Christ almighty, he was a thundering god. I'd always wanted to be a drummer but my mother never allowed it. I always wanted a dog too. She wouldn't allow that one either. Such a grudge.so a drummer eh I thought.maybe if I wait outside after the gig and hit him with my bottle ...no, no, no, how is that going to help my cause?

The toilets smelt of stale bear like what I'd imagine a soggy polar bear to reek like. The urinals were tiny too. I made it back though for their finish, I think 'A Certain Romance' was played. The crowd wanted more. So did I to be honest. But the follow-up act Maximo Park were a massive surprise. The lead singer just flung himself about all gangly and stretched and wild. Great stuff. They played their hit singles last - 'Apply some pressure' (which was just really really fucking awesome and became our drunken tune to hum to all night after) and 'Gone Missing'. What a gig. We got more drink, spliff and headed off to a mates arguing along the way about who is the greatest director of all time (I say Spielberg, my friend says Scorsese. Hitchcock was mentioned I think but his stuff is too dated now). I don't think it was resolved.

Shane O'Reilly
Editor, Dublin

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