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Arctic Monkeys


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Arctic Monkeys are an English four-piece indie rock/post-punk revival band from High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. Their first two singles, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "When the Sun Goes Down", went straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart, while their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history. Formed in 2002, the band currently consists of Alex Turner on lead vocals and guitar, Jamie Cook on guitar, Matt Helders on drums and backing vocals and Nick O'Malley on bass guitar, a position formerly held by Andy Nicholson.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, who were marketed and advertised extensively by record labels, Arctic Monkeys achieved their success through fan-made demo tapes and online file-sharing, with fans singing along at gigs to songs which had never been officially released, leading media commentators to discuss the possibility of a sea change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. The band resisted signing to a major record label, even banning talent scouts from gigs. Eventually, the band signed to independent record label Domino Records, releasing their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which charted at number one and broke the record for the largest first week sales of a debut album in UK history. The band subsequently won several major music prizes for the album, including the 2006 Mercury Prize, "Best New Act" at the 2006 Brit Awards and "Best New Band" and "Best British Band" at the NME Awards.

The overnight success of the band and the gritty, realistic nature of the lyrics of songs such as "When The Sun Goes Down" has led to the band being described as the "yardstick for all that is current and cool". Despite such recognition, the members of the band remain notoriously media shy; they declined to appear on either Top of the Pops or CD:UK after "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" reached number one, while journalists described their behaviour during a press conference following winning the Mercury Prize as "petulant" and "argumentative".

History

In 2001, neighbours Alex Turner and Jamie Cook asked for instruments as a Christmas present and both received electric guitars. After teaching themselves to play, the pair formed a band with Turner's school friends Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders in 2002. Nicholson already played bass, so Matt Helders ended up on drums ? "that was all that were left...they all had guitars so I bought a drum kit after a bit." Although reports suggested they named themselves after Helders' uncle's (or even father's) band, Helders later admitted that these reports were untrue, claiming "we made that up ?cause we got so many people asking us that in the UK, so we just started making stories up", and that he just didn't have the heart to tell the original reporter he'd been lying. Jamie Cook came up with the name at school before the band existed. According to Helders "He just always wanted to be in a band called Arctic Monkeys. Which is a cool name."

They began rehearsing at Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend, and their first gig came on 13 June 2003 at The Grapes in Sheffield city-centre. After a few performances, they began to record demos and burn them onto CDs to give away at gigs. With a limited number of CDs available, fans began to rip the music back onto their computers and share it amongst themselves. The group did not mind, saying "we never made those demos to make money or anything. We were giving them away free anyway ? that was a better way for people to hear them. And it made the gigs better, because people knew the words and came and sang along." They themselves took no responsibility for their music, admitting that they did not even know how to get their songs onto the Internet. When asked about the popularity of the band's MySpace site in an interview with Prefix Magazine, the band pointed out that they did not even know what MySpace was, and that the site had originally been created by their fans. "[When we went number one in England] we were on the news and radio about how MySpace has helped us. But that's just the perfect example of someone who doesn?t know what the fuck they?re talking about. We actually had no idea what it was."

In late 2004, they began to grow in popularity across the north of England, receiving attention from BBC Radio 1 and the British tabloid press. Mark Bull, a local amateur photographer, filmed the band's performances and made the music video to "Fake Tales of San Francisco", releasing it on his web-site, alongside the contents of Beneath the Boardwalk ? a collection of the band's songs which he named after a local music venue.

In May 2005, Arctic Monkeys released their first EP, Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys, featuring the songs "Fake Tales of San Francisco" and "From the Ritz to the Rubble". This release was limited to 1500 CDs and 2000 7" records, but was also available to download from the iTunes Music Store. Soon after, the band played at the Carling Stage of the Reading and Leeds Festivals, reserved for less known or unsigned bands. Their appearance was hyped by much of the music press and the band was received by an unusually large crowd for the billing they played. The critically acclaimed performance included spontaneous singalongs of tracks that were only available as demos on the Internet.

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Sheffield History

The Arctic Monkeys live at The Boardwalk from 2005

Classic Monkeys gig this

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Sheffield History

 

 

Easily my favourite of all the filmed early shows...

 

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Sheffield History

Interview with the Arctic Monkeys before they even released their first single!

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Sheffield History

Screenshot 2020-03-31 at 18.24.37.jpg

Ticket from the Arctic Monkeys show at The Leadmill on the eve of the release of their first album 'Whatever you say I am that is what I am not'.

Support bands on the night were Reverend and the Makers, Milburn, and The Harrisons

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Sheffield History

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 14.14.12.jpg

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 14.14.21.jpg

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 14.14.34.jpg

 

When Coronavirus hit the world in 2020 The Leadmill auctioned off a number of memorabilia from the venue from over the years.

The absolute highlight was this signed guitar by The Arctic Monkey

Amazingly this guitar was built and crafted using the old dancefloor from The Leadmill

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Sheffield History
On 31/03/2020 at 18:32, Sheffield History said:

Screenshot 2020-03-31 at 18.24.37.jpg

Ticket from the Arctic Monkeys show at The Leadmill on the eve of the release of their first album 'Whatever you say I am that is what I am not'.

Support bands on the night were Reverend and the Makers, Milburn, and The Harrisons

 

EUhC06qXQAAAaT6.jpg

The Arctic Monkeys and Milburn set lists from this gig

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