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Review: Arctic Monkeys at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

They've been the band to watch and listen to since they franctically predicted our dancefloor prowess in 2005

*****
Arctic Monkeys at the Metro Radio Arena

They've been the band to watch and listen to since they franctically predicted our dancefloor prowess in 2005.

And as the increasingly stylish Arctic Monkeys kicked off their latest tour on Tyneside, they gave a performance which was more than worthy of our ongoing attention.

Touring in support of their critically acclaimed fifth studio album, AM, the Sheffield-bred four-piece once again displayed their considerable talents, offering a fit-to-burst setlist of tracks spanning their eight-year history.

As far as the new album goes, single Do I Wanna Know? which just beat Bowie to the Q Award for best track, kicked things off with suitable class and was quickly followed by a couple of back catalogue stompers in the form of Brianstorm and Dancing Shoes.

Teddy Picker and Don’t Sit Down ’cause I’ve Moved Your Chair weren’t far behind, while their anthem, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, served as a rousing half-way marker.

 

Widely categorised as the best they have offered since the much (and deservedly) hyped debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, AM has given the band their biggest commercial success to date (and it wasn’t like their previous offerings had done badly).

Nominated for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, the band rightly gave it a good outing last night... all the while giving the exciteable crowd a greatest hits compilation into the bargain.

Set on an understated stage, the band settled in beneath the illuminated arches conveniently afforded to them by their angular initials, and played their socks off for the best part of two hours. A stripped down version of Mardy Bum was a particular highlight from where I was sitting.

Now a seasoned showman, it’s hard to believe we were watching the same awkward frontman who seemed almost embarrassed to be on stage the first time I saw him take to the Newcastle Academy stage back in 2005.

That said, Turner hasn’t descended into the territory of irritating ‘filling’ in between songs either, allowing the Arctics to remain true to their all-about-the-music style. Albeit with better-cut suits and T-shirts.

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