So brothers, here we are in September. The summer’s gone, the days are growing shorter, and we’re at a bit of a landmark for me, one that I’m happy to admit that proves that, however slowly, a leopard can change its spots. Since they first came onto the scene all those years ago, I wanted to like the Arctic Monkeys, in fact being from Sheffield (I spent 3 fantastic years there in the 90s at university) and young, brash, singing interesting, sly lyrics in an unashamed regional accent, I should’ve loved them. But I didn’t. And I’m willing to admit that some large part of that was the tidal wave of obsequious press coverage, as if the Beatles were reincarnated in Crookes. The NME were a lot of the problem, and I tend to push back everything they launch (ironic, as three of my good friends now were writing for them at the time). See also Amy Winehouse, Jake Bugg, in fact take your pick.
So, what’s changed? Me, and probably them a bit. Not, I’ll laugh, on my behalf. I’ve liked a lot of what they’ve done, and they’re one of these bands that, if you played a ‘greatest hits’, I’d know most of it. They’ve grown on me for all the reasons that I should have liked them in the first place. But I think the turner for me (pardon the pun) was Glastonbury. And no, I didn’t even see them, but I’d heard they were amazing. When I got back I watched their set, and pretty much watched it all the way through, and it was a bit of a revelation. Here’s a band that are so far moved on from their early days, so confident, and owning one of the most revered arenas in music. They’re unbelievably tight, and Alex Turner’s really the finished article as a frontman, in a very English way.
I’d heard the new single – Do I Wanna Know – on 6Music, many times, and also You Only Call Me When You’re High, and really liked both, and snippets of other tracks and I haven’t heard anything I’ve not liked. So I’m willing to sit here, and confess to you, my brothers, that I like the Arctic Monkeys. So there. And I’m looking forward to digesting the album.
I hope you like this too.