Arctic Monkeys’ live record charts at 3, as well as making us miss gigs even more
By Tom Farmer @TomFarmerJourno
“We are the Arctic Monkeys from High Green, Sheffield” bellows Alex Turner, his signature Fender Jazzmaster guitar strapped around him and in full performance spirit. This is met with rapturous applause, lairy cheers and general euphoria: three emotions we haven’t felt for a very, very long time.
The Arctic Monkeys’ “Live at The Royal Albert Hall” is exactly what it says on the tin. Recorded from their gig at London’s famous (classical) venue, the record is the sound of a classic Monkeys gig. You can feel the anticipation for the beginning of “Brianstorm”, you can hear the communal emotion for “Cornerstone”, you can smell the piss being thrown during “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”. Listening to the album whilst tapping my pen on my desk, desperately trying to procrastinate my English coursework, is the closest I’ve been to a gig since February. It’s good to be back.
Of course, the gig was part of the “Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino” tour, promoting the fruits of Alex Turner’s midlife crisis. Some of the album’s tracks feature on the setlist, such as the melodic opener of the album “Four Stars Out Of Five” and poetic “One Point Perspective”. Yet, the core of the record is your favourite classics from the legendary Sheffield outfit. From tracks written in Matt Helders’ childhood bedroom like “Ritz to the Rubble” to tracks written in the American desert with legends such as QOTSA’s Josh Homme (“R U Mine?”), the record pays dividend to how far the band has come, as well as a reference to their various incarnations and styles.
The album also handed the Strokes-wannabes (which we all are to an extent) their 7th top 5 album in the charts. It is, however, the first AM album that has not got to the top spot, which is an unbelievable statistic in itself.
It’s very hard to criticise a live album, especially from a band with such prestige as a live act. These songs have lyrics embedded into the hearts of every indie kid, with many (me included) craving a chance to see the four-piece in the flesh. However, with the world at a standstill and stuck at a 2 metre distance, listening to the dulcet tones of Alex Turner from the comfort of our own homes might be the closest we can get for a while yet. ****