Arctic Monkeys


Arctic Monkeys

Infobox musical artist
Name = Arctic Monkeys


Img_capt = Arctic Monkeys. Clockwise from top right: Jamie Cook, Matt Helders, Alex Turner, Nick O'Malley.
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Sheffield, England
Genre = Indie rock
Garage rock revival
Post-punk revival
Years_active = 2002–present
Label = Domino
Associated_acts = The Last Shadow Puppets
Mongrel
The Dodgems
The Rascals
Reverend & The Makers
=
URL = [http://www.arcticmonkeys.com www.arcticmonkeys.com]
Current_members = Alex Turner
Jamie Cook
Matt Helders
Nick O'Malley
Past_members = Andy Nicholson
Glyn Jones

Arctic Monkeys are a British Indie band from High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. 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 and backing vocals, who replaced Andy Nicholson.

Arctic Monkeys achieved chart success with their first single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", which reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart. [cite news| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4660394.stm | publisher=BBC News Online| title=Arctic Monkeys make chart history| date=2006-01-29 | accessdate=2006-06-05] Their debut album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", released in January 2006, became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history, surpassing Oasis' "Definitely Maybe". It remains the fastest-selling debut album for a group. It received critical acclaim, winning both the 2006 Mercury Prizecite news|publisher=BBC News|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5315452.stm|title=Arctic Monkeys win Mercury Prize|date=2006-09-06] and the 2007 BRIT Award for Best British Album. The band's second album, "Favourite Worst Nightmare", was released on 23 April 2007, sold over 225,000 copies in its debut week, and was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize. [cite web| title=Arctic Monkeys break America| publisher=Muse| date=2007-05-03| url=http://www.muse.ie/music-ireland-music_news-international_news/arctic-monkeys-break-america/spId/51A6B72C-F6BC-3900-DE28EF9314873F1D.html| accessdate = 2007-05-10] The group also picked up the award for Best British Album and Best British Group at the BRIT Awards in 2008.

Arctic Monkeys achieved their success through fan-made demo tapes and online file sharing.cite web| last=Dyson | first= Matt | format=HTML | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/articles/2005/08/30/reading_festival_review_arctic_monkeys_feature.shtml | publisher=BBC News| title=Review: Arctic Monkeys| date=2005-08-30 | accessdate=2006-06-05] They were heralded as one of the first acts to come to the public attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed.cite news| first=Laura | last=Barton | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1599974,00.html | publisher="The Guardian"| title=The question: Have the Arctic Monkeys changed the music business?| date=2005-10-25 | accessdate=2006-06-05] The band eventually signed to the independent record label Domino Records.

History

Formation and early years

In 2001, neighbours Turner and Cook asked for instruments as Christmas presents and both received guitars.cite news| last=Siberok | first= Martin | url=http://www.hour.ca/music/music.aspx?iIDArticle=8612 | publisher=Hour.ca| title=Brits go bananas| date=2006-03-16 | accessdate=2006-06-09] After teaching themselves to play, the pair formed a band with Turner's schoolmates Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders. [cite news| last=Caesar| first= Ed | url=http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2447674.ece | publisher="The Independent"| title=Alex Turner: That's what he's not. So what is he? | date=2007-04-14 | accessdate=2008-01-05] Nicholson already played bass, so Helders ended up on drums — "that was all that were left... they all had guitars so I bought a kit after a bit." An article in "Blender" magazine in May 2006 suggested that Turner was not the original vocalist of the band: "When their first vocalist, Glyn Jones, left after a few months, Turner cautiously stepped up to the microphone." [cite news| url=http://www.blender.com/guide/articles.aspx?id=1897| publisher="Blender"| title=The Lads Are Alright| date=May 2006] This was soon followed by a more detailed article in UK tabloid "The Sun", who reported that in the very early days of the band — before they had played a gig — Glyn Jones, another attendee of Stocksbridge High School, used to be the band's singer. Jones said that he and Turner "were bored [after our GCSE exams] so we started writing a song about a geek in our year who got drunk... Jones says that he was lead singer only because "Alex was really humble and didn’t realise how great his own voice was... he was happy just playing his guitar." However, Jones says that he "did not have the dedication to take it any further... to me we were just a gang of kids messing around because we were bored."cite news| url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2006040072,00.html| publisher="The Sun"| title=Arctic donkey| accessdate=2006-06-09] Although reports suggested they named themselves after Helders' uncle's (or even father's) band, Helders later admitted that these reports were false, claiming "we made that up ‘cause we got so many people asking us that in the UK, so we just started making stories up",cite web| last=Park | first=Dave | url=http://www.prefixmag.com/features/A/Arctic-Monkeys/255 | format=HTML | publisher=Prefix Magazine| title=Arctic Monkeys aren't fooling around (Part I)| date=2005-11-21 | accessdate=2006-06-12] and that he just didn't have the heart to tell the original reporter he'd been lying.

Listen
filename=ArcticMonkeysIBetYouLookGoodOnTheDanceFloor.ogg
title="I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor"
description=Sample from "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
format=Ogg
They began rehearsing at yellow arches in Neepsend, [cite news| last=Aizlewood | first=John | url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/music/articles/21552357?source=Evening%20Standard&ct=5 | publisher="Evening Standard"| title=Monkeys are top of the tree| date=2006-01-27 | accessdate=2006-01-27] and played their first gig on 13 June 2003 at "The Grapes" in Sheffield city-centre.cite web| url=http://www.emimusicpub.com/worldwide/artist_profile/arctic-monkeys_profile.html | publisher=EMI| title= Artist Profile — Arctic Monkeys| format=HTML | accessdate=2006-06-07] 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."

They began to grow in popularity across the north of England,cite news| last=Brandle | first=Lars | url=http://music.monstersandcritics.com/features/article_1092341.php | publisher=Monsters & Critics| title=Fever rises for Arctic Monkeys| date=2006-01-30 | accessdate=2006-06-08] receiving attention from BBC Radio and the British tabloid press. Mark "The Sheriff" 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 500 CDs and 1000 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 [cite web| last=Dyson | first= Matt | format=HTML | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/articles/2005/08/30/reading_festival_review_arctic_monkeys_feature.shtml | publisher=BBC| title=Review: Arctic Monkeys| date=2005-08-30 | accessdate=2006-06-05] performance included spontaneous singalongs of tracks that were only available as demos on the Internet.

Record deals

The band resisted signing to a record label, refusing to change their songs to suit the industry — "Before the hysteria started, the labels would say, 'I like you, but I'm not sure about this bit, and that song could do with this changing...' We never listened." Their cynicism with the industry was such that record company scouts were refused guaranteed guest list entry for their gigs, a move described by MTV Australia as "We've got this far without them — why should we let them in?". [cite web| url=http://www.mtv.com.au/features/features.php?view=77 | format=HTML | publisher=MTV Australia| title=Arctic Monkeys| accessdate=2006-06-05] The success of the strategy was illustrated with a series of sell-out gigs across the UK. In October 2005, they sold out the historic London Astoria; Turner saw this as proof that they were justified in ignoring the record companies, saying "Once it all kicked off, we didn't care anymore. In London, the kids were watching the band, and the record company were at the back watching the kids watching the band."

Eventually, they signed to Domino in June 2005. The band almost signed to an undisclosed "other label", but were attracted to the "DIY ethic" of Domino owner Laurence Bell, who ran the label from his flat and only signed bands that he liked personally. [cite news| first=Alastair | last=McKay | url=http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/music/features/article342758.ece | publisher="The Independent"| title=Record labels: The Domino effect| date=2006-02-03 | accessdate=2006-06-05] The UK's "Daily Star" reported that this was followed in October 2005 by a £1m publishing deal with EMI and a £725,000 contract with Epic Records for the United States. [cite news| first=Scott | last=Colothan | url=http://www.gigwise.com/news.asp?contentid=9106| publisher=Gigwise| title=Arctic Monkeys Sign £1million Publishing Deal| date=2005-10-07 | accessdate=2005-10-19] Arctic Monkeys denied this on their website, dubbing the newspaper "The Daily Stir". However, Domino have licensed the Australian and New Zealand publishing rights to EMI and the Japanese rights to independent label Hostess.

Initial releases

Their first single after signing to Domino, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", was released on 17 October 2005 and went straight to #1 on the UK Singles Chart, beating Sugababes, McFly and Robbie Williams in the process. Four months and three days later, they made their first appearance on the cover of "NME". Their second single, "When the Sun Goes Down" (previously titled "Scummy"), was released on 16 January 2006 and also went straight to #1 on the UK Singles Chart, selling 38,922 copies and dethroning Shayne Ward. The band's success in reaching the #1 spot without marketing or advertising led some to suggest that it could signal a change in how new bands achieve recognition. [cite news| first=Laura | last=Barton | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1599974,00.html | publisher="The Guardian"| title=The question: Have the Antatrctic Monkeys changed the music business?| date=2005-10-25 | accessdate=2006-06-05]

They finished recording their debut album at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire in September 2005. Its name was confirmed as "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", a line taken from the 1960 film "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", in early December, with release originally intended for 30 January 2006. Although early versions of many tracks were already freely available to download from the band's pre-label demo CDs, it was widely expected to be one of the biggest releases of 2006 with thousands of copies pre-ordered. On 5 January 2006, Domino announced the album's release would be brought forward one week to the 23 January 2006 claiming that this was "due to high demand". While the same thing was done with the release of "Franz Ferdinand", there has been continued speculation that the move was the result of the album's leak and the impact of file sharing — a controversial suggestion given the part file-sharing played in establishing the band's fanbase.

"Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" became the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history, selling 363,735 copies in the first week. [cite news| first=Alex | last=Kumi | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,,1698025,00.html | publisher="The Guardian"| title=Arctic Monkeys make chart history| date=2006-01-30 | accessdate=2006-06-05] This smashed the previous record of 306,631 copies held by Hear’Say with their debut "Popstars", and sold more copies on its first day alone — 118,501 — than the rest of the Top 20 albums combined. [cite news| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4643436.stm | publisher=BBC News Online| title=Arctic Monkeys eye debut record| date=2006-01-24 | accessdate=2006-06-05]

The record was released a month later in the U.S. and sold 34,000 units in its first week, making it the second fastest selling for a debut indie album in America and debuting at #24 on the "Billboard" album chart. [cite news| url=http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/22375| publisher="NME"| title=Arctic Monkeys crack US Top 30| date=2006-03-02 | accessdate=2007-04-16 ] However, U.S. sales for the first year did not match those of the first week in the UK for "Whatever..." . US critics were more reserved about the band than their UK counterparts, and appeared unwilling to be drawn into the possibility of "yet another example of the UK's press over-hyping new bands". [cite news| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4817868.stm | publisher=BBC News Online| title=US reluctant to heed Monkeys hype| date=2006-03-17 | accessdate=2006-06-01] However, the band's June 2006 tour of North America received critical acclaim at each stopcite news| first=Annemarie | last=Moody | url=http://www.azcentral.com/ent/music/articles/0605arcticrev.html | publisher=azcentral.com| title=Arctic Monkeys: Platinum Primates rule dancefloor| date=2006-06-05 | accessdate=2006-06-08] cite news| first=Ryan | last=Peterson | url=http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/entertainment/14769078.htm| publisher="Fort Worth Star-Telegram"| title=Arctic Monkeys fast and furious| date=2006-06-08 | accessdate=2006-06-08] [cite news| url=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3947511.html | publisher="Houston Chronicle"| title=Arctic Monkeys spark another British invasion| date=2006-06-08| accessdate=2006-06-08] — the hype surrounding them "proven to exist for good reason".cite news| first=Kaitlin | last=Parker | url=http://www.texasgigs.com/news/2006/jun/08/concert-review/ | publisher=Texas Gigs| title=More Fun than a Barrel of Arctic Monkeys| date=2006-06-08 | accessdate=2006-06-08] Meanwhile, the UK's "NME" magazine declared the band's debut album the "5th greatest British album of all time". [cite news |url=|title=NME's best British album of all time revealed|date=2006-01-26] They also equalled the record of The Strokes and Oasis at the 2006 NME Awards, winning three fan-voted awards for Best British Band, Best New Band and Best Track for "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor".

Nicholson departure; Mercury Prize

Arctic Monkeys wasted no time in recording new material, and released a five-track EP on 24 April 2006, entitled "Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?", and was seen by critics as a swipe back at the snowballing hype surrounding the band. Due to its length, the EP was ineligible to chart as a UK single or album. Furthermore, the record's graphic language has resulted in significantly less radio airplay than previous records, although this was not a reported concern — "since they made their name on the Internet — and that got them a No.1 single and album — they don't care if they don't get radio play". [cite news| first=Daniel | last=Kilkelly | url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds30892.html | publisher=Digital Spy| title=Arctic Monkeys plan foul-mouthed EP| date=2006-03-25 | accessdate=2006-03-25]

However, soon after the release of the EP in the UK, the band announced that bassist Andy Nicholson would not take part in the band's forthcoming North America tour due to "fatigue following an intensive period of touring". [cite news|url=http://www.nme.com/news/23130 |publisher="NME"|title= Arctic Monkeys lose a member|date=2006-05-26 |accessdate=2006-06-05] Upon their return to the UK, Nicholson confirmed that he would start his own project, and by that leave Arctic Monkeys. Other than the project, his reason for leaving was that he couldn't deal with the fame and the success that the band had acclaimed over the past six months. Turner, Cook and Helders released some of a statement on their official website: "We are sad to tell everyone that Andy is no longer with the band", also confirmed that Nick O'Malley — former bassist with Arctic Monkeys' fellow Sheffield rock band, The Dodgems, who had drafted in as temporary bassist for the tour — would continue as bassist for the rest of their summer tour schedule. [cite news| author=Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders | publisher=www.arcticmonkeys.com | url=http://www.arcticmonkeys.com | title=Andy Nicholson| date=2006-06-19 | accessdate=2006-07-13] Shortly after, Nick O'Malley was confirmed as a full-time member and bassist of the band.

Arctic Monkeys' first release without Nicholson, the single "Leave Before the Lights Come On", came on 14 August 2006. Turner suggested that "it feels very much like it could be on the album", and that the song was one of the last songs he wrote before their rise to fame. [cite news| url=http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/23164| publisher="NME"| title=Arctic Monkeys play gig in tiny pub| date=2006-05-25| accessdate=2006-07-10] Although reaching #4 in the UK, the single became the band's first failure to reach #1 — leading to Turner referring to it as "the black sheep of the family" at the band's performance at the 2006 Reading Festival. The band were re-united at the Leeds Festival when Nicholson met up with his former band mates and his replacement bassist, O'Malley. [cite news| url=http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/24111| publisher="NME"| title=Arctic Monkeys re-unite in Leeds| date=2006-08-27| accessdate=2006-10-01] Only the original band members, minus Nicholson, were present at the award ceremony when "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" won the 2006 Mercury Prize two weeks later.

"Favourite Worst Nightmare"

The band's second album, "Favourite Worst Nightmare", was released on 23 April 2007, a week after the release of accompanying single "Brianstorm". Turner described the songs as "very different from last time", adding that the sound of some tracks are "a bit full-on - a bit like "From the Ritz to the Rubble", "The View from the Afternoon", that sort of thing." [cite news| url=http://www.nme.com/news/25655| title=Arctic Monkeys say new album is 'very different'| publisher="NME"| date=2007-01-05| accessdate=2007-01-13] A secret gig played at Sheffield's Leadmill on 10 February 2007, debuted seven new songs (six from "Favourite Worst Nightmare" and one other).cite web|title=Arctic Monkeys make surprise live return|publisher="NME"|date=2007-02-11|url=http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/26370| accessdate = 2007-02-12] Early reviews of the release were positive, and described it as "very, very fast and very, very loud."cite news| url=http://music.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1289900.php/Arctic_Monkeys_set_to_unleash_%91Favourite_Worst_Nightmare%92| title=Arctic Monkeys set to unleash "Favourite Worst Nightmare"| publisher=Monsters and Critics| date=2007-04-11| accessdate=2007-04-11]

Meanwhile, the band continued to pick up awards from around the world, winning Best New Artist in the United States' PLUG Independent Music Awards and picking up "Album of the Year" awards in Japan, Ireland and the US (see "Awards"). On top of awards for "Best Album" and "Best Music DVD" at the 2007 NME Awards, [cite news| last=Brandle| first=Lars| url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003552729| title=Arctic Monkeys Snatch Two NME Trophies| date=2007-03-01| publisher="Billboard"| accessdate=2007-03-02] a remarkably successful year for the band was topped off as they picked up "Best British Band" and "Best British Album" at the 2008 BRIT Awards. For the second year in a row, the band were nominated for the annual Mercury Prize, although they failed to match their feat of 2006 after the award went to Klaxons' "Myths of the Near Future".

On 29 April 2007, the day "Favourite Worst Nightmare" charted at #1 in the UK Albums Chart, all 12 tracks from the album charted in the Top 200 of the UK Singles Chart, ranging from "Brianstorm" at #7, to "If You Were There, Beware" at #189. On 27 April 2007 they had a total of 18 tracks in the Top 200. "Fluorescent Adolescent" and "505" charted in the Top 75, at #60 and #74 respectively.

The third single from "Favourite Worst Nightmare", "Teddy Picker", was released on 3 December 2007. It charted at #20 and remained only one week in the top 40 staying in this position, making it the lowest charting single for the band so far. Prior to this release the band released an extremely limited number of 250 vinyl under the pseudonym Death Ramps containing two of the b-sides from the "Teddy Picker" single.

Recent Events

The band began to write and record demos for the third album in January 2008, Turner said "We had tunes that we'd already been playing on tour so we recorded them. That’s six [songs] . We’re going to take it easy and start practicing over the summer and doing new stuff." [ [http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/36132 Arctic Monkeys to start work on new record this summer] ]

Cook announced on July 2, 2008 that the band is planning to begin writing the third album throughout July. He said he was "excited" to be getting started but did not know what direction the music would take. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a106771/arctics-to-return-to-writing-this-month.html Music - News - Arctics to return to writing this month - Digital Spy ] ]

Having previously supported Queens of the Stone Age at a Texas show, the band are planning to record material for their upcoming third album with Josh Homme as producer. The sessions are going to be recorded at the Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California, where Homme records The Desert Sessions. [cite web
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/aug/25/josh.homme.produces.arctic.monkeys?loc=interstitialskip
title=Josh Homme to produce Arctic Monkeys
date=2008-08-25
publisher="The Guardian"
accessdate=2008-08-25
]

On November 3, 2008, a live DVD entitled "Arctic Monkeys at The Apollo" is set to be released showcasing the Monkeys' final performance of 2007 at the Manchester Apollo. It was show at selected UK and International cinemas on October 14, 2008 prior to the DVD release.

It was announced on September 30, 2008 that the band will be performing at Australia's Big Day Out festival.

Criticism and controversy

The band has received criticism based around the media circus that has both surrounded and contributed to their rise. [cite news| first=Lynsey | last=Hanley | url=http://www.newstatesman.com/nssubsfilter.php3?newTemplate=NSArticle_Arts&newDisplayURN=200601300042 | publisher="New Statesman"| title=Monkeymania| date=2006-01-30 | accessdate=2006-06-05] Critics described them as one in a long line of largely overhyped "NME" bands", while the release of the EP "Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys" just three months after their record-breaking debut album has been criticised by some, who have seen it as "money-grabbing" and "cashing in on their success". [cite news| url=http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/22817 | publisher="NME"| title=Arctic Monkeys defend EP release| date=2006-04-18 | accessdate=2006-06-05] The band countered that they regularly release new music not to make money, but to avoid the "boredom" of "spending three years touring on one album". [cite news| url=http://www.sdcitybeat.com/article.php?id=4408| publisher="San Diego CityBeat"| title= Young Brains| date=2006-05-31]

The cover sleeve of "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", showing Chris McClure, a friend of the band, smoking a cigarette, was criticised by the head of the NHS in Scotland for "reinforcing the idea that smoking is OK".cite news| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4677356.stm | publisher=BBC News Online| title=Arctic Monkeys defend album cover| date=2006-02-03 | accessdate=2006-06-05] The image on the CD itself is a shot of an ashtray full of cigarettes. The band's product manager denied the accusation, and suggested the opposite — "You can see from the image smoking is not doing him the world of good".

The band was part of a chaotic and much-criticized 2008 Brit Awards ceremony: while accepting their Brit Award for Best British group in 2008, the band made jokes about being from the BRIT School in Croydon.cite news| url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23440536-details/Viewers'+fury+as+Sharon+Osbourne+unleashes+four-letter+tirade+at+'drunk'+Vic+Reeves/article.do | publisher=thisislondon| title= Viewers' fury as Sharon Osbourne unleashes four-letter tirade at 'drunk' Vic Reeves| date=2008-02-23 | accessdate=2008-02-24] Students who attend the school are offered the chance to be in the audience; the Brit Awards heavily support the school. The band grew up in Sheffield and didn't actually attend the school. Rather, they were mocking previous winners of the night Adele and Kate Nash, who had thanked the crowd and the school in their acceptance speech, having graduated from the school themselves. The speech was cut short by ITV.cite news| url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/7214fdee-e0d7-11dc-b0d7-0000779fd2ac.html | publisher=FT Online| title=Brits exposed to an Arctic blast| date=2008-02-23 | accessdate=2008-02-24]

Television appearances

In October 2005, the group made their first UK television appearances, performing on "Popworld" (15 October), "E4 Music" and "Later... with Jools Holland" (28 October). Since these appearances, however, the band became notorious for refusing to play on any further TV shows. [cite news| url=http://contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/arctic%20monkeys%20snub%20brit%20awards%20over%20tv%20coverage_26_01_2006 | publisher=Contactmusic| title=Arctic Monkeys refuse Brits appearance| date=2006-01-26 | accessdate=2006-06-05] They repeatedly turned down offers to play on the BBC's chart show, "Top of the Pops", as well as ITV's "".

The band's refusal to attend the 2006 BRIT Awards was originally seen as another snub to television, although a statement explained that it was in fact due to their prior commitments on the NME Awards Tour. In their recorded acceptance speech for Best British Breakthrough Act, the band gained a "mystery fifth member" who did all the talking. [cite news| first=Scott | last=Colothan | url=http://www.gigwise.com/news.asp?contentid=13542 | publisher=Gigwise| title=Arctic Monkeys gain mystery fifth member| date=2006-02-16 | accessdate=2006-06-05] Known for being camera-shy, it turned out that the band had recruited We Are Scientists frontman Keith Murray, a friend of the band, to accept the award for them, to "confuse the audience".

Despite their hostility to appearances on UK television, the band made their biggest TV appearance when they appeared on "Saturday Night Live" on 11 March 2006 to kick off their sold-out U.S. tour. The performance included the songs "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "A Certain Romance", and saw the word "ASBO" printed on the bass drum. However, just before the guitar solo of "A Certain Romance", Turner castigated a yawning audience member, [cite news| first=Bill | last=Harris | url=http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/2006/03/16/1490524.html | publisher=Jam!| title=Arctic Monkeys record new songs| date=2006-03-16 | accessdate=2006-03-28] and Cook tossed his guitar at an amplifier at the end of the song.

In February 2007, the band did not attend the 2007 BRIT Awards ceremony, due to recording of the music video to their new single "Brianstorm" the same day. Although reported as a second "snub" to the ceremony, Helders told BBC 6Music ""We're filming the video that day, so we're not going to be anywhere near it. We haven't snubbed it, we're just busy boys getting ready to go on tour again." [cite news| url=http://www.clickmusic.com/articles/3535.html| title=Arctic Monkeys Too Busy For Brits| date=2007-02-09| publisher=Clickmusic| accessdate=2007-02-09] Winning "Best British Band" and "Best British Album", the band instead sent videoed acceptance speeches dressed up as characters from the "Wizard of Oz" and The Village People. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6359089.stm| title=Arctic Monkeys scoop Brits double| date=2007-02-15| accessdate=2007-02-15| publisher=BBC] The band has also appeared on several late night talk shows such as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", "Late Show with David Letterman", "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross", "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "Later with Jools Holland".

In February 2008 they attended the 2008 BRIT Awards ceremony, where they won Best British Album for "Favourite Worst Nightmare" and Best British Group. They were also nominated for Best British Live Act, but lost to Take That.

Musical Style

Lyrics

The lyrics of Arctic Monkeys' singles often feature social realism as typified by "A Certain Romance", which comments on chav and indie culture; and observations of working class life, as typified by "When the Sun Goes Down", described as a "witty, poignant song about prostitution in the Neepsend district of Sheffield".cite news|url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,11712,1684753,00.html|last=Petridis|first=Alexis|date=2006-01-13|publisher="The Guardian"|title="Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" Review] Based on their lyrical style, Arctic Monkeys have been compared to acts such as the British rapper Mike Skinner of The Streetscite news|url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/mercury2006/story/0,,1865874,00.html|title=A Mercury for the Monkeys|first=Owen|last=Gibson|date=2006-09-06|publisher="The Guardian"] and earlier artists such as Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker, both known for their combination of observational lyrics and humour.

Turner sings in a strong Yorkshire accent, typified by the contraction of "something" to "summat" (IPA: /sumʌt/) (as "summit" or like "summut"), use of "dun't" (IPA: /dʌnt/) (like "dunt") instead of "don't" for "doesn't", use of "were" instead of "was", the replacement of "anything" and "nothing" with "owt" (IPA: /aʊt/) (as "note") and "nowt" (IPA: /naʊt/) (like "note"), use of "reight" instead of "right" (as "very"), and the use of Yorkshire colloquialisms such as "mardy" for "grumpy, difficult, unpredictable, spoiled" and "got the face on" for "in a bad mood".cite web|url=http://www.nme.com/arcticmonkeys/albumguide|title=A Scummy Man and Mardy Bums: The ultimate Arctic Monkeys album guide|publisher="NME"|format=HTML] Their songs also include frequent references to popular culture both common and obscure; "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" includes references to "Romeo and Juliet" (the play is also referenced in the track "Only Ones Who Know" from "Favourite Worst Nightmare", and in "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" where Turner makes reference to "Montagues and Capulets"), "Roxanne" by The Police and Frank Spencer, from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, leading one journalist to describe the band as having a "camp retro-futurist fascination" for 1980s popular culture. cite news| url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,16373,1695259,00.html| title=We love the 1980s| first=Paul| last=Morley| date=2006-01-27| publisher="The Guardian"]

Live appearances

At concerts, the band are known for their sing-along nature, and fan participationcite news|title=Arctic Monkeys review: Reading Festival|publisher="NME"|date=2006-09-02] However, their shows have sometimes been criticised by reviewers. For example, "NME" compared their performance at the 2006 Reading Festival unfavourably to that of Muse, who followed immediately after, using a multitude of fireworks and lighting effects, claiming that "in contrast to Muse's all-flashing, all-smoke-spewing, all-fire-raining slot, Arctic Monkeys simply stroll on without even the common courtesy of shoving up a backdrop", adding that band were too "self-conscious" and failed to be "the rock stars they've actually earned the right to be".cite news|title=Arctic Monkeys review: Reading Festival|publisher="NME"|date=2006-09-02]

Arctic Monkeys headlined the Glastonbury Festival on 22 June 2007, the highlights of which were aired on BBC2. During their headline act, the band performed with Dizzee Rascal and covered Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever". [ [http://www.arctic-monkeys.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1866 View topic - Glastonbury 2007 ~ Arctic Monkeys Forum Fan Site - Arctic-Monkeys.com ] ] The band also played a large gig at Dublin's Malahide Castle on 16 June 2007, with a second date added the following day. [cite news| url=http://www.arcticmonkeys.com/news-150207-malahide-castle-dublin.html| title=Malahide Castle, Dublin| publisher=Arctic Monkeys Official Website| date=2007-02-15| accessdate=2007-02-17] The band was also slated to play the Austin City Limits Music Festival in September 2007.The band played two shows at Cardiff International Arena on 19 June and 20 June 2007 supported by local friends of the band, Reverend and the Makers. They also played two London gigs at Alexandra Palace on the 8 and 9 December 2007. They were supported by The Rascals and The Horrors and there was, again, a "surprise appearance" from Dizzee Rascal.

In politics

The popularity of the Arctic Monkeys in the UK, especially among young people, has led to politicians and journalists referring to the band in speeches and texts. In May 2006, then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown stated in an interview with "New Woman" magazine that he listened to them every day, claiming " [they] really wake you up in the morning",cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5011326.stm|title=George Clooney as Gordon Brown?|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-05-24] although in a later interview he was unable to name any of their songs.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5375988.stm|title=Brown's Arctic Monkey admission|date=2006-09-24|publisher=BBC News] This has later been reported as a misquote. Subsequent interviews Brown has clarified that he said he didn't actually like them. He says he simply stated they would certainly wake you up in the morning.cite news|url=http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/article2714695.ece|title=Gordon Brown answers your questions|date=2007-06-27|publisher="Belfast Telegraph"] He went on to reference this in his speech at the 2006 Labour Party Conference about the risk of global warming, joking that he was "more interested in the future of the Arctic Circle than the future of the Arctic Monkeys".cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5380808.stm|title = Monkey business|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-09-26] [Then] Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell also referred to the band at the 2006 Liberal Democrats Party Conference, mistakenly claiming that they had sold more records than The Beatles,cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5357168.stm|title=Ming's Arctic Monkeys test|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-09-18] a comment which led to much derision from the media.Helders and O'Malley have also expressed doubts about the Live Earth concerts in 2007. They stated that it would be "patronising" given their age and that people should pay more attention to experts than to musicians about climate change. They also stated that it would leave them open to accusations of hypocrisy owing to the amount of energy they used in concerts. They did, however, claim to travel on normal airliners as opposed to private jets.

Discography

* "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (2006)
* "Favourite Worst Nightmare" (2007)

Awards

Footnotes

References

* [http://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/ "NME" — Arctic Monkeys]
* [http://www.ilikemusic.com/features/Arctic_Monkeys_Biography-1581 I Like Music — Arctic Monkeys Biography]
*BBC [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A6125285 Collective: videos, interviews and reviews]

External links

Official sites:
* [http://www.arcticmonkeys.com Official Website]
* [http://www.dominorecordco.com/site/?page=news&artistID=209 Domino Records band page]
* [http://www.theriotvan.com The Riot Van — Official North America tour site]


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