Arctic Monkeys Homecoming Gig @don Valley Bowl June 10th 2011


‘Nailed it!’ The view of the missus as we woke up in the Sheffield hotel room. Yes the Arctic Monkeys certainly did. I have not looked forward to a gig so much in a long time. Not just because 2 of my favourite bands were playing, but simply that having listened intensely to ‘Suck it and See’ for a week I knew that Alex and the boys were bang on form. I was a huge fan of Humbug, despite it’s disappointment to many of the AM’s followers, but the new release sees them develop into a level of maturity that they have been striving for, whilst retaining the feel good factor of ‘Whatever People Say…’ So onto the gig.

First thing I’ve got to mention is the venue! A large festival style tent in the middle of the Don Valley Bowl had a few raised eyebrows, but it was perfect, creating an atmosphere that the Isle of White Festival 300 miles away will have been jealous of. Drinks were easy to get, stewards were actually very helpful and we could chill out on the grass in between bands.  V Festival could learn a few tricks  from these guys. £3.80 a pint was a bit steep but hey-ho! Having almost killed ourselves in the rush to get down we did not see the first band, but were there in time for The Vaccines. Having seen them in the Westgarth in Middlesbrough and the Cluny in Newcastle (intimate venues) I was worried that they would lose their mojo performing on the bigger stage. I was proven wrong! From opening with ‘Blow it Up’ Justin and the lads gave a top quality performance. Playing a 30 minute set The Vaccines stuck to the script playing crowd pleasers such as Wrecking Bar, If you Wanna and Post Break Up Sex. Wetsuit got a really good sing along from the crowd too. Finishing with Nogaard, The Vaccines had the masses dancing and singing as if they were the headliners! It wouldn’t surprise me that these guys do go on to have similar gigs of their own in a few years time. Apologies to the woman next to me who had to endure my singing, although I think she was more surprised that I could remember all the words!

Miles Kane was up next. We had a beer break but could hear him going down well. Apologies to his fans but I can’t write a fair review! And then the main event!

Entering to Hot chocolate’s ‘Sexy Thing’  Alex says ‘Now then, we’ll start from the beginning shall we?’ in his broad Yorkshire accent. (No Americanised twang thank God). And so they did with ‘View from The Afternoon’. Not a bad way to start-got the crowd onside straight away as opposed to last tour when they were heavily criticised for opening with ballads. And this is the point I was making earlier. They managed to perform to a superb set list of songs, combining the classics of the first two albums with sprinklings of the best of Humbug (no space for My Propeller) and the highlights of the ‘Suck it and See’.      At no point did you ever think ’why are they playing this?’ New songs like ‘She’s Thunderstorms’  and ‘Dont sit down…’ were sung along to as if they had been around for years. And then bang in the middle Alex says he needs a bit of help singing this next one. And after two strums of the guitar you realise it is a stripped down Mardy Bum! Not been played since 2007. Cue one very excited wife!! More so than any other song, the crowd blast out the lyrics word for word. Alex stepped back allowing us to be the lead singers for a moment. Compare it to a Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ moment but with a few extra halos!

The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala is a top tune.Wonderful lyrics ‘took the batteries out my mysticism and put ‘em in my thinking cap, She’s got a telescopic hallelujah hanging up on the wall’ It makes hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Cornerstone too. And then crazy frenzied dancing with I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. And as I’m thinking oit doesn’t get much better a brucie-bonus for me as they play That’s Where You’re Wrong. It is my favourite track from the new release. I’ve described it as New Order meets Echo and The Bunnymen.  A great track, great lyrics! Via Pretty Visitors and If You Were There, Beware the Monkeys get to the brilliant 505 with Miles Kane helping out on vocals and I’m thinking that its show over. But no they return for a mighty encore, blasting 3 sing-along anthems with When the Sun goes Down, Fluorescent Adolescent and the A Certain Romance.  Not a bad way to finish? Arctic Monkeys are well and truly back with a bang, playing as good as I have ever seen “Just cos we’re having a say-so Not lining up to be playdoh Oh, in five years time, will it be ‘Who the fuck’s Arctic Monkeys?’ “  Arctic Monkeys 2006

No! 2011

Thanks to Sally Thurrell   for some of the photos


Blow It Up

Post Break-Up Sex


Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)

All In White

If You Wanna

We are Happening



Arctic Monkeys (Intro Hot Chocolate ‘Sexy Thing’)

The View From The Afternoon


This House Is A Circus

Still Take You Home

Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

Library Pictures

Teddy Picker

Crying Lightning

Brick by Brick

The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala


Mardy Bum (Acoustic)

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

She’s Thunderstorms

Pretty Visitors

If You Were There, Beware

Do Me A Favour

That’s Where You’re Wrong

505 (with Miles Kane)


When The Sun Goes Down

Fluorescent Adolescent

A Certain Romance

By SCarey on June 12, 2011

Check out all the pics

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