Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hey, hey it's the Arctic Monkeys

In two years Arctic Monkeys have gone from obscurity to headlining Glastonbury and selling 3.5 million albums – how are these four young men from Sheffield adjusting to life as pop megastars?

Sometimes, even now, Arctic Monkeys are surprised by their own bigness. When their tour bus pulled into Malahide, a few miles outside Dublin, Jamie Cook, the band’s guitarist, looked up from his PlayStation game to see 250 acres of parkland in the grounds of a stately home, ringed by newly erected fences and dotted with tents.

A small army of gardai, vendors, security guards and stage riggers were working away. There were impressive backstage facilities (comfortable dressing rooms, drinking patio, top catering) both for the headline artists and for their personally chosen support acts, the Coral and Supergrass – two older, more experienced bands that the four young schoolmates from Sheffield had been inspired by.

Over two nights, 26,000 Arctic Monkeys fans would fill this space. “F***ing hell,” said Cook. All this industry and organisation, just for them. “That’s a bit weird.” Drummer Matt Helders said his dad, over from Sheffield to see his son perform, was equally bewildered by the spectacle of “all these people, working ’cause of you”. “My dad wanted me to try and kick one of them out or summat,” said Helders with a grin. That was a joke, obviously. No Arctic Monkey would dream of being so impolite, far less of pulling a rock star strop, even if they have sold 3.5 million albums in fewer than two years.

Read the full article in the Times here.



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