If Arctic Monkeys albums were Sheffield nights out, this is what they would be
Do you wanna know?
There are many ways to describe Arctic Monkeys, and depending on your music taste, your tolerance of hip thrusting, and your opinions on hair gel, those ways could include anything from ‘my favourite band’ to ‘too much hair gel’.
Hailing from the High Green suburb north of the city centre (“It’s High Green mate, via Hillsborough please”, barks Alex Turner on ‘Red Lights Indicate Doors are Secure’), they’re a Sheffield institution and undoubtedly one of the biggest bands in Britain today.
So, if Sheffield nights out were Arctic Monkeys albums, which one would they be?
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Corp
Everyone loves Corp, like how everyone loves Arctic Monkeys’ debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. When you think of Arctic Monkeys you think of classic songs like ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘Mardy Bum’, and when Alex Turner talks of scummy men on ‘When the Sun Goes Down’, your mind will automatically jump to Corp.
It’s impossible not to think of Corp when you think of Sheffield, even if it does involve falling down stairs or a random guy in the smoking area who’s lost his mates asking if he can tag along with you. Yet it’s impossible not to think of Arctic Monkeys too, with their Sheffield roots still visible to this day.
Favourite Worst Nightmare – Area
“LOOK AT ME”, screams Area, “I’M JUST LIKE CORP. I HAVE LOTS OF ROOMS”. All it wants, all it craves, is some love.
Area was built on hype, a super-club, whatever that may mean, that promised big nights out for all and rooms to suit the music tastes of many. But that’s where Area’s downfall lies, in the hype it created for itself, a hype it could never live up to, no matter how many rooms it may have.
Favourite Worst Nightmare is a good album, but it was never going to live up to the hype of its predecessor. Not a lot could follow the popularity or the success of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, with the popularity of the band too much. Yet, their second album still delivers, and somehow that makes it absolutely nothing like Area.
Humbug – The Leadmill
Humbug is cool, the sound is drastically different, and it's produced by none other than Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Leadmill is cool, it plays indie music, and it’s housed some of the best bands in Britain for over 30 years. If Humbug and Leadmill were people, they'd wear skinny jeans, a slightly oversized denim jacket, and a t-shirt with The Stone Roses on it.
Humbug isn’t the most popular Arctic Monkeys album, and tracks like ‘Dance Little Liar’ and ‘Pretty Visitors’ will never be as big as ‘R U Mine?’ or ‘505’, but they’re still great songs nonetheless. The Leadmill is the same, it may not be Sheffield’s biggest club and no, it isn’t for everyone, but it’s still a brilliant night out.
Suck It and See – The Wick at Both Ends
The Wick at Both Ends plays music that is too cool for you. That’s what’s so attractive about The Wick, the knowledge that you’re probably not cool enough to be there, yet you still are, having a bop to music that’s the polar opposite of sitting in your bedroom listening to Ed Sheeran on repeat.
Suck It and See has a retro, vintage sound, and was twinned with the emergence of Alex Turner’s cowboy accent and Elvis-style quiff, giving it an air of natural cool as you float through tracks like ‘Library Pictures’ and ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’. Like The Wick, Suck It and See makes you realise how uncool you really are.
AM – The Tuesday Club
There is one common theme that links AM and Tuesday Club and that is drugs.
‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ just screams “LOOK AT ME I TAKE DRUGS”, much like donning your fanciest sportswear and more glitter than an Art Attack project. On ‘I Want It All’, Matt Helders, in an impressive falsetto, sings “I drank miniature whisky, and we shared your coke”. Now, whilst the student version of this would read more like “I drank a lot of water and shared cheesy chips on the way home”, the sentiment remains the same.
AM is an acquired taste, with a lot of people prone to telling you, often without you asking, that they prefer the first Arctic Monkeys album. Tuesday Club, though popular, is the same, with many people preferring to remain within the comforts of more mainstream nights out.