Arctic Monkeys

Jared O'Mara 03/11/2004

This was it. The Big 'Un (in local parlance). According to the rumour mill as many as 15 record labels were sending down representatives to Snig Hill's finest music venue, the Boardwalk, a venue that has in the past played host to legendary gigs by the Clash, the Sex Pistols and a whole host of other such luminaries. And the targets in their sights were four modest 18 year olds hailing from the boroughs of High Green and Hillsborough.

Step forward Mr James Cook, rhythm guitairist and innocent, wide eyed cutie (a must have for the arm of all the hippest groupies in 2005- you heard it here first girls!). Step forward Mr Andy Nicholson, the bass player that looks as rough as any Hillsborough Corner Public House Doorman, yet teenage girls will “still take him home, yeah there'll still take him home” (if only for his quick fingered dexterity!). Step forward Mr Matthew Helders, sticks curator and the cheekiest chappy around (he likes nice shoulders, if you hear his backing vocals as I do). And then step forward Mr Alexander Turner Esquire, Your New Personal Jesus, but with more meekness and modesty (there is no sacrilege, only truth). Step forward, young pilgrims, and claim that which is rightfully yours.

And step forward they did, with a performance worthy of all the combined billions of Sony, Universal, Parlaphone and even, er, Sheffield's own Thee SPC. If a contract is not forthcoming then I'm strapping up the napalm and paying Mr Record Exec's swanky central London office a visit sometime soon. And then returning from the dead to haunt his Thai Mail Order Wife and children, Robson, (aged 4) and Jerome (aged 2) until they are forced to vacate and downsize from their swish Kensington abode giving the proceeds to my Monkey Mates (you think I'm joking Mr Record Exec? In the words of John Rambo, Don't Push Me!).

When our four troubadours took to the stage their incandescence engulfed all. Indie kids indie-bopped. Sexy Little Slags got on their Dancing Shoes. Scummy men procured pro's round the corner in Neepsend as Alex immortalised them with his lilting ode. And the Boys in the Band themselves professionally stayed off the bevvies all night to be the designated drivers of the Choo Choo (kindly giving me a lift back to my not so humble abode in the process). A Certain Romance was established, ladies and gentlemen, and now dozens of new converts are experiencing the very same first throngs of infatuation that the more learned amongst us developed some time ago by virtue of our 'French Kiss in the Chaos' (with this writer baring the scars of a pool cue attack to the knee as proud proof). There were no Mardy Bums at the Boardwalk that night; there was instead an orgy of Monkey Love.

Dear reader, if thou art not already a convert to the church of Alex Turner and the latter day Monkeys (where my esteemed colleague, the pseudonymous Reverend Jonathan Rarsclart, is chief preacher) thou art either cloth eared or in dire need of a visit to their next live performance. Catch them while you can, cos this train's goin' global baby! YEAH! Choo Choo!