Raw rock en­ergy and a pas­sion for the wit and po­etry of Eng­land’s north have taken Arc­tic Mon­keys on a long jour­ney from their roots in work­ing-class Sh­effield, writes Iain Shed­den

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Cover Story -

ALEX Turner is do­ing his best to sti­fle a few early morn­ing yawns af­ter one of the big­gest nights of his pro­fes­sional life. The 28-yearold Arc­tic Mon­keys front­man and song­writer can be for­given a lit­tle weari­ness, given he and his col­leagues have been tour­ing through North and Cen­tral Amer­ica and Europe for the best part of nine months.

The gig the pre­vi­ous evening, at Bos­ton’s Ag­ga­nis Arena, is the lat­est on the Sh­effield band’s Amer­i­can tour to pro­mote its fifth al­bum, last year’s AM. The show is a re­sound­ing suc­cess in front of nearly 7000 fans. Turner’s rec­ol­lec­tion of it and of sim­i­lar tri­umphs across the US in re­cent weeks are enough to snap him out of his ini­tial fa­tigue.

“It has taken us a while,” he says in his dis­tinc­tive South York­shire drawl, “but things are be­gin­ning to hap­pen here.”

If the US has taken Arc­tic Mon­keys to its bo­som, so too Turner, gui­tarist Jamie Cook, bassist Nick O’Mal­ley and drum­mer Matt Helders have adopted Un­cle Sam. Cal­i­for­nia has been their home for the past cou­ple of years, at least when the band hasn’t been on the road. They’re part of the Los Angeles rock elite. They ride ex­pen­sive mo­tor­cy­cles and are pic­tured in

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