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
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