mardy bum

Arctic circle staying down to earth...

NOEL Gallagher said they would struggle to get anywhere with a name like Arctic Monkeys.
Now the Oasis man is probably eating his words as the young quartet from Sheffield sit at the top of the British charts with their first major release single.
The energetic rocker I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor wiped the floor with Robbie Williams, McFly and Sugababes to make history as the lads hit the number one spot with their debut.
Frontman Alex Turner said they were thrilled at the success of the single but admitted when it came to listening to the chart rundown: "We thought about doing a Likely Lads and trying to avoid the score!
"We have got to carry on regardless of what happens chart-wise."
Arctic Monkeys manager Geoff Barradale was also proud of the achievement, but believes it is as much about the way the musicians have conducted themselves as about their music.
"It's quite a debut," he agreed. "And they are all enjoying it. But they've been very calm and they're not fussed about all the celebrity side of it. You would not even know anything is going on.
"They've not been making a song and dance about it. It's what's standing them apart - they are not interested in anything that isn't musical or real."
The rise to glory of singer-songwriter Alex, guitarist Jamie Cook, drummer Matt Helders and bass-player Andy Nicholson has been as rapid as it has been incredible. In a year they have gone from pub-playing hopefuls to one of the most widely talked about acts in the world.
And the storming of the British charts is only the beginning - later this month the boys head to Japan where tickets for their first ever show were snapped up in just over an hour of going on sale, before the country even gets the single. After that they play sold out dates in the USA, Canada and across Europe.
The whole Arctic Monkeys fairytale is likely to make the record industry sit up and listen - the success has been achieved largely by word-of-mouth and the 21st century grapevine of the internet.
Fans of the band have been spreading the word across the planet via emails, online bulletin boards and downloads of early recordings of the songs. The official Arctic Monkeys website went from a couple of hits a week to 15,000 hits a month.
It led to demand for their limited edition single - Five Minutes With The Arctic Monkeys - outstripping supply by five to one and making it one of the hottest items on auction site ebay.
Ironically that goes against the ethic of a band which has prided itself on avoiding hype and frills.

While some of the acts behind them in the charts today offered various versions of their singles, with free DVDs and alternative b-sides forcing ardent fans to buy more than one copy, the Arctic Monkeys released their song on CD single and seven-inch vinyl only – making the 25,000-plus they sold to get to number one even more of a task.
"That's all exploitation," said Alex, who did admit to placing their record in front of some of the competition in a Leeds record shop.
"Maybe this can mark a new age. It would be nice to start something, even if it is by accident."
Their manager, Geoff Barradale, added: "What has happened to them serves as inspiration to young musicians who say to themselves 'We can do it as well'.
"The most important thing people have been saying is they hoped we would get to number one because of what it represents. It is the way we have gone about it. We said 'why not find a better way of selling music rather than force feeding homogenised rubbish to people'.
"It is important for the industry for a band to have success without using the usual machinery. This has happened with the band very much in the driving seat.
"I listened to the band each time we were squeezed into my battered old Saab going to the first gigs playing for seven to 20 people, if we were lucky, talking about what they wanted to do and the way they wanted to do it.
"It has been a down to earth Sheffield attitude - the management, the record company, the publicity company, they have all been severely vetted to understand that and they get it.
"We've got some really good people around us and working for us."
Hitting a number one with thier debut single places the Arctics in an elite club, populated by the likes of contrasting acts such as Blue, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Westlife, McFly and X Factor winner Steve Brookstein, and possibly in a minority of one when it comes to credible guitar bands.
The amazing buzz surrounding Arctic Monkeys since music magazine NME proclaimed them "the most talked about band in Britain" has prompted some commentators to label Sheffield one of the most happening music destinations in the country.
A string of other bands are also seemingly on their way to a bright future, having signed deals or been caught in the music industry spotlight.
Gledhill release their radio-friendly single Remain later this month with an album to follow. The Long Blondes have recorded a single with one of the hottest producers in the country and other local names such as Milburn, Harrisons, Bromheads Jacket, Stoney, 65daysofstatic and The Wanted all have records either out, gaining national airplay or pending.
Add to that former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley earning universal acclaim for his new album Coles Corner and it seems the pundits could well be right.
Gary Stein, programme director at Sheffield radio station Hallam FM, was among those quick to recognise the significance of the Arctic Monkeys' achievement.
"It's brilliant for the city," he said. "It is great to have a band like this."


Disclaimer: This article is from the Sheffield Today news website. It has been posted here for general information purposes and no profit is being made from this article. Visit The Sheffield Today website here.


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