NME Awards Tour, ft Arctic Monkeys

Friday, February 10, 2006
9:34 AM

EMMA LEE

UEA LCR, Norwich

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> UEA LCR, Norwich

You have to feel slightly sorry for the rest of the bands hitching the ride on the NME's tour bus to the UEA LCR last night.

There is only really one band the sold-out crowd was there to see - Arctic Monkeys.

We Are Scientists got the crowd moshing along - but when the Arctic Monkeys sauntered on to the stage they erupted into roars of approval. A couple of months is a long time in rock music - and between the line-up being announced and last night's gig the Arctic Monkeys have gone from being one-hit-wonder lucky chancers to a bona fide cultural phenomenon with their album becoming the fastest-selling debut of all time. There is no denying that as three-minute pop songs go I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor with its irresistible hook and chant-along chorus is pretty near perfect. At times I thought I was on a football terrace as the crowd joined in on tracks such as chart-topper When the Sun Goes Down.

As well as their witty lyrics and frontman Alex Turner's Noel Gallagher-style swagger it's their sheer ordinariness that's a huge part of their charm.

Which sadly for tour headliners Maximo Park meant that all their fancy stage lights and scissor kicks were really wasted on a slightly apathetic audience. With their Smiths-style guitar lines and dapper Paul Smith making an enigmatic frontman, on any other night the Geordie art rockers would have rightly been the star attraction. But some cheeky northerners came along and eclipsed them.

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