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Arctic Monkeys' triumphant UK return

Alex Turner tells 6 Music News he's done things on stage he never thought he'd do

  • 04/11/2011
  • Elizabeth Alker
Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner (BBC)

Alex Turner has revealed he had forgotten what it was like to play arenas as the band kicked off their UK tour in Nottingham last week.

"It was a bit of a shock", he said. "I'd forgotten what it was like and I was like, 'how do I do this again?'".

Arctic Monkeys have spent a lot of time touring America over the last couple of months and their frontman said it was surprising to come home to sold out stadiums.

"Places we have been playing elsewhere have generally been a lot smaller. So, it was a shock in Nottingham and at the weekend at the Millennium Dome, seeing all these people who had come to see us, for some reason. People singing along to the tracks, it still blows my mind that."

Reviews of the band's live shows have been positive all week with critics not failing to notice how Turner has "blossomed" as a frontman.  He explained to 6 Music News how it has taken a while for him to get used to winning over crowds: "I have started to enjoy that side of things and I've done things on stage recently that I never thought I would have done."

"Being up there in the limelight, if you like, is something that didn't come naturally to me at all, like singing, it's something that has built up over time. But now I'm doing stupid crowd participation things like shouting, 'just this side sing'. That was a gag that we used to have in the practice room but I actually went through with it the other night and felt like I had to apologise."

"I've done things on stage recently that I never thought I would have done. Being up there in the limelight is something that didn't come naturally to me at all. But now I'm doing stupid crowd participation things. I have started to enjoy that side of things."

Alex Turner

Having seen their show in Manchester this week, 6 Music News can confirm that Arctic Monkeys are more at home playing to huge crowds than ever. Their new material also seemed to be going down just as well as their old material, which Alex said they were pleased about: "I guess we're playing these new songs pretty much how we recorded them."

"I guess the older tunes, as time goes on, have changed. So, now they feel like cover versions or something. I don't know, I say cover versions but they're pretty good covers. I think we're the best Arctic Monkeys cover band that there is."

"I wrote a lot of this last record in America and it sounds a lot more English than the last stuff I wrote. When you step away for a second you get a different perspective on it. It made me include a lot more colloquialisms and references to English things."

Alex Turner

Much of the band's latest album Suck It And See was written in America, which Alex believes made him think more about home: "I wrote a lot of this last record in America and it sounds a lot more English than the last stuff I wrote."

"When you step away for a second you get a different perspective on it. It made me include a lot more colloquialisms and references to English things."

Turner also believes some of the band's early influences came back to haunt them on this record: "I love The Smiths. I don't know if I was listening to a great deal of it while I was writing this last record but I don't mind that coming through in our songs at all.

"The other influence we have from Manchester, I suppose, is John Cooper- Clarke and whilst I think his influence is really prevalent in that first record it also still hangs around in some of the couplets on this new Monkeys album as well."

Arctic Monkeys play at the NEC in Birmingham tonight (Friday 4 November) before heading to Newcastle, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Liverpool.

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