Arctic Monkeys to support bands: don’t watch us, go get laid

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Memo from Alex Turner to Arctic Monkeys’ support acts – don’t hang around to watch us, go find a root instead.

Arctic Monkeys last night kicked off their mammoth Australian tour in Sydney. Last month they were been accused by former touring partner, American band The Orwells, as lacking spontaneity, but Alex Turner this week returned fire of his own.

Recounting the band’s long US tour with the British rock heavyweights, Orwells guitarist Matt O’Keefe told Gigwise in April “every night, no matter how he [Alex Turner] was feeling, he’d go into that opening riff. It was the exact same ad-libs he was putting between the songs. So we were with them for about 50 dates, you saw them once and you’d pretty much seen every date that they’d played.”

Orwells leader Mario Cuomo went further, saying he “would feel super uncomfortable if I knew what I was going to say in between songs.”

Speaking to news.com.au yesterday, Turner said his support bands should not be watching him after their set – instead, they should be out on the prowl.

“They should have been out trying to get laid instead of watching us every night,” Turner said.

Of course, keeping to a set formula on a long tour isn’t anything new. A pivotal scene in the Foo Fighters doco ‘Back and Forth’ ties together a collection of clips of Dave Grohl introducing song ‘For All The Cows’ every night on tour, with almost the exact same introduction, to reflect the long hard slog of touring life; of how one night blends into another, blends into another, and another. Playing 50 dates in a row means you quickly run out of different ways to keep the audience entertained, reducing stage banter to a standard “how’s it going [insert city here]?!”

Most bands on the top level that Arctic Monkeys now occupy would be hard-pressed to come up with a new setlist and stage show each night, especially with expensive set pieces/props/backdrops/light projections/smoke/pyrotechnics, so maybe it’s a bit harsh for The Orwells to rag on that – but at the same time, what sort of message is Turner, supposedly the new torchbearer for rock’n’roll, sending to young aspiring rockstars? That it’s OK to play your gig then piss off and ignore the other bands on the bill? That once your performance is done, it is your right and duty to find the nearest girl to woo?

Surely a positive message to send to young bands and music fans.

Either way, Pond – Arctic Monkey’s support band on the Aus tour, comprised of most members of Tame Impala – now apparently have a free pass to get up to whatever backstage hijinks they please.

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