ROIO of the Week
[Recordings of Indeterminate Origin]


Hey Hey, We're The Monkeys...

Bigger than Oasis when Oasis released Definitely Maybe in 1994. Better than the Monkees who were carefully manufactured and marketed to teens and pre-teens in the early days of boybands. Here come… Arctic Monkeys, Sheffield England’s finest. We offer you this fine live performance of almost the entire debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, released on January 23 in the United Kingdom.




Click on the panels to download artwork

ARCTIC MONKEYS
Live at Kultkomplex-Cafe in Koeln on January 17, 2006 [no label, 1CD]

Sure, Britain's Arctic Monkeys have a brash punk outlook, which may be the flavour of the month, nifty lyrics and jaunty songs like their singles, "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor" and "When The Sun Goes Down." Songs like "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong" and "You Probably Couldn't See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me" have the potential to be classic singalongs and the short and sweet "Mardy Bum" certainly is quite a charmer. As these tracks - taken from the gig at Kultkomplex-Café in Koeln on January 17, 2006 - show, what the Arctic Monkeys really got going for them is the way they attack their songs with such gusto that you'd think that The Clash or The Jam have never existed. That is why, older fans, upon hearing the group, cannot be faulted if they say; "Been there, done that." Let's just hope that they will bring more to the table the next time round. - Stephen Tan

+ + + + +

Hotter than the sun, faster than electricity, harder to watch from the distance of an observatory, Arctic Monkeys are a four-piece indie rock band from Chapeltown, Sheffield, England. Their debut single, "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor", and the follow up "When The Sun Goes Down", went straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart. The band entered the scene by giving away for FREE their demos on their website late in 2004. It then spread by word of mouth and from MP3 to MP3.

Arctic Monkeys are Alex Turner: guitar, vocals, Jamie 'Cookie' Cook: guitar, backing vocals, Andy Nicholson: bass, backing vocals and Matthew 'The Cat' Helders: drums, backing vocals. The 19-year-olds have defied convention and stayed clear of the media. Instead they have let their catchy melodies and witty lyrics become the attraction.

In May last year, Arctic Monkeys followed their internet release with their first CD EP, Five Minutes With The Arctic Monkeys, which only had two songs - Fake Tales Of San Francisco and From The Ritz To The Rubble, both of which can be found on the debut album. This release was limited to 1,000 self-made CDs and 500 7" records, but was also available for download from the iTunes Music Store. The band has relied almost exclusively on peer-to-peer networks that spread their demos freely far and wide in the UK and beyond. Arctic Monkeys live shows in audio and video can be downloaded for free at many popular music sites.

All the while, the band resisted the temptations of signing a record deal, to the extent that record company scouts were barred from their gigs. Their logic - "We've got this far without them - why should we let them in", was illustrated with a series of sell-out gigs across the UK. October 2005 saw the band sell out the London Astoria, with 2,000 fans singing the words to every song despite the band having released a single limited edition EP. That’s how powerful the peer-to-peer network is.

Although originally intending to go it alone, the band ended up signing to Domino Records in June 2005. The temptation of money saw the band almost sign for "another label", but the band were attracted by Domino owner Laurence Bell, who ran the label from his flat and only signed bands that he liked personally.

On January 23, when the debut album was released HMV estimated first-day sales of 60,000 in the UK, which would mean the album selling more than 200,000 copies by the end of its first week in the shops to beat Oasis' Definitely Maybe, which became the fastest-selling rock debut in 1994. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was on Jan 23 outselling the second-placed release, Richard Ashcroft's Keys to the World, by four to one on Amazon.co.uk.

"It's remarkable how, in just a few months, the Arctic Monkeys have gone from being a cool local band promoted by their fans via the internet to a superstar act connecting with the wider record-buying public," said Phil Penman, head of music at HMV.

Bands who still have their "little" heads stuck up their arses over "copyright" issues should take note.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality, stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, these live tracks have never been officially released.

Note: here is swearing on one track only.

 
Track 01 I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor * (5.3MB)
Track 02 The View From The Afternoon * (3.3MB)
Track 03 The View From The Afternoon (End) * (2.3MB)
Track 04 Still Take You Home * (4.7MB)
Track 05 You Probably Couldn't See For The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me * (3.8MB)
Track 06 Bigger Boys And Stolen Sweethearts (4.8MB)
Track 07 Dancing Shoes * (5.0MB)
Track 08 When The Sun Goes Down (Scummy) * (4.9MB)
Track 09 From The Ritz To The Rubble * (5.7MB)
Track 10

Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But... * (7.3MB)

Track 11 Mardy Bum * (5.0MB)
Track 12 Fake Stales Of San Francisco * (5.7MB)
Track 13 A Certain Romance * (8.3MB)
Track 14 Outro (2.4MB)

* these tracks in their studio versions can be found on their new debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' released on Jan 23, 2006.

Click here to order Arctic Monkeys albums.




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