|Shot by Dean Chalkley for NME|
It’s always a bit strange when the once obscure band you loved from day one become huge. I can still remember the days when it was a logistic nightmare to get hold of an Arctic Monkeys T-shirt in Hungary or Romania- it involved enlisting friends of friends to order the item from webshops that delivered to the UK only and then synchronizing schedules with several people to have the prized object transported to its final destination. Where, upon wearing it with pride on the streets of your hometown, you were met by wtf looks and asked whether it’s some WWF style foundation aimed at saving monkeys. The same looks were weighing my beloved NME poster with increduity- it’s just British kids in trainers.
Well those British kids in trainers are now important enough to add one whole Sunday to VOLT festival and be heralded by the local press as the biggest band in the world. That’s subjective of course, but they are definitely one of the hottest acts to ever land at a Hungarian festival. While I am a bit cross that they’re not coming to Sziget, maybe it’s for the best this way. VOLT was a must this year anyway, plus I can live up to my promise to explore new sides of the country . In another fascinating twist, last July I went to see the Monkeys right across the Austrian border in the strawberry farming village of Wiesen which is connected to Sopron by little boxlike trains.
So this July, the 6th of it more precisely, will be one glorious Sunday. I’ll wear the much loved T-shirt and have a smug smirk of how mine is one of the old classic ones, because when, in 2005, I was listening to four British kids pretty much my age I knew that some day they’ll take the world by storm. And I just love being right.