When I finally go to see Pulp, The Stones Roses and Blur on Sziget a good decade or two after their heyday, I could not help feeling just a bit left out- they were a generation or so older than mine, and when I finally got around to listening to Blur’s first albums with a serious ear, they already felt like history. Great music, undoubtedly, but something that reached me with nostalgic delay. It then quickly dawned on me that if I searched for the band that would relevantly chart my musical coming of age, I could only come up with one answer- the Arctic Monkeys.
I clearly remember the first articles I read about them in the British Council library’s NME copies and my modem slowly coming to life to buffer their first tracks on MySpace. When I first lovingly sported the band T-shirt for which I had to move smallish mountains, the questions mirrored their first EP: Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys? I grinned and said, I think one day you’ll know.
The day is now- last Sunday at VOLT every second kid was wearing a band T-shirt (But only two people had the old design, like mine, and we duly smiled in recognition at each other.) They love the band, but seemed slightly taken aback by some of the older tracks- this is their Blur and Pulp, the band they discover at the height of their glory and fall in love with that one album that is a synthesis of all that came before.
The concert was hardly flawless, Alex Turner might have been a bit too Elvis high on something for the general taste but for me, they’re the one band that still sends giant butterflies to my stomach when I see them live- bands come and go, genres become popular and fade away, but in 50 years’ time, if I make it, I can see myself feeling that rush of being 22, and finding the band that can be forever 22 with you. The Arctic Monkyes, they r mine.