Updated: Tuesday, 20th November 2018 @ 12:36pm

Gig review: Arctic Monkeys @ Manchester Phones 4U Arena

Gig review: Arctic Monkeys @ Manchester Phones 4U Arena

By Josh Nicholls

Slightly slouched, guitar in hand, Alex Turner stood motionless and after a few unmistakable chords addressed Manchester’s Phones4U Arena crowd for the first time singing: “Have you got colour in your cheeks?”

The crowd were immediately entranced by the sound of Do I Wanna Know, the flagship track of the Arctic Monkeys latest album AM, which was appropriately played first.

A change in octane to Brianstorm soon followed and pandemonium ensued among the standing crowd who pushed, shoved and jumped, creating the sort of chaos that personified the song’s furious nature.

Front-man Turner however remained still for most of the gig, only moving for an occasional swig of Boddingtons in between songs.

But he nevertheless exuded an effortless control over his fans – he didn’t need to move – they were hanging on his every lyric from the moment he walked on stage.

Complete with a greaser hairstyle, a suede blazer and a shirt unbuttoned at the collar Turner is no longer some kid in jeans and a t-shirt barking out lyrics, but a polished performer.

Although the singer’s Sheffield brogue was still audible when he addressed the arena, it has diminished from his much refined singing voice.

AM’s diversity of tracks enabled Turner to show off his now extensive melodic repertoire with the vocal range in One For The Road in particular, a far cry from the sounds on offer in first album Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not.

Nonetheless there was something ingenious about the band’s debut album which took listeners on a warts-and-all tour round the city of Sheffield through the eyes of a teenage Turner.

Indeed the only disappointment of the gig was probably that only three tracks from that incredible album were played, with When The Sun Goes Down the most notable absentee from the set-list.

Dancing Shoes was played third in the buoyant opening, while I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor was met with a predictably exuberant response and an acoustic rendition of Mardy Bum began the three song encore.

Prior to the encore Turner dabbled in word play saying: “Manchester, I wish I could play all night, I Wanna Be Yours.

Confetti was fired and smoke billowed during the song as aesthetic gratification was added to the auditory indulgence the audience had enjoyed all evening.

The versatility and popularity of AM as an album was showcased again in the encore when the crowd roared its approval as Snap Out Of It was played.

Turner’s penchant for word-play carried to the final address of his followers when he asked: R U Mine?

In one last explosion of noise and energy, the crowd showed that they very much did still belong to the Arctic Monkeys.  

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.