Arctic Monkeys on Olympics Opening Ceremony one year on: ‘It’s like representing your country’

Alex Turner and co compare London 2012 gig to headlining Glastonbury...

Arctic Monkeys have spoken to NME about their experience of performing at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games to coincide with the sporting event’s one year anniversary.

Today (July 27) marks almost exactly a year to the day that the Sheffield band took part in the ceremony, which was overseen by film director Danny Boyle and also included appearances from Paul McCartney, Two Door Cinema Club singer Alex Trimble, Frank Turner and Dizzee Rascal. Arctic Monkeys played both their debut single, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, and a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’.

Speaking to NME about what it had been like to play the event, singer Alex Turner said: “We did the Olympics thing last year and I was really nervous. Until about 10 seconds before I walked out I was like ‘What is happening here?!’. I was in a weird panic. We never had fireworks until we did that Olympics thing – we didn’t know what was happening. It was great, man. You can’t lose, you can do anything if you have fireworks!”

Asked where their performance at the ceremony ranked among their biggest gigs, meanwhile, drummer Matt Helders replied: “I was comparing the Olympics thing to Glastonbury, but there we only did two songs,” while bassist Nick O’Malley said: “I think it [the Olympics] would have been bigger if it were more songs, but because it was so short it wasn’t.” Turner then added: “But people think both of those things are quite prestigious. The Olympics was like representing your country, but Glastonbury is the festival that everyone wants to headline.”

Last month Arctic Monkeys confirmed details of their fifth studio album, which includes the songs ‘R U Mine?’ as well as ‘Do I Wanna Know?’. Guests on the album include Josh Homme and former member of The Coral, Bill Ryder-Jones. The album will be released on September 9.

Arctic Monkeys will play nine dates on their autumn tour, including a homecoming gig at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena. Starting in Newcastle at the Metro Radio Arena on October 22, the tour will then visit Manchester, London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and Glasgow before ending with the Sheffield gig on November 2. The Strypes will support on all dates.

Arctic Monkeys will play:

Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (October 22)
Manchester Arena (23)
London Earls Court (25, 26)
Liverpool Echo Arena (28)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (29)
Birmingham LG Arena (31)
Glasgow Hydro Arena (November 1)
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena (2)

To check the availability of Arctic Monkeys tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765