Arctic Monkeys kicked off their UK winter tour last night (December 8) with a show at Alexandra Palace that boasted big sing-a-longs, surprise guests and several new songs.
The London gig – their first British dates since their giant shows at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester in July – saw the band surprise the sold-out crowd by opening with new track ‘Sandtrap’.
They then launched into a series of favourites including current single ‘Teddy Picker’ and Number One hit ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, both of which inspired loud singalongs early on.
“Are you having a good time or if you’re not are you prepared to?” frontman Alex Turner asked the crowd, adding “because that’s half the battle,” as the band performed debut single ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’.
The band then mixed tracks from their first two albums as they settled into one of their longest UK sets so far.
“We’d like to play a new one for you now, everyone’s included,” explained Turner as the band introduced ‘Put Me In A Terror Pocket’, before following it with ‘When The Sun Goes Down’.
After playing ‘A Certain Romance’ and ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ – the former moved from its usual set closer statues – the band again surprised fans with the unusually titled ‘Da Frame 2R’ which featured as a bonus track on the Japanese version of ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’.
“Do you need a breather?” Turner asked the crowd after ‘Still Take You Home’.
“Some people cheered for a breather so we’ll play a slower one,” he explained as the band played ‘Do Me A Favour’.
Next up they launched into ‘Brianstorm’ b-side ‘Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend’, however, unlike at the last time they performed the track at Glastonbury, as surprise guest vocal Dizzee Rascal darted onstage mid-song his microphone was working properly. He delivered a stinging rap before diving head-first into the crowd.
“Thanks everyone, give it out to Dizzee Rascal everyone,” urged Turner after the song, “that was very sharp.”
Rounding off the set with ‘Brianstorm’, Arctic Monkeys returned to the stage with ‘Teddy Picker’ b-side and new track ‘Nettles’.
With ‘The View From The Afternoon’ quickly following, the Sheffield four-piece asked the crowd to push their hands in the air with Turner declaring it “a good momement”, before they capped the night off with ‘If You Were There Beware’.
Arctic Monkeys played:
‘This House Is A Circus’
‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’
‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’
‘Old Yellow Bricks’
‘Put Me In A Terror Pocket’
‘When The Sun Goes Down’
‘D Is For Dangerous’
‘A Certain Romance’
‘DA Frame 2R’
‘Still Take You Home’
‘Do Me A Favour’
‘Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend’
‘The View From The Afternoon’
‘If You Were There Beware’
Earlier proceedings had been opened by rising newcomers The Rascals themselves.
With the venue quickly filling, the Wirral trio, playing only their second gig in the capital, clearly impressed the growing crowd.
Including new single ‘Out Of Dreams’ – which is released on Monday (December 10) – the band also showcased tracks being considered for their debut album they are currently recording including, ‘I’ll Give Sympathy’, ‘Bond Girl’ and ‘Freak Beat Phantom’.
The Horrors then played ahead of the Arctic Monkeys, and although they were booed by some sections of the crowd, they blitzed the Alexandra Palace with a series of garage rock blasts including ‘Gloves’ and ‘Count In Fives’.
To find out where Arctic Monkeys‘ ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ finished in NME‘s albums of the year poll, get next week’s issue on UK newsstands from December 12.