Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner: ‘Playing large shows has become second nature’

Frontman looks ahead to Finsbury Park gigs as Matt Helders drops setlist suggestions

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner has said that playing large shows has “become second nature” to the band.

The lead singer speaks to NME alongside his bandmates about their two huge London shows this weekend as part of this week’s new issue, on newsstands now and available digitally.

Chatting about how huge gigs at the likes of Madison Square Garden and Glastonbury festival have changed the band, Turner says, “Playing large shows has, to some degree, become second nature. We’ve been around the block a few times now.”

However, that doesn’t mean the band have become jaded. Turner added: “I saw the Stones at Glastonbury and they’ve been doing it since they were younger than I am now, and it still seemed like it meant a lot to them. Honestly, the reason we’re most excited about it is that we don’t get to play the UK as much as we used to, just because of the way it is now. Any chance to come home – or as close to home as London – is exciting for us.”

Drummer Matt Helders also lifts the lid on what the band are likely to play at Finsbury Park on Friday and Saturday (May 23/24), suggesting older material might be off the menu. “We ain’t got to the point of writing it down yet,” he says. “We kind of felt that way about Glastonbury, that we should play songs like ‘Mardy Bum’ and ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco,’ but it didn’t really get the response I thought it would. I know people still have a massive affiliation with that first album in England, but I think they’ve also moved on from it a bit as well.”

Arctic Monkeys will be supported by Tame Impala, Miles Kane and Royal Blood at Finsbury Park. Interviews with all three can also be found in the new issue of NME.

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