Exclusive – Arctic Monkeys play gig in tiny pub

Band play secret London show to test out new bassist

Arctic Monkeys have played their smallest gig in years to blood their new bassist.

The group, who head out to Canada tomorrow for a north American tour, played in the 120 capacity Old Blue Last pub in east London (May 25).

The show was the first live performance featuring new bassist Nick O’Malley, who has been brought in to replace original member Andy Nicholson.


As previously reported, earlier this week it was revealed that Nicholson wouldn’t be taking part on the next tour due to “fatigue”.

A statement read: “Owing to fatigue following an intensive period of touring, Andy Nicholson shall be taking a rest and will not be accompanying Arctic Monkeys on their forthcoming tour of North America. Nick O’Malley shall be standing in for Andy on the tour which begins in Vancouver on May 27th. We all wish Andy a speedy recovery.”

At the show, the band played a selection of songs from their huge selling debut ’Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, as well as tracks from the recent ’Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’ EP.

Earlier support had come from Liverpool band Hot Club De Paris who had driven down to London at short notice after the Klaxons had been forced to drop out due to illness.

Opening with ‘The View From the Afternoon’, Arctic Monkeys played 10 songs in a 40 minute set, including ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, ‘Dancing Shoes’ and closing track ‘A Certain Romance’.

The Arctic Monkeys, also confirmed that their summer single will be ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’, a track that has been played on many dates of their recent tour.


Speaking from the stage, frontman Alex Turner said: “We’re going to play our new single for you now. It’s straight out of the hit factory. This is our summer hit, watch out for it.”

He also introduced new member O’Malley as a friend of the band.

By the end of the set, the band were having such a good time that they said they wanted to continue, however a curfew meant they had to finish.

The setlist ran:

‘The View From the Afternoon’

‘Still Take You Home’

‘You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me’

‘Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..’

‘Dancing Shoes’

‘Cigarette Smoker Fiona’

‘Leave Before the Lights Come On’

‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’

‘A Certain Romance’

For more on the Arctic Monkeys and their new bassist, see next week’s NME out nationwide on May 31.