‘It feels like a cover’ – Arctic Monkeys describe the strange experience of playing early material

"It doesn't feel like mine anymore"

Alex Turner has spoken of the strange experience of playing Arctic Monkeys‘ earlier material at gigs today, and how it “feels like they’re doing a cover” when they perform their first album.

The band are currently amidst a world tour for their acclaimed and Mercury-nominated 2018 album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino‘. Shows at recent UK dates have seen the band deliver new stripped back versions of early classics ‘Mardy Bum‘, ‘A Certain Romance‘ and the ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ single ‘Fluorescent Adolescent‘ in fitting with their new space-age, esoteric and piano-led sound. Now in a new interview, frontman Turner has discussed his changing relationship with airing older tracks.

“It feels like we’re doing a cover or something when we play the first album, really,” Turner told BeatRoute. “But that’s fine. I don’t hate doing that. It’s just come to the point where I play ‘Mardy Bum’ or something like that and it doesn’t even feel like mine anymore.”


However, he did go on to say that he feels there is a lyrical connection between their debut album and their most recent.

“There’s something in the style of [Whatever People Say] and the style of [Tranquility] that felt quite direct in its lyrics,” Turner continued. “I was perhaps more willing to put myself across than I have been in the meantime in between,” Turner says. “The first couple of records, a lot of it was explicitly about exact renderings of real events that had happened. After that I sort of scurried away from that kind of style, or at least being that explicit about it.

“I got more ingested in other areas of writing lyrics, or trying to write in different ways. This time around, it seemed to have some of that essence of being as straight and direct as it was in the very beginning.”

While the band’s scheduled UK dates are currently wrapped up, Arctic Monkeys are among the acts rumoured to headline Glastonbury 2019, as well as being tipped to potentially top the bill at Reading & Leeds next year.