There aren’t many times a person can say they have been to a gig in the courtyard of a Renaissance – era fortress but then the Germans do like to do things differentlyas the Spandau Citadel plays host to Arctic Monkeys, with support from Irish boys The Strypes and Miles Kane. The young Irishmen arrived on stage shortly before seven and got the kind of welcome they probably aren’t used to in the UK and or at home. Most of the crowd don’t know who they are, which leads to a lot of boredom and polite clapping at the end. The band themselves put on a spirited show, but it is impossible not to feel thatthe lethargy from the crowd does affect the performance. Unfortunately, there is much of the same reaction for Kane. The Merseysider seems undaunted however and manages to play a spirited set in the 30 degree heat, blasting out ‘Taking Over’, ‘Counting Down The Days’ and ‘Inhaler’.
As the headliners take the stage, the stifled crowd began to lose their inhibitions. The band begin with ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, quickly followed by ‘Snap Out Of It’ and ‘Arabella’. Whether it is the language barrier or the typical Alex Turner style, he makes little effort to interact with the crowd and the band seem to race through the set. Not that anyone appears to mind as the Monkeys abandon AM for the next five tracks.
The set doesn’t seem to have any change of pace with a disappointing encore of ‘One For The Road’, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘R U Mine?, which seems a bizarre closer (especially from a band who have already invented the perfect closing song in ‘A Certain Romance’). While the crowd eventually starting to enjoying themselves and the whole thing finally kicking into life, the Arctic Monkeys live experience still leaves a lot to be desired. Poor showman ship and a lack of interaction with the crowd translates in every language.
Photo: Ste Murray