With Miles Kane, Anna Calvi

As thousands pile into a bespoke tent on the edge of Sheffield, it’s clear these Don Valley gigs are a big deal. After all, this gig has been heralded as the hometown show, and after their headline slot at Leeds Festival in 2009 failed to excite the fans, it’s no surprise that the pressure is on for a glorious return.

"Let's start from the beginning shall we?" Alex Turner drawls, appearing on stage to Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Sexy Thing’ before launching into ‘A View From The Afternoon’. Each drum beat pounds with a huge driving force, as ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘Still Take You Home’ blend seamlessly into one another.

Leaning on their debut album, guitarist Jamie Cook reservedly twangs each high-pitched wail as Alex Turner acts as our own DJ, introducing each track in a Last FM style (“If you liked that, you’ll love this”).

‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ sends a dark ripple through the tent, while ‘Library Pictures’ receives a frosty reception. But the band don’t leave much time to dwell: ‘Teddy Picker’ brings an aggressive stance to the band along with ‘Pretty Visitors’, one of the few tracks cherry picked from 2009’s ‘Humbug’.

Alex, donned in a leather jacket and shaggy locks, paints the picture of a maturing artist, but as he surprisingly breaks into ‘Mardy Bum’ it’s hard not to reflect on the group’s rise to fame. Fans may have lost faith following their performance at Leeds Festival, but tonight they prove they can be unstoppable, untouchable, subtly hilarious and capable of bringing a burly audience to tears.

Words by Ruth Offord
Photo by Danny Payne

View a full gallery from Arctic Monkeys' Don Valley Bowl gig HERE.

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