Arctic Monkeys in Cardiff
My first visit for a couple of years to Cardiff’s recently renamed Motorpoint Arena (formerly the International Arena) was a treat – a much needed dose of literate pop-punk raucousness from the Arctic Monkeys. In support were The Vaccines, who I saw on the NME Tour at the beginning of the year, and they seemed slightly less gauche this time round, doubtless having grown used to playing to big crowds over the festival season; their knowingly catchy sing-alongs were as infectious live as on record.
The Arctics kicked off with the engagingly silly “Don’t Sit Down…”, the first half of the set comprising a succession of hits from all four albums; the second half concentrated on less well-known, more reflective material, setting us up for a storming encore. Those of us who didn’t claw our way to the front were catered to by four screens, side of stage, showing band close-ups; there was also the customary dazzling light show. Teddy-boy-styled Alex Turner maintained an easy rapport with the audience, but man of the match was drummer Matt Helders – impressively authoritative. The song that stuck in my head as I wandered home was current single “Suck It And See”. If rumours of a hiatus are to be believed, they’ll be sorely missed.