The Arctic Monkeys, one of the most exciting and invigorating live bands of their generation, have announced two arena shows in their hometown of Sheffield this summer.
On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June, Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O'Malley and Matt Helders will play at the Don Valley Bowl in their first sizeable Sheffield outings in nearly two years. In fact, the two dates will be their first significant shows anywhere in more than a year.
After their debut record 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' left the music scene trembling in its wake in 2005, the boys were relatively quick to return with - and tour - second and third records, 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' and 2009's dark and brooding 'Humbug'.
Those four years saw the scrawny youngsters more or less grow into the rock royalty roles bestowed upon them by a fawning music press. But as their music evolved in line with their maturing reputation - and against expectation - there was little sign of it inflating with self-importance. Cornerstone, one of Humbug's standout tracks, is as good a kitchen sink drama as anything on the first record. And even if Alex Turner's demeanour suggested he'd rather be playing grotty little clubs than 21st-century arenas, the live performances remained absolutely electrifying.
Since touring the third record, the band has taken a break from the road which is why two such huge hometown shows promise so very much. Fans will be hoping the dates can emulate the Monkeys' definitive 2007 gigs at Lancashire Cricket Ground in Manchester, where the band headlined their own mini-festival in back-to-back sold-out shows, each attracting 55,000 fans.
The 2011 Sheffield dates will see the Arctic Monkeys play in a massive marquee at the Don Valley Bowl, supported by a line up of special guests. On Friday 10th, the band will be joined by Miles Kane, The Vaccines and Sheffield band, Dead Sons. The following day, Miles Kane will return and be joined by Anna Calvi and another Sheffield band, Mabel Love.
Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday, 11th February, priced at £32.50 each (plus booking fee), limited to four per household. Note that under-16s must be accompanied by an adult and under-14s will not be admitted to the show.
The demand for tickets to hear the Arctic Monkeys tell their stories for the first (and possibly) last time in quite a while, is likely to be, well, incredibly high. So if you're going to get those tickets you are definitely going to need a run-up. Good luck.