ARCTIC Monkeys head to Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl tonight knowing they have made one of their strongest albums since the debut that sent them into the global rock stratosphere.
With two near instantly sold out shows this weekend, under custom-made canvas, singer Alex Turner admits he turned to their ground-breaking first record as he re-captured some of the band’s witty spirit for Suck It And See, released this week.
Either way, with forecasters hinting at rain for the brace of outdoor homecoming shows, the High Green gent is glad they bought in some cover.
“We’ve never done anything like this in Sheffield,” says Alex, whose band last filled the adjacent Motorpoint Arena in November 2009.
“We want to start off at home. Apart from a Radio 1 thing we did the other week in Carlisle it’ll be the first time we’ve played in England for a while,” says Alex.
“And why not kick things off in our own backyard?
“The tent thing is partly, well, it’s good to keep a roof on it sometimes, on rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s a bit of a precaution against the rain. It’s no fun when everybody’s getting soaked.
“And it’ll be a good atmosphere in there. That thing we did the other week was in a tent and whenever you do festivals in a tent it’s sometimes better than when it’s out in the open, especially if it’s chucking it down.”
Among those in a support slot tonight and tomorrow is Miles Kane, with whom Alex enjoyed success as The Last Shadow Puppets.
Is he likely to figure in the Monkeys’ set at any stage?
“You never know,” Alex adds, with a knowing chortle, “you never know.”