ARCTIC MONKEYS: BELLAHOUSTON PARK, GLASGOW

The Arctic Monkeys roll up to Bellahouston Park, days after a storming Glastonbury headline set. Celebrating the luxurious new album, The Car, this evening they are joined by energetic Swedish rockers, The Hives and Liverpudlian rockers, The Mysterines.

The storming Glasgow rains levels off leaving soft ground and sunshine; the perfect conditions for an outdoor gig. There is a real festival vibe with many food stalls and long bar queues. Music wise The Mysterines entertain with their grunge heavy alternative rock approach.

They’re followed by The Hives. Who show themselves to be a perfect support act for the occasion. Their best songs are the fun and energetic Hate To Say I Told You and The Main Offender, clearly familiar as they get a good reaction. While the charismatic front man, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist engages the crowd with quips and a boundless enthusiasm.

Check out our full gallery of The Hives at Bellahouston Park ››

During a quick changeover, your intrepid reporter in the park manages to order an utterly disgraceful pizza for the princely sum of £12. Thankfully the Arctic Monkeys are soon on and rancid festival food is soon forgotten (Pizza P***a FYI).

Entering to the tune of Chase Side Shoot Up the soundtrack of old BBC Golf coverage, The Arctic Monkeys begin their set with Brianstorm followed by other older live treats, Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair, Crying Lighting and Teddy Picker with the adoring audience enjoying the lively side of the Arctic Monkeys early songs.

Alex Turner is suave and louche throughout as he crones and conducts through Snap Out Of It and Cornerstone or even as he sucks on the mic on Brianstorm. A highlight is the excellent Beatle-esque Body Paint with its addictive chorus and live it is given a powerful extended outro showcasing the tightness of the band. Also, played from new album The Car is an excellent version of Perfect Sense and There Better Be A Mirrorball. Though Mirrorball feels slightly flat in spite of the charming keyboards, possibly because it falls after the swaggeringly seductive Do I Wanna Know and the old school singalong favourite of Mardy Bum. Another undoubted highlight is the full-scale singalong of Fluorescent Adolescent. Which perfectly showcases Turners brilliant lyrical skills combining clever word play with adult realism as per many of the Arctic Monkeys best songs.

Alex Turner live at Bellahouston Park | Pic: Calum Mackintosh

A surprise for the opening of the encore is the dramatic distorted thump of Sculptures of Anything Goes with its scfi soundtracking keyboards it is a real standout. This is followed by of course I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor and R U Mine both bringing frantic pogoing from everyone. With that set I can forgive the Arctic Monkeys for the 2nd worst pizza I’ve ever had. Subjectively I would have preferred some more of the new songs but objectively the crowd definitely don’t mind and it appears the Arctic Monkeys have a successful mix of old classics and great new material. Objectively though Pizza P***a sucks.  

Words: Ben Lamont @badphotosfromgoodgigs
Pictures: Calum Mackintosh @ayecandyphotography