When you hear stories about Arctic Monkeys and their inception you hear of Myspace and free CD's. At the peak of Myspace use I must admit, I was all over it daily. I was hesitant to even change to using Facebook once I got to University. However I didn't come upon Arctic Monkeys because of Myspace, I was given a CD from a friend, a CD that simply said Beneath The Boardwalk on it. To this day I have that CD amidst my collection of discs piling up to the Ceiling, it might take me a while to find it but it's there! On that burnt CD was my first impressions of Arctic Monkeys, and as a close minded kid I wasn't that impressed upon first listen. Roll on a few months and the same friend convinces me to jump on a train to Sheffield for £3 to see Alex, Jamie, Matt and Andy. I was converted. I was a fan. I don't know what happened but in that small room I had an epiphany. From that point on this band would play a huge part in my memories of finishing school and going on to Sixth Form and later on, University.
Back to that CD that I was not so fond on after first hearing yet was time and time again found to be in my bedroom stereo. After seeing these songs live they took on a whole new meaning now I was playing them at home. Rough versions of "Riot Van" which features lyrics such as "Smoked a bong last night, and stole somebody's telephone" would later become "Got chased last night, from men with truncheons dressed in hats" on the cleaned up album version for Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Other tracks stood out to me as an impressionable teen were the likes of "Cigarette Smoke" again, the drug reference was a bit of a no go in my house. My Mum is one of the coolest I know but back then she wasn't best pleased with me having Alex Turner blaring "snorting some coke of her thighs" at full blast until the early hours. "Knock A Door Run", "Choo Choo" and "On The Run From MI5", this CD that on first listen I couldn't stand had planted it's roots in my mind and would forever more be there.
Arctic Monkeys would go on to release Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in 2005 and it would be the fastest selling UK record in history. 360,000 in week one to be precise. Pretty mad for 4 guys who a few years earlier were studying in Sheffield. It's now 2012 and after Andy left the band Nick O'Malley took over, they've released 3 more albums all to critical acclaim, undoubtedly making them one of the biggest bands in the world. So, without further ado give a listen to some rarities from the Steel City boys below and have a very, very nice Sunday.