Everything We Know About The New Arctic Monkeys Live Album So Far
In late October 2020, world-conquering indie-rockers Arctic Monkeys dropped a mysterious trailer on their social media accounts teasing a taste of what they have in store for December 4th. The 39-second clip, set to the soundtrack of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino's lead single ‘Four Out Of Five’, succinctly conveys that Live At The Royal Albert Hall will be a stylish presentation of the band's June 2018 concert in aid of War Child UK.
But with a little look around, it’s possible to peek at some of the cards that the Sheffield lads are holding a bit closer to their chests. With just 48 hours to go until it drops, let's take a deep dive into some additional details about the concert's forthcoming live release on Domino Records.
1) A CAREER-SPANNING SETLIST
While the aesthetic of the trailer and stage production logically lean heavily towards the look of 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, this live show is far from a one-album showcase. Every long-player from the band’s growing catalogue has representation across the twenty tracks; even 2011’s Suck It And See gets in on the action with a rendition of ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’.
"Last night these two bouncers..." - Alex Turner
After making the seamless transition from earth-shattering comeback singles to bona fide rock classics over the last few years, the big guns from AM are satisfyingly present and correct, with ‘R U Mine?’ bringing the set to its epic end. But it’s the old-school fans that are going to be pogoing with excitement; three choice cuts from Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not pop up, with 'From The Ritz To The Rubble' getting its first - long overdue - airing in eleven years.
2) A TRIUMPHANT UK RETURN
In May 2018 UK fans glared enviously across the ocean at a month of international gigs, four long years since the Arctic Monkeys had played on British soil. The Royal Albert Hall appointment in June served as the UK live debut for much of Tranquility Base’s material and the only homeland gig for the foreseeable future, so the stakes were high.
"This greatest-hits set is the stuff of a bona fide rock powerhouse" - The Guardian
Described as ‘a joyous riot’ by Billboard, ‘the stuff of a bona fide rock powerhouse’ by The Guardian and ‘an absolutely superlative return from the most superlative band of them all’ by DIYMag, even sniffy music journalists wrong-footed by the sonic evolution of Tranquility Base were unanimous in their praise of this performance. What’s more, back-up keys and percussion fortified the Monkeys for much of the Tranquility material's onstage action and the band were joined on vocals by opening act Cameron Avery during the set.
3) A LEGENDARY-SOUNDING HALL
Described as ‘London's most iconic venue’, the Royal Albert Hall is a rock star in itself. One of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive buildings, since the hall's opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Adele and Bring Me The Horizon have appeared on its stage.
"He never will forget at all / The day he played at Albert Hall" - 'Session Man' The Kinks
But it’s the Royal Albert Hall’s sound that is the real talking point, aided and abetted by 85 fibreglass saucers - fondly nicknamed ‘mushrooms’ - which hang from the auditorium ceiling. Not only do the mushrooms’ distinctively diffused sounds bless the audio recording, but their modernist 60s look ties in perfectly with the antique futurism of the Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino artwork and enjoy pride of place on the live album’s cover.
4) A (VERY) GOOD CAUSE
Back in 2018, proceeds from the original concert doubled as a benefit for War Child UK, a group that works with children who have experienced the trauma of war. This new live album will also serve to support the nonprofit, which is facing a potential £2 million deficit in 2021 because of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted its fundraising.
“We thank all our fans in advance for their support of this release and in turn for their support of War Child UK." - Arctic Monkeys
War Child UK is responding to the crisis by distributing hygiene kits, PPE and sanitation guidance to limit the spread of infection. They are also providing food packages to families, home education packs, lessons via WhatsApp and email as well as toys and books to children stuck in camps during lockdown so they can continue to learn and play.
5) SUMPTUOUS PHYSICAL FORMATS
Arctic Monkeys: Live At The Royal Albert Hall is available to order now from the Arctic Monkeys: Live At Royal Albert Hall Official Store on limited edition clear double vinyl, standard black double vinyl, double CD and digital. The vinyl is pressed on heavyweight wax and all physical editions come with gorgeous gatefold sleeves.
The front cover showcases magnificent photography of the legendary venue in tight visual harmony with the Alex Turner-devised, Stanley Kubrick-influenced look of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. The clear vinyl edition even includes an exclusive concert poster, completing the elegant package with a modernistic A2 rendition of the RAH’s majestic 'mushrooms'.
Order Live At The Royal Albert Hall from the Arctic Monkeys: Live At Royal Albert Hall Official Store