Arctic Monkeys / We Are Scientists - Manchester Academy 1 - 4.2.06

Despite arriving on the scene a good few months before, We Are Scientists seem like a contrived take on the Test Icicles sound with disco and screamo coming together along with the epic expansiveness of Interpol. This time however the band are dressed as the cast of the IT Crowd meets the geek chic of latter day Beastie Boys. The crowd love 'em and it's easy to see why with the punk funk template being screwed around and tampered with, but with a set nearly 30 minutes long the interest soon starts to wain and as you sober up you realize that the single "The Great Escape" excepted there's little you can remember from the mere moment before.

If you took the column inches the Arctic Monkeys have received over the past few months you could probably wrap them around the world several times. Unlike Pete Doherty and Babyshambles the record sales seems to be backing up the hype with the record being the biggest selling British debut album since the Beatles

Only time will tell whether the Arctic Monkeys become this years musical equivalent of the poncho - came out of nowhere, everyone you knew had one and a few months later it was cast aside as last years ting - but the strange melting pot of people here tonight suggests that the Monkey's really have captured the hearts of the nation. Within a square metre fey indie boys who'd normally be cracking one off over Franz Ferdinand rub shoulders with a few teenage Mcfly fans while burly scally blokes mouth along the lyrics that Alex Turner probably wrote about their doppelgangers over in Sheffield. It's a strange thing to witness for Designer Magazine who first saw the band supporting the Coral last April at the Ritz in Manchester and while they had potential, there was nothing to suggest that a few months later the music would traverse counties and countries on the net and a number 1 single "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" and album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" would be forthcoming.

It was either a brave or stupid move to launch straight into "When The Sun Goes Down" and the aforementioned "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" but it pays off as the band have the whole audience enraptured from the first light strum of the former. With the wiry riffs of Franz Ferdinand, the rough and ready punk spirit of the Libertines and the lyrical passages of John Cooper Clarke (or Mike Skinner for the noughties generation) it's hard not to be charmed by the band. Ticking all the boxes, including the teen market for the simply fact that the kids are now chucking out their Furby's and replacing them with posters of the wide eyed cutie Alex Turner.

From that point on the crowd frenzied moshing make the Others 853 crew or the Libertines fanatics seem like a tea party and "Dancing Shoes", an obvious choice for future single which mixes up Talking Heads style funk with the primal feel of the Sex Pistols, and "From The Ritz To The Rubble" are without a doubt the obvious highlights. "Vampires" on the other hand is an out of tune wankfest which goes nowhere, is a lyrically trite as The Stereophonics "Mr Writer" (and they had the excuse they were 3 albums into a career) and proves that although the hype to a certain extent is deserved they've still got a long way to go before they are a truly classic band.

If the Arctic Monkey's stay true to the music and ignore all the bullsh*t around them then they've got a long career ahead of them. The moment they start believing the hype you might as well just spit out the words "career trajectory of the Darkness" and be done with it. Thankfully they're northerners like us so they can smell the bullsh*t a mile off!!!

Alex McCann
Arctic Monkeys Photos: Shirlaine Forrest
We Are Scientists Photos: Karen McBride

Click here to leave your Arctic Monkeys comments on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)


Designer Magazine's photographer Karen McBride has photographed glamourous types like The Darkness and Scissor Sisters, so when the NME Tour arrived in Manchester we set her the challenge of capturing the IT Crowd lookalikes We Are Scientists grooming technique in photographic form

STEP 1: The hair's natural grease and sweat allows for that just got out of indie club look. When on the move or playing guitar just style where appropriate

Step 2: Shake off any excess sweat and go for the shoegazing look to pull that man / woman of your dreams

Step 3: Moustaches and afro's are in this year. If you can grow them both, do it, if you can't buy one from a charity shop

Step 4: Just because you're not a member of Wu Tang, doesn't mean you can't throw shapes.