Arctic Monkeys ape Oasis with NME triumph

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The Independent Culture

Gordon Brown and Andy Burnham both claim to listen to them on their iPods, but the Arctic Monkeys received a slightly hipper seal of approval last night when they were called the "Oasis of their generation" by the New Musical Express.

The Sheffield rockers scooped three gongs at the NME awards at London's O2 centre, including the biggie, best British band, as well as best track for "Fluorescent Adolescent" from their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, and best video for "Teddy Picker".



The latest crop of awards comes after last week's Brits when, clad in plus-fours, tweed jackets and flat caps, they picked up prizes for best band and best British album. Unlike the previous year, the band actually turned up to collect their awards but they may have wished they had not made the effort when the organisers turned the sound down to foil lead singer Alex Turner and his mockery of the Brit School, the state performing arts school whose alumni include Kate Nash and Amy Winehouse.

The comparison with Oasis will be music to the ears of the Arctic Monkeys, who were inspired by the band to start making music.

Noel Gallagher once said: "The Arctic Monkeys came in our dressing room and Alex was saying he got a guitar because of Oasis. So I asked him, 'How old were you when Definitely Maybe came out?' He was nine! That bent my head."

It was MySpace that kickstarted the Arctic Monkeys' phenomenon. When the band – Turner and Andy Nicholson, Matt Helders and Jamie Cook – started to play gigs, first at The Grapes pub in Sheffield and later at the Sheffield Forum, they handed out free demo CDs, which were uploaded on to the internet by fans.

The hype around the band swelled long before a record contract was struck. Finally, in June 2005, it signed to the indie label Domino Records, which also represents Franz Ferdinand, and in October of the same year, the first single "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" shot to No 1.

When the debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, was released in January 2006, it sold 363,735 copies in a week.

While many bands struggle to follow up early success, the Arctic Monkeys brought out a second album in April 2007, which has met with similar critical and popular acclaim.



Watch Arctic Monkey's winning video for their song 'Teddy Picker' -

[video subject to copyright]

Video courtesy of Arcticmonkeys.com and Domino records



Conor McNicholas, the NME's editor, said: "Music fans more than ever are looking for honesty and truth. The line between pop music and indie music has really been blurred over the past few years and the Arctic Monkeys represent absolute truth in music. What they do is very pure.

"They have this amazing knack of writing stomping anthems that you want to leap around to and get drunk to and put your arm around your mate but, at the same time, they're able to do ballads that genuinely touch people. There aren't that many bands that can do both."

"You get the feeling with Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys that everything was done on their own terms and that's incredibly important for music fans."

McNicholas is convinced they can emulate the longevity of Oasis: "They could well go on to be one of the greatest British bands of all time. There's always the worry after a decade-defining album, how the hell are you going to follow it? They did it with such style and progression musically that I'm not worried about their third album."

The Klaxons were the night's other big winners. Neglected by last week's Brits, NME readers named the Klaxons' Myths of the Near Future as best album. Kate Nash beat Amy Winehouse, Jack Penate, Jamie T and Patrick Wolf to win best solo artist.

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