'It’s so quiet,' says the girl with dyed black hair to her floral jacketed boyfriend. “It’s just as well I know all the words.”

Arctic Monkeys, Finsbury Park, gig review: 'The volume is lacking in oomph, but the dedication of the crowd is not in question'

The backdrop design surely wasn’t meant to be ironic. But after the Arctic Monkeys are revealed to the crowd by the turn of a rotating stage, the massive light-up soundwave logo behind them - replicated from the front cover of their most recent album, AM - soon feels like a cheeky Sheffieldian slap in the face. If only the real soundwaves playing out to the thousands in Finsbury Park, as the opening riffs to ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ are cranked out, felt anything like as big and powerful. I’ve heard Vauxhall Corsas driving down the Seven Sisters Road playing music louder than this.

Archie Bronson Outfit, Islington Assembly Hall, gig review

Is it too much to ask at a rock gig to be able to make out the singer's words? After two songs of '70s-style guitar riffage but all-too muddy vocals from the Archie Bronson Outfit, we fear the answer is yes. But just as the sound engineers take their time to adjust the levels, perhaps our ears also need to adapt to the band’s new sound.

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