Arctic Monkeys, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

4.00

Monkeys up for it Down Under

No one would have blamed the Arctic Monkeys for being a little rusty. After all, they are playing their first gigs together in more than a year, touring Australia and New Zealand.

Tickets for the Monkeys' Sydney show sold out so fast that promoters switched it to a larger venue. And the 5,500 fans who descended on the Hordern Pavilion, near the Sydney Cricket Ground, were not disappointed, with the Sheffield lads demonstrating that they have lost none of their manic exuberance, nor their ability to energise and delight a capacity crowd.

During 2008, lead singer and lyricist Alex Turner took time out to make an album and tour with Miles Kane, the Rascals frontman, as The Last Shadow Puppets. The Monkeys also began recording their long-awaited third album – and in Sydney they gave their adoring audience a preview, incorporating four new songs into the 75-minute set. The band is Down Under for the touring Big Day Out festival, which kicked off in New Zealand last week, then moved to Queensland's Gold Coast, with dates in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth over the coming week. In between festival appearances, the Monkeys, who are headlining with Neil Young, are playing a series of sideshows, all of them sell-outs.

At the Sydney gig, the new material met with a somewhat muted response, with the exception, perhaps, of "Crying Lighting", which features some frenetic drumming by Matt Helders. All four numbers – the other ones were "Pretty Visitors", "Dangerous Animals" and "Go-Kart" – would benefit from a second listen. The band's second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, released in 2007, was not as immediately accessible as the first, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, and the third looks set to continue that trend.

This week's glimpse suggests that the third album will be heavier and louder than the previous two. "It's not like a massive change. You can obviously tell it's us," Helders told the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend.

Turner complained recently that the band, which shot to stratospheric fame three years ago, mostly tours in winter. He wouldn't have had anything to carp about in Sydney, where the Monkeys played the Big Day Out yesterday. The city is currently wilting in a 38C heatwave. The crowd, while it listened with respectful interest to the new songs, only really warmed up when the band belted out old hits, including the breakthrough single, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor". "Still Take You Home", "Brianstorm" and "Fluorescent Adolescent" were among others that met a rapturous reception.

Australians embraced the British wunderkinds from the start; their first album topped the charts and the second reached number two. No date has been set for the release of the as yet unnamed third album, which the Monkeys have been recording with Josh Homme, the American record producer and Queens of the Stone Age frontman, at Homme's studio in California's Mojave desert. That's a long way from Sheffield, but Helders told the Herald that the regional influence had not been lost. "It's just another place to use that creativity," he said. The album is reportedly two-thirds complete.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas