Everybody knows Arctic Monkeys, or at least that’s how it seems. They’ve become one of the most influential rock bands on the planet, and they’re still going strong on their nearly two-decade career. Together, they’ve released six albums and hit number one with every effort.
However, Arctic Monkeys weren’t always the slick rock stars you see in music videos and onstage when they toured 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Even during their early days, their performance style and even their personal approach embodied a cool, carefree proto-hipster vibe.
Their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, reached massive success upon release, almost shooting them to success they weren’t ready for. One of the original band members even left the group in 2006 for this reason, Andy Nicholson being the only person to have left the lineup to date.
Arctic Monkeys got their start quite young, and adjusting to the fame may have been a bit of a shock. You can definitely see it when revisiting their earlier performances, including this footage from their first live performance on LA radio, back in 2005.
That’s right—this set predates the release of their debut album. In the beginning, the DJ even announced that the band had a single come out recently and that he illegally downloaded their music.
The performance features so many of the early songs that set the outfit up for success, including ‘View From The Afternoon’, ‘Dancing Shoes’, ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’, ‘Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…’, and many more. It’s so intriguing to hear them perform the earliest versions of these songs before they found their footing with them.
In terms of sound and mannerisms, performance, and even sound, the Monkeys almost seem like a different band. They’re all looking down, including the now-notoriously smooth Alex Turner. They’re focused on the music, a bit nervous, and it’s genuinely a sweet moment, especially considering the technical skill they clearly have no need to worry about. From the earliest days, their songs have always been complex and executed at an expert level, and this is a glimpse into their world before they gained confidence in that.
If you want to check out the footage from their first LA radio performance, you can watch it down below.