The real story about the Arctic Monkeys first ever gig at The Grapes in Sheffield.
Friends of mine will be rolling their eyes that I’m telling this story AGAIN. But I’ve never published the real story officially. So here we go….
It’s exactly 15 years that my band The Sound (Went on to be Seven Hills) played a gig at the Grapes in Sheffield.
We finished our half arsed soundcheck and left the stage, time for the support band to do theirs, what happened next was unheard of, the support band asked us all to leave the room for their sound check as they wanted to concentrate on getting their sound right.
“Fair enough lads, crack on, we will be getting shit faced down stairs and playing pool in the back room”
Half of Sheffield claim to have been at this gig, I can assure you about 30-40 were there, we had a steady few down as we always bullied our mates and family to watch us, like yer do. The support band had a rather enthusiastic crowd, hovering about all stood on tip toes pretending they were old enough to be there.
Our drummers brother was there, he knew Rob Nicholson (they were both in a band called The Wanted) Robs brother was Andy Nicholson the original bass player in the support band. Our drummer Matt Revill was a whiz with technology he had a mini disc recorder n the lot and was planning to record our set. To test the equipment he recorded part of the support bands set.
The support band was The Arctic Monkeys #Obvs
We thought we had a real coup having this recording but after Matt uploaded it to his computer, an old programme called Lime Wire accidently shared it to the world so that put pay to us being the sole owner of the first ever recording of the arctic monkeys.
That recording was put on YouTube ages ago and annoyingly is monitized to this day.
The very first show of the band. Setlist below. Arctic Monkeys live at The Grapes – Sheffield, England. June 13th, 2003. It’s not complete, only two song were recorded that night. Alex Turner on vocals, though he’s voice isn’t like it would be some years later and he isn’t using his real accent.
The gig happened, the night went on and passed by as they all do. We had a cracking night on the pop and had a good chat with the lads. The BBC are reporting that The Arctic Monkeys were paid £27. I don’t know which lying little toad gave them this information but Scott Brady from my band paid them.
“Can’t believe it’s been 15 years. We had to pay the sound engineer so it was up to us lot to put someone on the door to collect the cash and write down who each punter had come to see so we could allocate the takings accordingly.
It was their first time playing in front of anyone so all their school mates and parents all came down to watch em play. They ended up making more than we did and I wasn’t haven’t any of that so I chucked them £20 and kept the £60 to put towards our beer money. I remember them buzzing about earning £20. I don’t feel too bad cos it seems they’ve done a bit better than what we did.”
The Grapes, Trippet Lane, Sheffield will always hold a special place in my heart. When it closed as a venue it was sad but times move on. The Grapes is still a boozer and you can still get a cracking pint in there and play pool in the same room as I did 🙂 The stairs leading up to the old venue now lead you to the landladys living room, I know as I checked recently, with permission obviously.