A Memory Down Trippet Lane
We often hear about hidden musical gems and mythical lost recordings – unreleased tunes from the early pub gigs of famous bands – but it’s almost never true. Why would it be? Nobody goes out on a Saturday night with a recorder in one hand and a mic in the other. Which is why three scratchy songs from a small gig on Trippet Lane, Sheffield, back in 2003 are so remarkable.
Not only are they the early tunes of a band that would go on to define modern rock music, they are a recording of the first gig that band ever played. We are of course talking about The Grapes pub recordings of the Arctic Monkeys, featuring Ravey Ravey Ravey Club, Curtains Closed, and a cover of The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim.
On the night of their first gig, the Arctic Monkeys were actually supporting another band, The Sound, and it was their drummer who set up a mini-disk recorder. To ensure everything was running correctly, he hit record on a couple of the Arctic Monkeys’ tracks – just to test things out.
Nobody could have known that this brand new band, who had been practicing for all of six months, would still be held up as rock icons almost two decades later. It’s the grassroots grit of the UK pub music scene that makes coincidences like this possible – from mini-disks in Sheffield to over 20 million records sold worldwide.
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