'Seen one show, you've seen them all': The raucous American band speak up for spontaneity at gigs
Edward Keeble and Andrew Trendell
12:00 16th April 2014

US rockers The Orwells have criticised the production of Arctic Monkeys' live shows, stating that in moving to bigger venues they have stopped being spontaneous, and repeat the same performances at their concerts and festival sets. 

Watch the Orwells discuss the Arctic Monkeys in the video above

Speaking to Gigwise at Shoreditch pub The Fox, guitarist Matt O'Keefe said that they had learned good and bad things from supporting the band for their recent American tour. However he chose to point out that the show every night tended to be the same, including the between song ad-libs from Alex Turner.

"When you're playing arenas and everything, it's a huge production then the show has to become synchronised to work. Because you have all these people relying on these songs and this you're goin to do here," he said.

"So every night no matter how he was feeling he'd go into that opening riff . It was the exact same ad-libs he was putting between the songs. So we were with them for about 50 dates, you saw them once and you'd pretty much seen every date that they'd played."


The Orwells supported Arctic Monkeys on their 2013 American tour

Singer Mario Cuomo was much less comfortable with this idea however, choosing to stand up for his own necessity to treat every show as being unique. He said that knowing everything he was going to do on stage would make him extremely uncomfortable. 

"You can reach that level without turning into that," he said. "Like Nirvana played bigger shit than that and I'm sure it wasn't like that and it's probably a different show every night. You don't have to take that route, you can get that level of success with those size venues, that sort of thing but still treat it as a spontaneous show at a small club."

"So it all just depends on the band, what they're going for and what they feel comfortable with. Like I would feel super uncomfortable if I knew what I was going to say in between songs."

Below: 11 new rock bands you need to listen to in 2014

  • Lacey: With only a couple of EPs behind them, Lacey have already supported some pretty big names, attracted a legion of screaming teenage girls, appeared as ThisIsPulp's Unsigned Band of the Week and featured in Front Magazine being described as 'arguably the best thing to come out of Nottingham since Kevin Costners' mullet'. With the same balance of power-pop prowess, adrenaline and sentiment that calls to mind the sound of Static Prevails era Jimmy Eat World, Lacey offer refreshingly cliche-free set of solid emo mastery. You'll be hearing a lot more from then in 2014.

  • Darlia: No pop. No electronics. Darlia are pure, old-school indie rock - and we love them for it. Brought up under the bright lights of the Blackpool illuminations, Darlia come pre-packed with early days Gallagher-esque swagger and an arsenal of catchy, attitude-packed tracks that are certain to explode when the band hit the festival scene this summer.

  • Royal Blood: Two men. A lot of noise. Royal Blood made the BBC longlist for the Sound of 2014, but clearly scared the judging panel with their epic rock sounds. Unlike many modern rock bands, there's something authentic in this Brighton duo and they are more about the riffs than the quiffs. New single 'Little Monster' is a hugely impressive example of how modern, heavy rock can balance melody with metal and straddle mainstream and underground sounds.

  • Radkey: It's not just the Brits who are on the top of their game with guitar bands in 2014 - the US is in fine form this year, and Radkey are one of the best rock exports we've heard in years. Specialising in hard-hitting, uplifting and unifying rock anthems (see recent single 'Feed My Brain for the year's biggest chorus so far), that see the band setting their sights on festival main stages. They will be there in no time at all.

  • Cheatahs: Dark, apocalyptic indie-rock from an awesome London four-piece, Cheatahs are set for big things in 2014, their distinct sound mixing distorted rock feedback with a sense of stadium epic and a great big dose of sixties psychedelia. Heavy, non-compromising production on their tracks can't hide the fact that these guys also write epic, guitar anthems. Big.

  • Skaters: Scuzzy and lo-fi, but set for mainstream acclaim and success, Skaters are yet another New York collective to make many British bands rethink their chosen profession, so slick and so polished is their work to date. Check out their 2013 track 'I Wanna Dance' for a definitive modern indie anthem, and enjoy their super fun and brilliant debut album, Manhattan.

  • Drowners: The New Yorkers' debut album is one of the best albums of 2014 so far, packed with the energy and enthusiasm that their evident influences (The Strokes, Babyshambles) struggle to reach in this day and age. Specialising in spiky, laid-back indie rock, Drowners sound undeniably American, and are all the better for it. You'd never get this sort of attitude from the streets of Hull.

  • Fort Hope: Once the eyeliner-wearing, emo/goth heartthrobs of My Passion, someone has now thankfully handed them a face wipe and they've cleaned up their sound too. They've been championed by Jimmy Eat World and Blitz Kids and their newest EP release, Choices, is just further evidence of why Fort Hope will be huge in 2014.

  • Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun: Offering something a little different to all the alternative guitar bands floating around right now, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun are for fans of new-age punk with a warm heart. If you're looking for beastly breakdowns, you won't find them here. What you will find however, is impeccable song writing and two albums full of festival anthems.

  • Moose Blood: Bringing their own style of pop-punk onto the scene, their lyrics will make girls weep and their records will only cost you about a fiver. Lovely. Part hardcore, part melody, they are well worth checking out this year before they blow up.

  • Brody Dalle: While she is hardly new, Dalle has come back with renewed force this year with her first ever solo album, Diploid Love. Bringing back the same fire and aggression found in the Distillers, she has also matured but not mellowed, bringing with her an incredibly fresh and innovative album. It's not punk, it's not metal, it's just all out balls out rock from one of the most iconic rock figures of modern history.