Illinois rockers The Orwells stirred some controversy last month after they revealed during an interview that while supporting Arctic Monkeys on their US tour, they noticed that the British indie heroes would stage the exact same show every night, right down to frontman Alex Turner‘s ad-libs.
Guitarist Matt O’Keefe told Gigwise the routine was due to the Arctics’ popularity. “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.”
“So every night no matter how he was feeling he’d go into that opening riff,” the Orwells guitarist continued. “It was the exact same ad-libs he was putting between the songs. So we were with them for about fifty dates, you saw them once and you’d pretty much seen every date that they’d played.”
Now frontman Turner has responded to their touring partners’ claims, telling News Limited, “They should have been out trying to get laid instead of watching us every night.” Turner said he doesn’t think it’s fair to call the shows “synchronised” and says it’s better not to mess with what works.
“There comes a time on a tour when something works and you tend to leave it alone,” the Arabella singer explained. “We have been changing it around a little bit. You can’t mess around with it too much. It’s almost like the show isn’t designed to be watched by the same person every night.”
But the frontman said that sticking to what works does not mean that the band is taking it easy when they get up on stage. “Nowadays people share the set lists, but I’m by no means f-cking phoning it in,” said Turner. “It’s not like we have [pre-recorded] tracks. We’re up there f-cking doing it.”
Arctic Monkeys kick off their Australian tour in Sydney tonight — full details here.
Watch: Arctic Monkeys – Arabella