“And a wicked gale came howling up through Sheffield City Centre” sings a very suavely dressed Alex Turner, as a sold out Sheffield City Hall respond with a frenzy of open arms and ecstatic smiling faces. It was somewhat of a nostalgia trip, seeing Turner standing on a stage in his home town, showboating his selection of songs in a patriotic manner that only people from the steel city can understand. However, this time, it’s portrayed in a completely different manner than what we’re used to. Instead of having an armpit pressed against your face and drips of condensation dabbing on your forehead, Miles Kane and Alex Turner appear in front of an all seated venue. The room reeks of elegance through the form of a string quartet, an elaborately lit backdrop and two front men whose personalities magically bounce off of each other.
Miles Kane’s animated persona shines through as he takes the vocals for opening song ‘Aviation.’ The much anticipated appearance of the duo was greeted with a magnificent response. Kane has a knack for creating a complimentary hybrid of graceful musicianship and macho delivery. You can feel the excitement and enthusiasm through every twang of his Gibson.
Fan favourites ‘The Age of the Understatement,’ ‘Calm Like You,’ and first single of their new album ‘Bad Habits’ are nothing short of operatic. Orchestrated by Turner and Kane who conduct the set along swimmingly, in a tight and carefully crafted production. Taking their new studio sounds on the road was definitely helped by their drummer, who was in fact James Ford, producer of both of The Last Shadow Puppets records. Flexing his muscle from the studio to the tap of a delicate bass drum, Ford moves the music in a way that allows the rest of the band to flow like the River Don, this a lot different of course to the high energy, melodically palatable techno he creates with Simian Mobile Disco.
Turner is stood stage right, perhaps out of his comfort zone taking on vocals without a guitar strapped around his chest. It couldn’t be more crystal clear that the pair buzz off of going into a naïve area of their song writing abilities. Wearing vintage garments straight from the 70’s, they’re clearly having a lot of fun expressing work off their colourful new record. ‘Miracle Aligner’ and title track ‘Everything you’ve come to expect’ are stand outs, as they encapsulate the whole façade of their latest effort.
Barely taking a breath from singing, the audience were laced in dreamy nostalgia from the first note. Catching the eyes of swooning girls and idolising boys, Miles Kane and Alex Turner’s infamous egos were certainly not an issue this evening. They were perfect gentlemen that still had a way of making things feel very much at home – Turner even bravely jumped in amongst the crowd at one point. There was a genuine sadness in the air as the band left the stage for their encore.
As their beautiful rendition of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ by The Beatles came to end, there were just two songs left for the 2,000 strong crowd and you could tell they knew they’d just witnessed something magical. The echoes of fans singing their favourite tracks swept through the scenic corridors of Sheffield City Hall as people flooded out onto the streets. A mesmerising and totally organic performance.