Looking back to 2006...

News 15 March 2023
Arctic Monkeys

News Story


Arctic Monkeys: Believe the Hype dives deeper than ever before into the world of the fastest selling debut album in British history, 2006’s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, as told by its biggest fans, the people who were there, and the band themselves.

Hosted by Indie superstar and Arctic Monkeys fan Kate Nash, the series throws us back into a time of dive bars, skinny jeans and boys in bands with the likes of Yungblud, Mahalia, Richard Hawley, John Cooper Clarke, Jo Whiley, Reverend and the Makers’ Jon McClure, Jordan Stephens, and the journalists who didn’t see this phenomenon coming explaining one thing: What made these four boys into one of the biggest music phenomenons ever?

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They were so young! They were just babies, but they were also so incredibly sussed, incredibly talented, very influential - but they were just kids.

Jo Whiley

Over eight episodes we go back to the Boardwalk in Sheffield where Alex Turner poured pints and learned from local legends, to the recording studio where Richard Hawley first heard them from the toilet, to the NME awards tour where organisers were told that this new band were a security risk in the opening slot of the night, because they were just too popular.

With never before heard stories, archive audio and live recordings, this isn’t only the defining history of one great band, it’s the modern history of music as we know it sound-tracked loud and large from a night out in Sheffield. Get on your dancing shoes.

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I think the thing that I learned from the Arctic Monkeys is that they did it so organically and individually, that you can never replicate that, but it teaches you to figure out your own thing.


Arctic Monkeys: Believe the Hype launched on BBC Sounds on Sunday 22nd January 2023.

Episode 1: Anticipation

The year is 2005, and four lads from Sheffield are about to define their generation. So what

does that generation look like? And why is it so ready to greet the Monkeys?

Episode 2: Boys in Bands

‘Have you seen them lads from High Green? They’re like us.’ Arctic Monkeys, the origin story.

As told by the mates and musicians closest to them.

Episode 3: Beneath the Boardwalk

The rapid ascent of a young band destined to go far and fast: The chaotic first gigs. The scrappy

early demos. The first whispers of hype.

Episode 4: Music for Ringtones

While the music industry is in a mass panic about piracy and revenues, Arctic Monkeys happily let their demos go viral online–sensing the potential in this new Wild West

Episode 5: What on Earth’s the Plan?

Amidst the deafening hype, the Monkeys decamp to a country studio to make the album. This is the story of that frenzied session, as told by the producer who ran it.

Episode 6: A Weekend with Arctic Monkeys

From anticipation all the way to bleary eyed remorse – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not tells a story all too familiar to anyone who’s had a night out in a UK city.

Episode 7: Wishing They Weren’t There

They may have released the fastest selling debut album ever, but the Monkeys appear unphased by all the drama. Watch as the band withdraws from the circus.

Episode 8: The Sun Goes Down

Arctic Monkeys never made another album like their first. But it isn’t just them that’s changed. The world has, too. Now–the record’s a time-capsule from a by-gone era.

Listen here.