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Lucky Girl Energy: How a 48-hour Trip to Singapore to See Arctic Monkeys Became a Wild Adventure

Lucky Girl Energy: How a 48-hour Trip to Singapore to See Arctic Monkeys Became a Wild Adventure

Arctic Monkeys at Singapore Indoor Arena

This is becoming a bit of a series, isn’t it? Or at least I hope it is.

48 hours in a city that’s over 5,000 miles away to watch Arctic Monkeys (our last was in Mexico at Corona Capital), only to remember snippets of it because we went hard on the bevs. It’s amazing how far from Yorkshire we’ll travel to see a group of lads still deeply routed there.

So, Singapore… 

A few days submerged in lucky girl energy. I like to take the piss out of the concept and dismiss it as fast as fate, but whoever this lucky girl is, she’s desperately trying to convince me she’s real.

And I’m starting to believe it.

For those that have been seeking it, here’s how lucky girl energy works. Think of this as your guide. Read the stories as lessons and you too can experience the same level of good fortune if you cultivate a similar mindset and outlook on life. Readeh? Cool.

First, we book a thirteen-hour flight to Singapore to see Arctic Monkeys- but make sure we aren’t in possession of any tickets for the sold-out show, yet. Just know that it’s going to work out. This part is the most important.

Shit. The press team reject our request for review passes. 

Doubt would usually kick in here, “Singapore will be nice anyway. I’ve driven up to Leeds from London before, the time in transit isn’t too dissimilar…”

Instead, lucky girl, let’s call her Jammy for the story, has a plan for me- tell the Arctic Monkeys management team about the ridiculous stunt we’ve just pulled. They like it (or take massive pity) and, to our astonishment, sort us three guest passes—one for my girlfriend, Laura; my sister, Jo; and me. 

It gets more outrageous, I wholeheartedly promise. Read on.

I decide not to tell Jo that we’ve sorted tickets and that we’ll just have to turn up to the arena ready to bulldoze through security in one of the most obedient cities in the world. Y’know, to keep the energy levels high. She’s livid (but doesn’t say no).

At the airport, Jammy (it must have been) hands me my boarding ticket – I’ve been upgraded to business class. Feeling out of place, I awkwardly watch no entertainment, order only water and mistakenly request a meat platter although I’m vegetarian and never chirp up to change it. Peaks and troughs.

In Singapore, we sit down at the first bar and chat about how lucky we are. How we’re drenched in lucky girl energy. 

We’re then interrupted by the menu. It looks like I’m paying £10 for a pint. I look over my shoulder for Jammy, she’s there sitting chuckling to herself still radiating that sense of abundance and possibility.

Mission one was complete. We’d already scored tickets to the show (Jo still didn’t know). What would be next on the roadmap if you had Jammy as your companion?

Listen, at £10 a pint, the concept of being pissed, sounded less likely than meeting Arctic Monkeys. But like the general feeling of Singapore as a city, money wasn’t real after the first few. 

Laura was on a later flight and unfortunately didn’t get to experience the business class, but did manage to flush an AirPod down the loo. 

When she arrived a few hours later, we gave Jo a card with the news about the tickets scribbled in. She threw it back at my face and nearly started crying. Success?

We hit a few Irish bars to celebrate until the yawns became the main topic of conversation. A simple knowing nod and we’re in a taxi back.

Back at the hotel, the girls are in their cheetah-print Pajamas and face masks. The only reason I remember this is because Jo sang the lyrics ‘in a cheetah-print coat’ from Arabella which sparked a synchronous realisation between Laura and myself that we’d been singing the lyrics completely wrong since 2013. Life is a continuous lesson.

Now, has your wildest story ever started at 2am when you were in a face mask? Neither, until this night. From here on is what has me believing ever more in Jammy. Here’s why.

I journeyed downstairs to ask if they had any spare rooms for Laura and me, for obvious reasons- Jo snores a lot…

They didn’t. Disheartened, but not completely shocked, I headed back upstairs.

At that moment, a hand interrupted the lift just as the doors were closing. Two people joined me. Perhaps it was Jammy.

I asked why they were in Singapore. 

“Cabin crew. We’ve just flown out. What about you?”

“Ah, just here for 48 hours to see Arctic Monkeys”, I sighed, expecting a confused, yet proud, face in return.

“Hah! We’ve just been drinking with them, they’re still out if you want to meet them”, they replied with the same enthusiasm as an alcoholic Dad on a Sunday evening whose football team has just lost.

I told them to shut up, called them a liar and then eagerly asked where ‘please?!’

‘Four floors of whores.’

‘Huh?!’ (Said like Scooby Doo)

‘Yep’

‘Can you spell that for me, please?’

[ Types it in ] I’d heard them right. They hop off on their floor and wish me luck.

It was just 5 minutes down the road. 

I spread the news to Jo and Laura with the excitement of Moses reciting a soon-to-be biblical passage to the villagers. Faster than I could tell the story, they were ready and out the door.

4FoW wasn’t on Google Maps, but it seemed like a safe bet to follow the ‘girls of the night’ sitting outside a four-story complex. We were correct.

Kicking through the double doors, Laura and I were blinded by the lack of people and terrible tunes and screamed in Nick O’Malley’s ear that they obviously weren’t going to be in there. Jo dragged us to the bar as if her kid just shared a personal nickname you call your neighbour to their face.

The inside was actually pleasant enough. It served pints and had a live band that started at 3am in the morning. Imagine playing at 3am on a Monday and your audience is Arctic Monkeys?!

*I’d like to make it clear here that Arctic Monkeys weren’t hitting the strip clubs. There was one girl dancing in a sweater that could have fit me (I’m huge). It was just woefully named and the only place open past 1am.*

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last 15 years wondering what I’d say if I ever met them. And after those years of preparation, I can tell you I fluffed it and now need 15 years of recovery. 

We befriended them nevertheless. I’m not sure they’d say exactly the same if they wrote an article from their perspective – but I highly doubt they’re going to so here are the facts.

Alex and Matt were missing, but the remaining team that were out were class craic. Shoutout to our new pal, Ade!

I can’t tell you when we stopped drinking, but we woke up at 1pm the following day. Who wanted to do sightseeing and cultural experiences in Singapore anyway?!

Show night. 

It’s pissing it down. Like PISSING it down.

We head up to Lavo at the top of the famous Marina Bay Sands for a fancy meal, some pre-drinks and a “view of the whole of Singapore” 

Fantastic views of Singapore

It could’ve been Leeds. We were literally in the clouds, but it was tasty and it was happy hour.

We do a headcount before heading off. Laura, Jo, Sam, Jammy – we’re all here.

7:50pm we arrive at the arena. Arctic Monkeys are set to grace the stage at 8:00pm and we’re yet to collect our tickets.

At the box office, I say my name and pass my ID and get handed four tickets. We were only expecting three. One is for standing, the rest are seated. 

We’re about to go and queue for seated when it suddenly strikes Jo that Ade, our new pal, must have added us to the guestlist as well. We rush back for Laura and Jo to try their names. 

One standing ticket each. (BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT?!)

We’ve now gone from no tickets to six. Even Jammy’s pulling a gallic shrug at this one.

7:59pm we’re still in the queue. 8:01pm we’ve come to terms that we’ll miss the opening song so head to the bar first anyway.

8:05pm we mooch in and find a nice little spot in the crowd to settle down. 

8:10pm Arctic Monkeys stroll on. 

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We were starting to think that we could control time at this point.

The Show 

I’m not going to go into too much detail here. If you’re a fan, I’m sure you’ve read countless reviews over many performances and you can also likely guess that mine will be quite biased. And I’m already one million words in.

It was one of those nights. From the moment we took off from London, flowing right up to that split second before the band took the first step on stage, life had been on a different plane of truth. Anything is actually possible.

The crowd screamed so loud it went silent and time stopped. I was able to look around the whole venue; seats upon seats of fervent fans staring down at one singular point. I could look at Jo and Laura and think how lucky we are, how lucky I am, and how grateful I was for everything. 

Then someone nudged my pint, the screams came back into the scene and I’m warped back into the present. I smiled and nodded at the nudger, ‘Twat’ – I thought.

Sculptures of Anything Goes then demonically thuds us into their arena.

It’s a heavy mix of AM, Favourite Worst Nightmare and Humbug. It was interesting to see what the Asian crowds know best. Obviously, we grew up with them, but they took a few years to spread. For example, we were arguably louder than the band screaming From the Ritz to the Rubble, but there was a general widespread adoption. 

As cliché as it’s become, Alex Turner really is the apprentice of David Bowie and Nick Cave, but now a master in his own right. As I was internally questioning his dance moves, Laura turned to me and said she now knows where I get mine from. I remain quiet.

The rest was a wild party. As always.

After the show

We rock up to the closest bar. It’s a sports bar. And it’s doing karaoke. They don’t have Arctic Monkeys, so they insist (promise) we do Wonderwall. With our hands tied, we oblige. Jo then continues to hog the mic for a further 10 songs. All of which were Pitbull. I think Jammy left us for this part.

However, it must have been a quick break as Ade had found an Irish bar near the hotel where they’d gone for a post-show pint. We thank our fans and leave the karaoke swiftly.

Rocking up pissed to The Drunken Poet, we start asking some preposterous questions.

Now, I’m not calling myself a journalist, nor will I ever, but this is juicy news.

Q1. What’s the lowest-value coin you’d bend down to pick up if you saw it on the floor? We were all in agreeance at 50p- including Jamie. (I think mine was 20p, but I kept quiet after the overall consensus.)

Q2 (to Jamie). Do you like fighting and when was the last time you were punched in the face? Bit hazy at this point, but I think he does, yeah.

Q3 (to Jamie). Do you sweat on stage in your leather jacket? Yeah, he does (unsurprisingly, I guess).

They continue, but I’ve shared my faves.

I then went to the loo and returned to Jamie asking if I was in the band Sex Rain. It would seem Jo and Laura were masterfully carrying the shit chat while I was away.

Sex Rain was my high school band that just did covers of Arctic Monkeys. I laughed and shamefully confirmed I was, to which he replied, ‘that’s almost as bad as our name’.

We sent them our hit Doing Crack While on my Scooter (you can have it too), unsure if it’s on their playlist yet, but I can assume it is.

The next day we did our traditional tourist experiences with a different perspective on life, which could have easily been the hangover to be fair, but still.

We flew home later that day with a story I’d never thought I’d be able to tell in a million years.

Singapore, oh Singapore.

Y’know that scene in American Beauty where they watch the plastic bag he filmed in the wind and he talks about how beautiful it is? That’s been my life for the last few days, but because it’s the UK it’s been dog shit bags and empty cigarette packets. Amazing how your attitude affects how you see things, ey.

Until our next 5,000 mile adventure.

PS. I’d like to extend a huge thanks to everyone involved in making this happen—genuinely the most grateful man in the world.

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