Arctic Monkeys are one of Sheffield’s biggest bands of this century. For their debut album they used their home town as a huge inspiration. Always wondered where the inspiration of “When The Sun Goes Down” came from? Be warned, it ain’t that pretty, but find out now!
The song tells you a story about an individual who is approached by a girl, implied to be a prostitute. The same individual then notices a “scummy man” who has been hanging around. It is implied that he is either the prostitute’s pimp, or a client who is picking her up. The narrator of the song turns the prostitute down when she approaches him. She then heads on to the scummy man. The girl is “delighted when she sees him” because “she must be fucking freezing, scantily clad beneath the clear night sky”.
The song is about prostitution in the Neepsend district of Sheffield. During the day, you can find a lot of people that drink craft beers in this upcoming part of the city. At the, night people with a different kind of profession come out on the streets. The numbers have increasingly dropped, but during the time of this song, prostitution was still going on very much.
Originally, the song was set to be called “Scummy”, but it was eventually changed into how we know it now. “When The Sun Goes Down” can be found on their debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not” that stems from 2006. Many of the other songs on this album also refer to places in Sheffield. This entire album is therefore a must-listen if you want to find out more about Arctic Monkeys’ roots.
If you’re an Arctic Monkeys fan, you should definitely visit Sheffield at least once. You can decide to go to the area where Arctic Monkeys wrote their song about (tip: do this during the day), but you can also grab a pint at the Grapes. This is the venue where they played their first ever gig.
You can also get inspiration of nine other places to visit when in Sheffield over here!