Their 5th studio album, AM is definitely going to the number 1 spot on Sunday and in between their promotion of this, Arctic Monkeys stopped by the BBC Radio 1 studios today to cover Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home for Radio 1’s infamous Live Lounge. This got me thinking of some of the brilliant, original, genre-bending covers the Live Lounge has given us since its beginning in 2006. Below are some of my favourites!
The Maccabees / Lonely Boy (Originally by The Black Keys)
The Maccabees are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands. The same has to be said for The Black Keys. When I heard The Maccabees were covering Lonely Boy by The Black Keys, I was excited to hear what they’d do with the song. Like many of the live lounge performances, they made the song their own* and put their own, unique spin on it. They made it Maccabees-esque. They didn’t make it a cover and not once did I think about The Black Keys, not in a negative way, I just forgot this was a cover and thought it was some rare B-Side from The Maccabees. Orlando’s voice stands out during this track as being one of the most beautiful, harmonious, almost haunting voice from a male singer but then again, he can make anything sound beautiful.
*I’m probably going to use the term “made the song their own” a lot in this. If not those exact words, some variation of these words. Apologies in advance!
Ben Howard / Call Me Maybe (Originally by Carly Rae Jepsen)
“Hey! This is crazy, but here’s my number! So, call my maybe?!”
Don’t deny it. You’ve sang this song whilst on a night out with your friends and knew every bloody word to it! Didn’t you! Whether it’s a yes or no, I’m admitting to doing it. The original song isn’t usually the type of music I find catchy or likeable but this song grabbed me by a certain area and didn’t let go. Then what happens? Ben Howard, one of my favourite solo acoustic artists goes and covers it. Did he make a good job of it? No. He made an excellent job of it! He made it acceptable to like the song and put on an incredible performance even whilst laughing to some of the cringe worthy lyrics!
The Vaccines / We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Originally by Taylor Swift)
The Vaccines know what they’re doing when it comes to appearing on the live lounge. They don’t take themselves too seriously and definitely don’t stick to their typical indie genre. They’ve appeared on it a couple of times now. A previous highlight being a cover of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night and yep…they “made it their own”. My favourite live lounge track by them however is this Taylor Swift one. As much as I hate to admit such things, I actually quite like Taylor Swift. She’s got a fairly good voice on her and she’s easy on the eye (do people still say this?) so when I heard The Vaccines has gone for this; I knew it’d be fun, catchy and a live lounge favourite.
Arctic Monkeys / Hold On, We’re Going Home (Originally by Drake)
The only problem (I say the only one but that’s actually lots…) with having a mundane 9 to 5 job is I never get to hear the live lounge performances live. This changed today however as I managed to go on a cigarette break just as this had started. I had no idea what the song was called at the time though due to missing the introduction. It doesn’t matter that this song is by that Drake fella who I couldn’t give a toss about, when Arctic Monkeys cover a song, they make it their own and they make sure it’s delivered with nothing but perfection and if that means Alex Turner has to seemingly channel Buddy Holly then so be it!
Kings Of Leon / Dancing On My Own (Originally by Robyn)
Kings Of Leon have their own very unique style of music and a lot of their songs are instantaneously recognised by a few chords alone. If you was to ask me what song sounds most like Kings Of Leon, I’d now have to honestly say their cover of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. That doesn’t even make sense in my head, but at the same time…makes perfect sense? I can’t say I’m really a massive fan of Robyn or any of her songs. Granted, I’ve seen her live at a festival and I happily sang to a few of her songs but I’d only just turned 18. I was naive and drunk. Never a good option. Anyways, enough about me. So…this cover is absolutely brilliant. The song might be entitled dancing on my own but the four-piece have definitely managed to make it their own. (See what I did there?)
So, there’s five of my favourite covers that I’ve heard performed for the Radio 1 Live Lounge. I think the concept of this session is absolutely genius and I hope it continues for many years to come.
Words by Robert Smith (@robertmsmith)