A French speaking Alex Turner is all we need in The Last Shadow Puppets' music video, 'Les Cactus.'
The Last Shadow Puppets is a supergroup consisting of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miles Kane (ex-The Rascals), and composer/producer James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, ex-Simian).
In August 2007 NME magazine reported that Arctic Monkeys lead singer Alex Turner and lead singer of then newly formed The Rascals, Miles Kane would be recording an album with Simian Mobile Disco member and former Simian drummer James Ford producing and playing drums. Turner and Kane had become friends when Kane's previous band The Little Flames played support for Arctic Monkeys on their 2005 UK tour. The Little Flames also supported Arctic Monkeys on their April 2007 UK tour, when Turner and Kane wrote songs together for a collaborative project. Their collaboration extended into Arctic Monkeys material, with Kane playing guitar on "505", the closing track of second Arctic Monkeys album Favorite Worst Nightmare and on "Fluorescent Adolescent" B-sides "The Bakery" and "Plastic Tramp." Kane also guested on "505" and "Plastic Tramp" at several Arctic Monkeys gigs in 2007, including the summer mini-festivals at Lancashire County Cricket Club and Arctic Monkeys' 2007 appearance at Glastonbury.
The initial recording of the songs that would eventually form their debut album took place in France in late August 2007 with additional material added between August and December of that year. In December Owen Pallett was appointed to arrange the strings, brass and percussion for the album with the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra. During the recording of the album Turner and Kane hired a documentary film-making team, Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull, to capture the story of the project.
On 20 February 2008, the duo revealed they would be known as The Last Shadow Puppets and that their album would be titled The Age of the Understatement and would be released on 21 April 2008. The album went straight to number one in the UK Albums Chart. The first single, "The Age of the Understatement" was released the week before on 14 April, with new song "Two Hearts in Two Weeks" and covers of Billy Fury's "Wondrous Place" and David Bowie's "In the Heat of the Morning" (a song previously mentioned by Turner as a favourite) as b-sides. The duo have said they took inspiration from Scott Walker and early Bowie. As well as this, there are also influences of The Beatles and late 60s/ early 70s progressive rock.
The second single, "Standing Next to Me", was released on 7 July 2008. The album produced a third single, "My Mistakes Were Made for You."
The album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize but lost out to Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid.