We are by the canal in the centre of Sheffield. The premises of Sovereign Stables Fabrications, JNC Welding Services and Adam Engineering are shuttered and derelict-looking. Gathered under the orange glow of early-evening street lamps, Arctic Monkeys stamp their feet on the cobbles to stay warm.
They're in this beaten-down former industrial area in their home town to film a video, ostensibly a promo for the song When the Sun Goes Down. But, being the band who like to say no (to Top of the Pops, for example, and to headline slots on the NME tour), they've decided to make theirs a bit different.
"I'd like it if it worked as summat more than a pop video," says a shivering Alex Turner, "summat that people might want to go see at the cinema. A whole film."
Three months later, slumped in the basement dressing room of the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on the opening night of their first big American tour, Arctic Monkeys declared themselves chuffed with how Scummy Man - a short film inspired by When the Sun Goes Down - turned out. (It is released this week on DVD, just in time for their first headline UK tour.)
They began their opening week in America by appearing on the television show Saturday Night Live with Matt Dillon and ended it with a gig at Austin's SXSW festival.
They had a lot to live up to. As well as being the fastest-selling debut album in British chart history, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not has also become the fastest-selling independently released debut in the US. Their American dates sold out in minutes.
In their first week in the country, American newspaper critics, wary of British music-biz hype, took several potshots at the band, singling out their lack of "performance" onstage - a charge often levelled by US commentators at Oasis.
As with the brothers Gallagher, though, they were failing to appreciate the fact that Arctic Monkeys are not about theatricality; in fact, they sneer at onstage posing and pretension.