It's not lost on many people that the first line of Arctic Monkeys' first album begins "Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment" and though of course the song goes on to describe the projected outlook for a crazy evening - ending up with you drunk texting fluid love poetry to an unwitting and unreceptive girl - the line has also always stood for Arctic Monkeys' view on what had happened to them thus far. You see by January of 2006 Arctic Monkeys' were the biggest band in England.
A bit odd for a band writing tales about a normal guy, drunk, alone in a bar at 3 0'clock, professing his love via the most impersonal and desolate of mediums? They thought so too. And with serving up the quickest selling debut in English history and being called by more than one source the next Beatles, Alex Turner and co found themselves increasingly uncomfortable.
You see, Arctic Monkeys' main premise is that they hate people. They hate people. They hate your lies and your scorn, your cynicism and your callousness, your advanced capacity for flat out faking. They hate you to levels that would normally stick them in with Elliott Smith level recluses, Minor Threat level moralists, or even Nirvana level violent outcasts - and yet. And yet Alex Turner didn't want to have to live those lifestyles, alone in his room. People are awful, he thinks, this is not going to change. This is not going to change. Not with all the angry bedroom sitting I could ever do. So I might as well get drunk, I might as well go out and dance, you know, fuck all this shit I intend to get laid.
Most of Whatever People Say I Am is spent in the back of clubs, angry at the rubbish band, furious at the large white wine drinking crowd pretending this band is the peak of art, worried blind about the girl he's trying to pull and the quantity of fluid he's consumed and WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE PUT ON SOMETHING WITH A DESCENT FUCKING BEAT SO WE CAN DANCE?
Surly this did a lot for a fifteen year-old newly faced with an unfair and unconcerned social system. It became my bible. I was angry. Surly it becomes even more relevant as I get older, as I emerge into a world of clubs and concert halls and alcohol. As my libido slowly begins to override my principals. I am angry. At fourteen Arctic Monkeys asked for instruments for their birthdays, five years before. At nineteen, five years later, Arctic Monkeys were the biggest band in England. So at fourteen me and my friends asked for instruments for our birthdays, at nineteen we have no money, with every ounce in our bodies dedicated to music. All Arctic Monkeys to blame and thank.
In January of 2006 England exploded, heralding a new age of anger and guitars that never actually came about. Alex Turner always looked incredibly off put when on stage. He could not believe the amount of people shouting lyrics he wrote. They stood and played their instruments and did not put on a show. Don't believe they hype, they seemed to say. Whatever people think I am, that's what I'm not.