The Arctic Monkeys’ new record is a murky affair, a grower, but I continue to be impressed by young Alex Turner’s lyrical stylings. Take, for example, the chorus of Pretty Visitors:
All the pretty visitors came and waved their arms
And cast the shadow of a snake pit on the wall.
Which is a pretty effective expression of the blackest sort of misanthropy that sometimes occurs when one feels that everyone at a party is having a great time except you (also known as Designated Driver Syndrome).
One can imagine Morrissey* warbling it (A-ha-hah-all the pretty, oh so prrretty visitors, oh-hoh they ca-ha-hame and wa-ha-hey-hey-ved their arms, Oh they wa-hey-heyved them, And they cast, they cast, the shadow the shadow the shadow the shadow, The shadow of a snakepit on the wall, Oh absolutely vile!)
Back in my university days, a friend and I went to a big house party which, we were assured, was of the fancy dress variety, with a specific theme of At the Movies. In true sitcom/anxiety dream style, we turned up in full Clockwork Orange regalia and of course no other bugger was in costume (save for one chap who’d put on a hat). This was especially galling as we’d gone to great lengths to create an authentic droog look on a shoestring budget, even including the codpieces (grey Y-fronts stuffed with rolled-up socks).
Bravely, we didn’t run away, but faced the trauma head-on by drinking a bottle of vodka each and falling asleep on the stairs (which is perfectly acceptable behaviour amongst students). Below, the snakepit writhed without us, in the living-room, hallway and, to a lesser extent, the kitchen.
*although in fact Morrissey put the thing rather more prosaically: There's a club if you'd like to go, you could meet somebody who really loves you. So you go, and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry and you want to die. All together now!