All hail the cronut – or, as Rinkoff Bakery in Whitechapel like to call it – the crodough. It’s a heavenly thing which combines the sophistication of the French croissant with the brawn of the American donut. The bakery, at 224 Jubilee St., offers PBJ, s’more, custard, raspberry, oreo, pistachio and toffee apple crumble incarnations of the pastry hybrid. We went for a chocolate fudge and a lemon (pictured here).
There was a screenshot doing the rounds in the first week of 2016. It was a list of the many chart-topping songs that made it big in the year 2006. Tunes like Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) by Sandi Thom. General consensus on Twitter and Instagram was mass horror at the chasm of time that has passed between then and now. And true, though most of the number ones on that list are sounds I associate with the decade passed, tracks from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys, are ones which have stuck with me throughout teen and early adulthood. It is now my favourite album of all time, and I’ll tell you why.
Generally, I’m a big fan of unfussy stuff. Unfussy stuff is my thing; stuff that doesn’t take itself too seriously and people who cut through the bullshit. Give me a burger over an oyster trimmed crown of pheasant any day.
Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not embodies this attractively frank way of living. It embodies, too the visceral working class life that Arthur Seaton of Saturday Night And Sunday Morning(from whose dialogue this album’s title comes directly) lives. Even the videos attached to the album’s tracks are Kitchen Sink through and through with their bleak, washed out urban landscapes and mournful protagonists, staring accusingly into the camera.
It’s this absolutely ruthless honesty in lyric and sound that lead NME to rate the album 10/10 back when it dropped in 2006, praising it for having: “The Britishness of The Kinks, the melodic nous of The Beatles, the sneer of Sex Pistols, the wit of The Smiths, the groove of The Stone Roses, the anthems of Oasis, the clatter of The Libertines…
They also described Alex Turner as “ a funny little fucker.”
And actually, though the frantic punk grind is inimitably pleasing, it’s the sharp observations and pertinent lyrics of Turner’s that leave me feeling exalted. Maybe having lived in Sheffield for three years of my life has made the poetry Turner spits out even more relevant, but I don’t think it could make a whole lot of difference. Transplant another, any other town for High Green and you’ll get the truest, most frenetic, explicitly eloquent depiction of a British night out you could ask for. And so, in honour of a decade since this – my favourite album of all time – dropped, here are the most profound, humorous and unfussy lyrics:
ANTICIPATION HAS A HABIT TO SET YOU UP, FOR DISAPPOINTMENT…
‘The View From The Afternoon’ goes on to describe the phenomenon of the excitement that comes before a big night out…no matter how many times you’ve been there and done that.
THERE AIN’T NO LOVE, NO MONTAGUES OR CAPULETS, JUST BANGING TUNES ‘N’ DJ SETS…
Big love to the guy who references Romeo and Juliet and sweaty nightclubs in one breath.
“OH YOU’VE SAVED ME,” SHE SCREAMS DOWN THE LINE, “THE BAND WERE FUCKING WANK AND I’M NOT HAVING A NICE TIME.”
Big love also, to the artist who can use colloquialisms like ‘fuck’ and ‘wank’ in the middle of a fantastically insightful track about human hubris.
AND YEAH, I’D LOVE TO TELL YOU ALL MY PROBLEM,
YOU’RE NOT FROM NEW YORK CITY, YOU’RE FROM ROTHERHAM…
I hear this as though from inside the head of a bored member of Fake Tales of San Francisco‘s crowd. (S)he’s doing that thing where you hash out just exactly what you’d like to say to the people pissing you off, and it’s amusing as well as accurate.
GET OFF THE BANDWAGON AND PUT DOWN THE HANDBOOK
A tattooable tit-bit of life advice bawled by a Yorkshire youth. 10/10.
YOU’RE JUST PROBABLY ALRIGHT,
BUT UNDER THESE LIGHTS YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL
TRUE of men and women of every sexual orientation. Also, note the unapologetically exaggerated Yorkshire pronunciation of the word ‘alright.’
I FANCY YOU WITH A PASSION
Because a one night stand isn’t love.
“HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING, SON? YOU DON’T LOOK OLD ENOUGH TO ME.”
“I’M SORRY, OFFICER: IS THERE A CERTAIN AGE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE?”
A lyric my dad enjoyed so much that he would play it over and over as we listened to the album in the car back in 2006. I remember how amazing it was to me that you could not only do something so profoundly funny with words, but also set it to music.
WON’T HE LET US HAVE SIX IN? ESPECIALLY NOT WITH THE FOOD
HE COULDA JUST TOLD US NO THOUGH, HE DIN’T HAVE TO BE RUDE
The accuracy of this taxi rank exchange between a group of mates on the way home with greasy boxes of pizza brings me such joy, and many blurry memories.
AND I’M SITTING GOING BACKWARDS, AND I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
Everyone’s been there. Angry pouty face
THINKING ABOUT THINGS BUT NOT ACTUALLY DOING THE THINGS
A succint definition of procrastination and a reverse psychological call to arms in one neat line.
LAST NIGHT WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT
IT MADE SO MUCH SENSE,
BUT NOW THE HAZE HAS ASCENDED
IT DON’T MAKE NO SENSE ANYMORE.
Truer now with the enabling danger of smartphones, emojis and Snapchat than ever before.
THERE’S ONLY MUSIC, SO THAT THERE’S NEW RINGTONES
True of some music but never, ever, ever of Arctic Monkeys.