More than any other album this year, Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ has provided laughs, gasps and ‘what the hell are they doing?!’ moments at every turn, and it’s never been short of thrilling.
In line with announcing a new 7” for the band’s title track - which comes along with artwork of Alex doing the hoovering in, we’re assuming, the conference room of the Tranquility Base itself - the band have shared new short film ‘Warp Speed Chic’, directed by collaborator Ben Chappell on 16mm film during recording sessions for the album in France last September.
Including instrumental recordings of ‘Tranquility Base’ tracks from James Ford, behind the scenes glimpses into the writing and recording process of the album, a great deal of shredding, tubthumping and general ridiculousness, it’s another absurd inclusion into the already brilliant world of LP6.
As is to be expected, it’s absolutely jam-packed full of gems, and we’ve picked out just a few of them.
Alex’s ‘personal build’
‘Warp Speed Chic’ starts with a documentation of recording the drum pattern for the intro of ‘Tranquility Base…’ closer ‘The Ultracheese’. Matt Helders is - as we’ve known for over a decade now - one of the best drummers in the game, but Alex still has some tips for his old mate. “And still do the build as well!” he yells to a look and a shake of the head from Matt, who’s still trying to wrap his head around the kind of drum fill that would fit perfectly on a concept album about the gentrification of the moon. Or maybe it’s Alex’s truly horrific beard. “And still do our own sort of…personal build, as well,” he demands. We feel like we here at DIY are pretty clued up on musical jargon, but this is the first we’ve heard of the soon-to-be-legendary ‘personal build’. Genius comes in all shapes and sizes, folks.
Sunshine and showers
Across the ‘TBH&C’ tour, Alex’s dancing has been something to behold, but it’s all for show, surely…right? ‘Warp Speed Chic’ includes snippets of Alex recording his vocals for album opener ‘Star Treatment’ and we’re pleased to announce that…well, it’s all for real. I’m sure we’d all go a bit loopy too if we were cooped up in a French chateau singing about being a little too wild in the ‘70s and sporting That Beard, but Alex gets into character like no other. His dancing during the vocal take is half dad dancing at a wedding, half a BBC weather reporter giving the weekend forecast after a bottle of gin, and we’re absolutely here for it.
Across the years, Alex has sported some truly wild and wonderful hairstyles. So many, in fact, that when our collective world was shaken upon seeing that he’d shaved his head for a tv performance back in July, we decided to rank all of them, past and present. One we haven’t seen until now though is a ponytail, and the new doc gives us a rather horrifying window into another previously unseen era of Turner’s barnet. Shredding away to ‘Four Out Of Five’ with producer James Ford, the frontman looks half way between someone going for gold in the judo at the Olympics and a slimy Italian footballer who has more than a slight penchant for going over a little too easily under challenges. Given the chance to rewrite our previous article, this look would come stone dead last. Oh dear, Alex. Oh dear.
When he gives you that look
Ponytails aside, most things Alex does get us a little hot under the collar. There’s a scene in ‘Warp Speed Chic’ though, after a series of behind the scenes footage of the band’s ‘Four Out Of Five’ video, that he gives a look so smouldering that it could shatter a thousand hearts at once. Coming along with Look Number One, referring back to our ranking of Alex’s many ‘dos - beard gone, hair slicked, heartthrob mode on full - it’s everything that’s perfect about Our Alex in a perfectly gif-able one second flash.
What do you mean you’ve never seen Only Fools & Horses?
Another new insight into the wardrobe of Alex Turner comes ten minutes in to the new doc, when he strides down a French alleyway in a winter coat and a flat cap, somewhere between Del Boy from Only Fools & Horses and a drunk staggering his way to the bookies at 11am. The latest in a long line of fashion disasters (or triumphs - we all have different tastes), it’s only a matter of time before the tweed headwear makes it on stage at the arenas of the world, and we’ll be waiting impatiently.
Watch ‘Warp Speed Chic’ below.