Arctic Monkeys rapid rise to the top of the pile in British music in the mid-’00s was stratospheric, and truth be told, we’ve seen nothing on the same scale since. They were the band that the country had been desperately crying out for, and this acoustic rendition of ‘Mardy Bum’ explains why they cemented themselves in the hearts of millions.
The track is a perfect explanation for how they charmed the nation in the monumental way they did when the Sheffield group did when they first arrived on the scene. It’s packed with their trademark northern wit, hyper-colloquial lyrics, and underlined with a relativity that separated them from every other band in the land.
Ever since the moment their debut single ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ raced out of the traps in 2005, the Arctic Monkeys began an unstoppable ascent to greatness. It didn’t take long for the four-piece to be hailed as the ‘voice of a generation’ and, unlike the large majority who get tagged with that moniker, the group actually lived up to the expectation.
Suddenly, everybody knew their name, and millions of people across Britain had pricked their ears up to take notice of what these four teenagers from Sheffield were doing.
There was tangible excitement surrounding their debut, and the weight of expectation firmly rested on their shoulders. They duly delivered with Whatever People Say That I Am, That’s What I’m Not, which ended up becoming the highest-selling debut album in UK chart history.
Remarkably, the album notched up over 365,000 sales in the first week alone and became the soundtrack to weekends all over Britain. The whole album was a flawless introduction, with ‘Mardy Bum’ quickly becoming a favourite among their fanbase.
Over the last 15 years, Arctic Monkeys have taken on various identities and personas, with ‘Mardy Bum’ offering up a reminder of the days they emerged on the scene all those years ago. After their shows, fans often congregate in the streets to sing it, and it always provides a moment of communal elation.
This acoustic rendition of the track is a spellbinding slice of joy, despite the song’s topic ironically being about love bitterly fading away as things slowly crumble apart in a relationship.
While a section of their fanbase yearns for the past and demands Alex Turner return to the guise he donned as a teenager, there’s really no need to. After all, even if Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino isn’t to your appetite, that music they made during their beginnings still exists, and it doesn’t get much better than this acoustic version of ‘Mardy Bum’.