Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

Arctic Monkeys playing the Sheffield Arena

Arctic Monkeys playing the Sheffield Arena

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Arctic monkeys’ official video release arabella

When Alex Turner picked up the Arctic Monkeys’ Brit Awards he declared that ‘rock and roll will never die’.

And if the band’s official video for Arabella is anything to go by, he lives by this statement.

The video was released this week and ticks every rock and roll box you can imagine: biker gangs, topless women, semi-illicit interactions and it’s even shot in a dimly-lit series of rooms on grainy film.

Indeed, the video’s not without controversy. It even comes with a parental advisory warning, which is entirely necessary. At one point, the video’s muse - an attractive dark-haired woman - appears topless on a bed, while another leopard-print clad actress is poised to suggest she’s a stripper. It is very rock and roll.

But this is the feel that the band have created for their latest album, AM. It’s visceral, rocky, dirty and nods as much to the sleazy riffs of Deep Purple as it does Turner’s sharp twist of phrase.

Arabella’s sexuality also mirrors the content of the band’s Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High video. In this video Turner’s mind is twisted after taking a substance and then, during a warped wander through the streets discovers a world of seedy lascivious activity.

There’s no denying that these videos are attention grabbing. But they also reassure us that rock and roll is still unsafe and uncensored.

The Arctic Monkeys’ videos haven’t quite reached the obscene status enjoyed by former rock ‘n’ roll outlets such as the ‘Schoolkids’ edition of Oz Magazine in 1970. Unlike Oz, Arabella’s unlikely to become the centre of an obscenity trial. But the Arctic Monkeys have given us hope that, while we may live in a in a corporate, PR-spun world, sex, drugs and rock and roll are here to stay.

Watch Arabella at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj8r3qmOoZ8