Their song "Hey Scenestars!" is a gigantic fuck off to anyone who is into music for the clothes, the attitude, the fashion, the SCENE. Aren't they totally mental? Lock up your daughters etc. It doesn't take a great deal of rational thought to realise that the problems here are twofold.
First of all, I've read loads of blogs on MySpace posted by people lamenting the fact that whenever they go to a gig "nowadays" the place is inevitably chocka-block with "scenesters." This, they say, is terrible and these dreadful invaders should be choked by their own leg warmers until dead, and when I were young all this were fields. A tad small minded, wouldn't you say? Is everyone really so uptight that their enjoyment of a gig can be spoilt by what someone else is wearing? What is a scenester? I've given a small description in the previous paragraph but that is merely conjecture. Many definitions have been put forward but they never seem to tally with each other. Of course, this may well be because no one will actually admit to being a "scenester" and you often find that those doing most of the slagging are accused of being "scenesters" themselves by others. All of this ignores the fact that people get into "alternative" music at different times. I detest the Arctic Monkeys but if some fifteen year old lad who has never listened to guitar music before hears one of their songs on the radio, likes it, and goes to one of their gigs dressed in TopMan gear, who gives a shit?
Secondly, if someone is into music for aesthetic reasons as opposed to the pure unadulterated pleasure of hearing the new Paddingtons record, what's the big deal? Anyone with even a passing interest in popular culture knows that a great deal of "alternative" music has been shaped by people who were "only interested in the clothes." Sex Pistols, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Suede, The Stone Roses. Fucking "scenesters" the lot of 'em.
"Alternative" music, and indeed "alternative" culture in general, is to a massive degree based on tolerance. Tolerance of race, gender, sexuality, politics and yes, dresscode. I've had my nose broken three times by people objecting to my make up and style of dress, and I hope I'm not alone in praying that this sort of small minded crap is kept well away from a culture I love and feel should be completely inclusive.