Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods


It’s just on a week since the Tories secured an unanticipated majority and with apathy and anger found in equal measure on social media, where better to be in the flesh than amongst the rabid fury of Sleaford Mods?

Taking cues from Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Sleaford Mods is, on the surface, a relatively straight-forward entity. Andrew Fearn crafts rudimentary electronic beats on a laptop and from Jason Williamson comes a stream of fascinating, ferocious social commentary. Whilst Pip’s aspirational philosophy is Guardian-like, the world Williamson inhabits is much more The Morning Star.

I know it’s easy to equate electronics + accent to The Streets, but without Skinner’s knack for an observational quip and bedroom beats, it’s hard to see Sleaford Mods gaining such traction. Again, carving themselves apart from their predecessors; the fundamental difference is while Skinner offered the peaks and troughs of modern life, here are only the troughs, and not those all the political piggies have their snouts in.

“Dr Dre, them headphones are shit and they’re fucking everywhere mate!” Within seconds of taking to the stage, Sleaford Mods frontman Jason Williamson speaks an unerring truth. It’s a theme that will run for the entire duration of the blistering 50 minute set. Smashing through seventeen songs in less than an hour is no mean feat, particularly when they’re delivered with the tenacity of a feral animal.

Ticking and twitching throughout, it’s difficult to take your eyes off Jason Williamson. The venom in his eyes is unsettling, delivering incredible intensity to one and two word choruses, making even words like ‘McFlurry’ and ‘Fizzy’ sound menacing. Every now and then he’ll slap the side of his head, unleashing a volley of sweat into the air before urging the 900 strong crowd to join in with a refrain of “Jolly Fucker!” All the while Fearn hits play and dances like no one is watching, which I think is probably true.

The biting lyrics feature some of the fiercest expletives, the show features more cunts than a Simon Cowell dinner party. It’s hard not to warm to someone whose vitriol is aimed at, amongst others, Tommy Robinson, UKIP and, to lighten the mood, Johnny Borrell.

At times the beats are indistinguishable from each other, but that is sort of the point. How better to reflect the inane day in day out by barely bothering to change key or tempo. Fearn’s music is the perfect foil for Williamson’s unique brand of beat-you-round-the-head poetry, firing out Ian Dury-like wordplay and Johnny Rotten snarl.

This is rebellion music, pure and simple. The room is full of world-weary folk, proud to know their Bragg from their blag, and live by the rules of Public Enemy and not public school.

Wrapping up with ‘Tweet Tweet Tweet’, another lament of modern Britain, Sleaford Mods position themselves as the most important band in the country that they so perfectly describe.

Sleaford Mods  Official | Facebook | Twitter

Joseph Curran

Features Editor and gig reviewer