Sleaford Mods - Brilliant, banging, brutal
Sleaford Mods are selling out shows right into 2015, and the packed 100 Club was ablaze with excitement. Friends and fans had travelled down from their native Nottingham and further afield, and press and radio presenters had flocked to the iconic basement venue. The ‘I’m gettin’ fizzy’ wristbands were a nice touch and are sure to be treasured for some time to come.
Vocalist Jason Williamson has to be the best lyricist around right now. His fast and furious poetic outpourings meld rhymes and snarls, debunk myths, reference cultural icons, and tear into the ‘Austerity Dogs’ culture of our time. He sweats and twitches, stares and writhes, and holds the crowd rapt. But he’s funny as well as incisive, as Tiswas with its Spit the Dog references, and Showboat with its cigarette smoking models testify.
Appearances are deceptive. The performance seems intense but casual, straight off the street. But Jason’s timing is extraordinary, he’s master of the beat. And yes he’s shouting, but there’s a melody there, his voice is huge and if he chose to, he could surely sing brilliantly in any style.
Andrew Fearn is a man who has done most of the legwork ahead of time and his beats, bass and more come straight out of his laptop with no pretence at live music creation, or the kind of fake knob-twiddling that goes on in some bands.
He keeps on eye on the sounds of course, but his role seems to be to enjoy himself, dance, drink beer, take pictures - a master of ceremonies who engages the crowd. The beats are carefully crafted, and though they have a lo-fi feel, they have the ruthless efficiency of a steel blade. All killer, no filler, and perfect for a pogo-rave - people were dancing any which way.
Sleaford Mods took the crowd on an epic journey across their two albums, and the new Tiswas EP that’s out in November. Donkey, The Corgi, Tied Up In Nottz - the crowd didn’t want to let them go. The Sleafords obliged with an encore, and left the stage, with people thrilled they’d witnessed a gig of legend.