Sleaford Mods

Sleaford mods

Punk-rock in its most rawest form. These two make it look simple. A keyboard and a profane punk-poet. But it’s not simple. It’s fucking genius.

Date: January 27, 2015

Venue: Rescue Rooms

For Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, this homecoming gig (ok, so they’re originally from Lincolnshire but Nottingham is now their home town) at the Rescue Rooms is a big deal for them. Jason won’t admit it, and Fearn doesn’t really speak, but it’s quite possibly the biggest gig of their career as Sleaford Mods. It’s a sell-out. Say no more.

Jay, an awkward soul, enters the stage with a swagger; a menacing attitude that’s more cocksure than cocky. Fearn, cap topping his head as always, drifts in behind, preferring to blend into the darkness than stand out in the spotlight.

Jay swags his water (focused), while Fearn clutches a bottle of lager.

Acerbic, biting punk poetry pukes out of Jay’s mouth, spitting bilious phlegm-bombs of spite, hate and anti-establishment, anti-everything, as his tick of wafting his ear like there’s a wasp constantly plaguing him gets wilder and wilder. I don’t think he knows he’s doing it. But with each angst-ridden onslaught, the wafting increases.

This tirade pushes hard against a backdrop of processed bass-heavy beats from Fearn’s laptop. For him, his job is simple. Press play, hit stop, repeat.

You could argue it’s beats-by-numbers with a profane, intimidating edgeyness. You could argue that, but you wouldn’t win. It’s simple admittedly, but it’s also a stroke of genius, and there’s nothing else like it on the market.

They mix songs from their NME Top 50-bothering album Divide & Exit with ‘scratcheh’ (as Jay’s thick Notts accent would emit) unfettled relics from the early days of minimalist skip-hop sofa-punk.

“Ello Derby”, announces Jay deliberately provocatively, but it’s his Nottingham references from Gedling Council to the Vic Centre which pin him on home soil, as each track sounds like a Shane Meadows film described succinctly by a working class local hero.

Lyrically, each song is littered with profanities, from Jolly Fuckers to Tit Rifles to the C Bomb. But his delivery is an embittered sweet symphony of anarchy, trite and ‘comedeh’. It’s genuinely impressive.

Tiswas, McFlurry and the final flourish Tweet Tweet Tweet were highlights. But there are many during a triumphant homecoming. Kind of.

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