I missed the support act but it was The Cravats, old punkers who started in 1977 and reformed a few years ago.
However, we’re here in a sold out Concorde for a band who channel the energy of artists like John Cooper Clarke, Mike Skinner of The Streets, The Clash and The Specials. Not bad for a two piece from Nottingham.
They arrive on stage to a huge reception, with beat programmer and DJ Andrew Fearn standing stage left behind his laptop. Jason Williamson gives us a thumbs up and gets straight down to business. Most of the set tonight comes from the 2013 album “Austerity Dogs”, but Williamson has been playing since 2006 and has plenty of lyrics to deliver.
They’re a refreshing change from the identikit, safe, nothing to say bands currently clogging up Britain’s 21st Century music scene. They’re here to rail against Cameron’s “all in this together” delusional bullshit and relate what life is like for real people outside the London bubble (basically the rest of the country).
Williamson stands slightly sideways on rather than facing the stage, his sweating profile delivering a non-stop verbal assault of scathing, vitriolic stories that show what raging against the machine really means. Fearn meanwhile swigs from his can and bops around mouthing the lyrics, his drum beats and sonic collages acting as the perfect backdrop to the words. The packed crowd dance along, the occasional mosh pit forming and dissipating as the set speeds up and slows down.
The clever lyrics tell of life in Britain. It’s a world of zero hour contracts, shitty bosses (with a Buzz Lightyear haircut), depression and pent up anger. Williamson is an energetic and frenetic front man, relentlessly spitting the truth on songs like “Jobseeker”, “New Labour, New Danger”, “Jolly Fucker”, “Little Ditty”, “McFlurry”m “Tied Up In Nottz”, “Tiswas” and “Fizzy”.
After a frenetic 50 minutes they encore with a new tune called “Tarantula Deadly Cargo” then follow it up with “Tweet Tweet Tweet” and their hour is up. They’ve got a new album called “Key Markets” out later this year (an album Williamson describes as being about “the delusion of grandeur and the pointlessness of government politics”). They’ll be touring the UK again in October 2015 so do yourself a favour and check them out. Older and more intense than current radio faves Slaves (who Williamson recently accused of ripping off his style and sound), Sleaford Mods are a refreshing change from the run of the mill tame bands currently clogging up the charts. More power to ’em.