SLEAFORD MODS are the antidote to the current state of the music industry, defying everything to break through. They’re not 17 years old, nor did they spout from Simon Cowell’s arsehole and the thought of Radio One play listing them is about as likely as finding an honest politician. In fact, I can’t think of any other band who’s broken through in the last 20 years based solely on the quality of their music and live performances.
Band leader Jason Williamson recently made the press for declaring that Noel Gallagher has “blood on his hands” after Gallagher whined about Ed Sheeran’s success. Gallagher responded with a personal attack on Jason in the NME, but then that’s what Noel does these days – release music so that he can make money out of interviews. What must really pain the Manchester four chorder is that Williamson is right. Oasis wrote some classic zeitgeist before descending into Coldplay territory (minus the album sales), releasing music for the masses and sucking up to evil warmonger Tony Blair.
If the Mods are the antidote to pop then they’re also the cure for tired old rock and maybe even the nearest thing we’ve had to real punk since the 70s, with new album ‘KEY MARKETS’ leading the charge.
(Sleaford Mods 29.4.2015 live at the Rockhouse Salzburg)
A snapshot of British life, anger and aggression, the band’s lyrics are often described as a stream of consciousness, which does a massive disservice to the brilliant writing, and if you genuinely believe that Jason writes with no consideration for what spills out then you’re an idiot. ‘Key Markets’ contains intelligent poetry as well as sharp humour, there’s a real comedy genius layered in with the anger, rebellion and disenfranchisement, that’s too often missed by people who only hear the surface vitriol.
Velvet Sheep are always pushing for people to see bands live, and seeing Sleaford Mods in the flesh has to be the only way to fully appreciate how much thought goes into everything they do. As Jason leads the way and delivers a captivating performance, glancing behind him you’ll see Andrew Fearn – beer in hand, occasionally pressing a button on his laptop, nodding away. Like a restrained bullshit free version of Bez or a council estate version of the Hitler looking bloke from Sparks, Andrew’s contribution is as understated as it is brilliant, as cool as it is funny. This is entertaining stuff, and likely the most thrilling and considered live act since Queen or The Sex Pistols. If you didn’t like 2014’s ‘Divide and Exit’ then nothing I say will convince you otherwise, but if you want to check out something genuinely organic, exciting and uniquely British, then ‘Key Markets’ is utterly essential.
RATING: SCREW THE RATINGS.