Review: Sleaford Mods, Rough Trade, Nottingham 4 March

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English Tapas

There’s little I like more than getting ready for a days work to the sounds of Sleaford Mods, guaranteed to make me angry and irritable. Great for days when dealing with members of the public.


News then that they were to unleash their latest album ‘English Tapas’, follow up to the vitriol filled ‘Key Markets’ fresh melodies to fuel my early morning fire, was welcomed and the invitation to a modest gig at Rough Trade by the neo punk duos record company to promote the launch, the perfect antidote to an otherwise miserable Saturday night.
The sell out gig drew fans of all ages, the angrier ones cementing themselves at the front of the stage, perfectly positioned to shout, chant and basically point at the Nottingham duo throughout their forty-five minute set of material.
Nearing their half century birthday’s, I’m not quite as old as the duo, but wise enough not to get myself wedged at the front of a gig, the result an interesting night at Notts Uni that resulted in me waking up the following day with blood in my ears some years ago.  No chance of that from the volume at this gig. Positioned as I was, to the side of the stage, the sound wasn’t nearly loud enough. Chants of ‘turn it up’ met the first number. It’s probably one of the few gigs, had I been with anybody (not a reflection on me, honest, more the fact that the gig was a sell out and they’d only spare me the one ticket) that I could have still held a conversation with the person next to me throughout the set. (not that I’d do that) Had I been with someone I could have asked them to pick me up festival stylie too (not that I’d do that either)  rather than spend the evening, all 5.6 of me stood behind apparent giants. It was actually a welcome relief when people held their phones aloft to take photos, that I actually got a glimpse through their zoomed in screen of what was going off.
From what I did see through other peoples view finders was the Williamson we know and love growing rapidly into the manic performance style you expect. As chants of ‘Sleaford, Sleaford, Sleaford Mods’ were hurled back at him. Thankfully, I’d heard the album, released the day before, otherwise, due to the poor sound system I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish one track from another, you couldn’t hear the spitting observations, only a rapid flurry of ‘f**ks’and ‘c**ts’ were just audible from our front man, ‘You fat b******d” audible from crowd,  before the set drew to a close with latest single ‘BHS’ and finally ‘Jobseeker’

So what of the new album? Well, our lads have created even more exciting and textured ways to accompany Williamson’s palpable venom. Dark themes are at the forefront, with a heavy helping of anger, humour, punchy beats and sharp lyrics. Just buy it, OK!

I couldn’t see em, I could barely hear em, but mate, it was Sleaford Mods


By Tanya Raybould

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