Post-punk music duo Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, known together as Sleaford Mods, bring their self-aware rambling lyrics and electronic minimalism back home to Nottingham – playing at the keynote venue of Motorpoint Arena. Alex Watkin reviews…
As Williamson says Nottingham is “a sh*thole, but it’s home!” and so with the band touring the British Isles there was certainly the feeling in the crowd of a homecoming with the band back in Nottingham. Tied Up In Nottz was naturally part of the setlist and was one of the highlights of the show, engaging the whole crowd. Williamson did warn the crowd that if anyone sees him out and about not to mess with him – reminding the audience on at least two separate occasions that he’s “hard”… “these days”.
a challenge to fully express the brilliance of this unorthodox combination
This kind of self-aware ‘hardness’ is at the core of Sleaford Mods and allows them to be both endlessly amusing and tackle genuine experiences of austerity-era Britain and life on the periphery. As is well known by now, all Fearn does on stage is press play on a laptop for the backing track and then allow Williamson to unleash his shouty lyricism into the mic. It’s quite a challenge to fully express the brilliance of this unorthodox combination and is something you never quite get used to.
Williamson was brilliant on the night, not always just replicating the vocals on the studio recording. The rendition of Jobseeker was particularly memorable. Throughout the evening the audience enjoyed and reciprocated a raspy ‘argh!’ which Williamson frequently added at random intervals. Fearn too was particularly lively with his background dancing, and often stole the show.
A special mention must also go to Billy Nomates who performed as a support act before Sleaford Mods, and for her part of the single Mork n Mindy. As a lone performer with sound designed by her, there was something really promising about her performance and she is one to watch for the future. Also unforgettable was Williamson’s early appearance as part of Billy Nomates set that the audience thoroughly enjoyed – heightening anticipation for the main act.
one of the most original and intelligent bands right now
There was a great sense of collaboration on the night with Amy Taylor also making an unexpected guest appearance for Nudge It, allowing for a complete Sleaford Mods experience. The inclusion of Amy Taylor and Billy Nomates on Sleaford Mods latest album ‘Spare Ribs’ allowed for a well-rounded setlist.
Sleaford Mods continue to be one of the most original and intelligent bands right now. On the night they covered all the songs you’d expect with rough and ready creative flair. Yes, many of Sleaford Mod’s songs follow a similar spoken word formula, but their discography post-‘Spare Ribs’ is more varied than you might assume and there is undoubtedly plenty more to come in the future.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @sleaford_mods via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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