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2017 10 07 Sleaford Mods at O2 ABC davidmcandrew 001

Necessary & Urgent: Sleaford Mods, Live in Manchester

03 November 2017, 17:50 | Written by Simon Edwards

Sleaford Mods are a band whose reputation precedes them. After rigorously touring over the last few years, they have honed their craft and built up a dedicated, diehard fan base. Tonight is my first time seeing these heroes in action, and I can’t fucking wait.

After watching a number of performances over the summer, I am chomping at the bit to be in the same room as this ferocious duo. On paper, Sleaford Mods definitely shouldn’t work. The band comprises of two contrasting personalities – one, a laid-back, lo-fi producer, whose main duty during performances is to hit play on his laptop whilst supping at premium lager; whilst the other stalks the stage, growling his gloom-ridden lyrics to their adoring fans.

Their sound is an intriguing blend of punk, hip hop, and the litter-strewn streets themselves; brought to life by Andrew Fearn’s DIY bassline heavy beats. This energetic fusion gives lead-singer Jason Williamson the perfect backdrop to spit his tales of England’s dark underbelly. His style swerves between John Cooper Clarke, Mike Skinner and Ian Curtis – his constant twitching and hypnotic jolts making him look as if he has been possessed by a very pissed off higher-being. His lyrics are a constant tirade, recounting a constitution and country tearing at the seams; a charismatic preacher who is given the perfect pedestal to be heard – the live stage.

The way that Williamson ties his words together is simultaneously off-the-wall, unorthodox and incredible. His abstract ideas are doused with misery and humour, barely giving you time to recover as he hits you with another barrage of quick-fire, razor-sharp observations, scavenging for the poetry within our mundane lives.

The UK is perched on the edge of the unknown. None of us know which way we are going, whilst some of us just sit on the train with our eyes to the ground, avoiding the outside world as we get on with our day. Sleaford Mods are a band that refuse to let this happen; their live presence demands that you stand up and listen, and I can barely tear my eyes away.

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