feat. Sleaford Mods

24 Oct 2016

Sleaford Mods are a band that defy comparison. They’ve rejected suggestions of being influenced by punk acts like The Fall or Ian Dury, though the same sense of angry dissatisfaction, alienation and grim humour runs through their music.

Even the ‘Mod’ part of their name doesn’t help much – outspoken frontman Jason Williamson told Gigwise in an interview that the subculture 'doesn’t exist anymore', and that its foremost figure Paul Weller 'is too drunk on former glories to realise that he looks daft.'

The band’s music is defined by stripped-down yet gritty punk-inspired beats created by the other member Andrew Fearn, – fast, insistent, slightly rave-y drum rhythms and bass lines – underscoring Williamson’s lyrics.

Half-sung, half-shouted in his thick Nottingham accent, Williamson’s brilliantly-written lyrics reflect on life for and from the perspective of the working class, the disillusioned and the looked-down-upon. What really makes them work though is that they never seem smugly clever or po-faced, possibly thanks to the sheer force of invective behind them.

The two have dismissed accusations that the swearing in their songs (and even some of their song titles) is gratuitous, telling The Guardian: 'A lot of the lyrics come from day-to-day conversation at work or pub banter, which can be brutal, but is always funny. I suppose a lot of middle-class people never experience that kind of thing so they think I’m just swearing for the sake of it.'

The word that comes up most often when people describe Sleaford Mods live gigs is ‘visceral’, despite the unassuming figure the pair cut. They play without a live band, but you get the feeling that one would just get in the way. The anger, the authenticity, it’s direct, real, and totally unforgettable. 

Words by Charlie Hayton

Sleaford Mods play Brighton Dome on Monday 31 October.

This preview appears in the third issue of Brighton Dome feat.

feat. is a free music & culture magazine featuring exclusive content, interviews, and photos of some of the contemporary artists that we’re so proud to have gracing the stages of Brighton Dome’s iconic venues.