Duo Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods graced the stage at The Irish Centre in Leeds. Sleaford Mods mock modern Britain, consumerism, politics and other current day issues. As Williamson’s satirical, c**t fest, rage fuelled, spoken word lyrics pour out of his mouth. You can quickly see why Sleaford Mods were chosen to play at Banksy’s Dismaland. Definitely not a gig you’d want to take your son or daughter to if you have a problem with the word c**t.
Fearn came onto the stage with a pack of Magners cider which kept him occupied as he provides the beats, by pushing a button on a laptop. Fearn steps back from his laptop moving like a bobble-head to the beat. Fuelled with profanity and a face like a bull in a china shop Williamson showered the mic in a spit of rage. “I knocked ya shit vase over one night” Williamson takes on pompous bastards who make money and only care about themselves (“Now he wonders why he sits in big house all on his own”) on the song ‘Bronx in a Six’.
‘Face to Faces’ sees Williamson take on political figures with lyrics like “Nick Clegg wants another chance, really?” and “Boris on a bike, quick knock the c**t over”. Not only does Williamson mock high key political figures, Williamson quickly mocks a couple of young punters who became rowdy and escorted out by security. Williamson saying “What’s happening here, too much mixers? Wank it off Son!”
Reiterating the songs meanings, Williamson shouts “This one’s dedicated to centuries of lies and f**k all!” ‘Williamson blasts into the song ‘No one’s bothered’ venting his anger, grasping the mic with a well composed stance. Fearn still nodding to his pre-recorded beats he enjoys a sip of Magners as Williamson steered around the mic stand.
The encore features ‘Tarantula Deadly Cargo’ – the song which shares the same title as a film that Williamson saw when he was young – opens with a piano composition, which is abruptly interrupted as a subtle gritty guitar riff is repeated on Fearn’s laptop, whilst all the while Williamson’s raspy Grantham vocals keep the punters gazing up at him. It was written to reflect the bleakness and horror Williamson faces travelling from gig to gig. While the song seems to stray away from the rest of the material they perform it still works, keeping it satirical. “Tarantula deadly cargo, it’s bent it”, “Alien dad dropping lethal cargo in the ship.” Dropping farts on the tour bus?
Like a gnarling dog ready to break free from its lead, Williamson’s hard man attitude is unstoppable. Yet in between songs he admits to the crowd that he’s ‘a forty-five year old with a young daughter.’ Song after song the crowd cheer for the Mods with Williamson saying “We want to thank you Leeds, every time we come and play, from the bottom of my heart and from the bottom of Andrew’s heart we really f*****g love you!”
The lyrics may be fuelled with profanity however Fearn’s pre-recorded minimalistic looped punk basslines and drum beats are well choreographed alongside Williamson’s vocals. The crowd is fixated upon Williamson’s stage presence as everyone chants along to the choruses like a bunch of hooligans at a football match, with spit spewing from their mouths and fists as they punch the air.
Sleaford Mods seem to be exceptionally popular with middle-aged men, as a handful of young punters say they had gotten into the band through their Dads. If you haven’t heard Sleaford Mods new record yet in Williamson’s own words “Go buy the bastard album!”