Words by Olly MacNamee / Lead image by Simon Parfrement
Birmingham Review first covered Sleaford Mods back in March 2014, whent they played the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath – brought to Birmingham by Nik Wells from PCM/House of God.
But having missed these guys when they retruned to the venue in February 2015, it’s pleasing to see that as their star continues to rise Sleaford Mods can squeeze in a second visit this year – this time bringing their ‘posh tour’ to the larger stage of The Institute in Digbeth, now promoted by national tour operators Goldenvoice UK.
Labeled as Post-Punk (whatever that’s supposed to mean) their influences, as you can hear for yourselves, do include the political anger and subversion of high Punk and John Cooper-Clarke, but also reflect a range of other genres too: anything from the Wu-Tang Clan to Mod culture, as their moniker would indeed suggest. After all, Jason Williamson did once play as a session musician with Spiritualizer, so it’s safe to say these musical magpies take what they like and mix it up to produce their street-smart style and sound. Sleaford Mods have even made time to lend their vocals to The Prodigy, featuring as guest vocalists on thier recent single ‘Ibiza’.
For me, they feel like an angrier, wiser, more politically aware Mike Skinner (The Streets). That’s the vibe I get from them, and that I can relate to if we’re playing the comparison game. I mean, they started off adding vocals over a Roni Size sample. But maybe it’s best to just take ‘em as you find ‘em – a pleasingly potty-mouthed band with a social conscience in a sea of mediocrity, one that tells it like it is to a crowd that already knows all too well.
And alongside such metioric awareness to Sleaford Mods’ sound in recent months, they’ve already compiled an impressive back catalogue to draw from as embark on another UK tour. You can expect them to play tracks not just from their recent album, Key Markets (a witty self-aware title, itself suggestive of their cheeky-chappie personas and new found fame amongst the masses) but also from past pressings too.
No doubt coming to Birmingham we should expect to hear their seminal song, ‘Tiswas’ (albeit a song with very little to do with Birmingham’s finest addition to the cultural landscape of Thatcher’s bleak Britain), as well as well-worn tracks from earlier offers such as ‘Divide’ and ‘Exit’ to boot.
If you’re lucky enough to be going to see Sleafoprd Mods – as previous gigs have been quick to sell out – then expect a raucous, rabble rousing set from one of Britain’s finest and most exciting bands at the moment. Just don’t bring the kids.
Sleaford Mods play the Birmingham Institute on Tuesday 29th September, as presented by Goldenvoice. For direct gig info, visit http://theinstitutebirmingham.com/listings/upcoming-events/20761/sleaford-mods-plus-special-guests/
For more on Sleaford Mods, visit http://www.sleafordmods.com/
For more from the Institute, visit http://theinstitutebirmingham.com/