10 Pool Valley
***This preview is an updated version of one previously run for the band’s abandoned date in April 2014. Let’s hope Jason makes it this time! All tickets from the Albert gig are valid.***
If the band name Sleaford Mods gives you a vision of a nauseatingly unoriginal Jam revival act, a la The Rifles or The Enemy, banish them immediately. Sleaford Mods hate them and exist at least partially to reclaim the oft-abused “mod” term for a new generation of the politically and culturally unrepresented. It’s so convincing you wonder why Weller hasn’t considered making early Fall-esque bass guitar and primitive drum beat hybrids whilst rapping over it like pissed off, intelligent cross between Mike Skinner and Vinny Jones. The rush on hearing something so different from the norm and anti status-quo is as thrilling, visceral and immediate as anything in recent memory.
The duo from the Nottingham area originally started as a solo project for Jason Williamson (vocals), with Andrew Fearn (bass guitar/ beats) joining at a later point. Williamson released five albums on D.I.Y Nottingham label Deadly Beefburger before coming to the attention of UK noise and industrial label Harbinger Sound. The result of the pair’s first collaboration and new label debut Austerity Dogs was released in August 2013 and after taking some time to be recognized, featured in both the readers’ and writers‘ polls for Wire magazine’s albums of the year. It drips with blue collar, inner city rage and frustration – the opiated Wu Tang Clan beats augmented often by a two or three note bass riff. Nothing escapes Williamson’s ire; crap bands, awful junior managers, lad culture, hipsters, arse-kissers, low paid menial jobs, Northern Soul, Brian Eno, nasty booze, show-offs – he’s endlessly incredulous. There appear to be two default listener responses; shock at Williamson’s industrial language and take it or leave it message or laughter at how spot on he is.
New album Divide and Exit has been out since August and repeated the trick, albeit with slightly higher production values, better distribution and to an expanding audience. With recent single ‘Tied Up In Notts’ receiving some (very brave) radio play. The musical climate at last appears to be ready for something as culturally abrasive as these Nottingham lads, though comparisons to bands like the era-defining Sex Pistols seem a little premature. Live presentation will be a backing track and vocalist but Williamson’s aggressive delivery will keep things interesting.