Live Review: Sleaford Mods at Northampton’s Roadmender

Sleaford Mods peform at the Roadmender in Northampton. Photos by David Jackson
Sleaford Mods peform at the Roadmender in Northampton. Photos by David Jackson

For the second time in as many weeks, Northampton’s Roadmender is packed.

However, this time it isn’t for some young upstarts trying their hardest to convince you guitar music played by skinny-framed long-haired white guys is back. This was something entirely different.

This was snarling, working class rage from two middle aged men from Nottingham set to a minimalist electronic post-punk soundtrack.

With a number of releases already under their belt, Sleaford Mods, smashed their way through into the mainstream conscious last year.

Their latest album Divide & Exit was released in May and since then Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have been on the offense and unafraid of trash-talking the likes of Oasis and Kasabian along the way.

First up at the Roadmender was Northampton trio Anguish Sandwich who opened proceedings with a solid set of loud, abrasive rock.

Sleaford Mods walked on stage to the most minimalist of set ups which extended as far as a laptop perched on top of a bar stool and a mic on a stand.

Fearn, baseball cap on and hands in pockets, remained pretty much rooted to the spot all night, occasionally moving forward to launch the next track.

Williamson however, was like a pitbull, prowling around his microphone snarling into it with the ferociousness of Lydon in a time before butter adverts and clinging onto a bottle of water with his left hand with his right arm bent up behind him.

After an expletive ridden opener, the duo tore through their set with Williamson pausing only to ask for the effects to be taken off his vocals, asking the Roadmender: “Is there a bit of delay on my vocals or haven’t we sold enough tickets. Take it off mate. We’re not Hot Chocolate.

There’s songs about modern Britain, politics, consumerism, pop culture and unemployment all littered with profanities, the occasional funny walk.

Songs like Tied Up in Nottz and Tiswas proved that while their music sticks to a minimalist blueprint of beats, bass and electronic riffs, the pair can craft a hook laden three minute hit.

Sleaford Mods returned for an encore of Tweet Tweet Tweet before Williamson shouted the band’s name into his microphone and the pair walked off.

Not from Sleaford nor mods, but overflowing snarling working class rage and essential viewing.

Sleaford Mods return to the region for gigs at Craufurd Arms in Wolverton on Saturday, March 14 and the Zepher Lounge in Leamington Spa on March 24.

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