The Sleaford Mods have to be one of the most difficult bands to describe to someone who has never seen or heard them. For a week prior to this sold-out show at the Teregram Ballroom in Los Angeles, I’ve asked friends: “How would you describe them?” I even asked the dude I was standing next to at the front of the stage on Thusrday night … No one really has an answer other than, “you just gotta hear them.”

Well, against my better judgement and since this is actually a review of a live rockshow, I’m going to try. First, let me set the scene … There’s next to NOTHING on stage. No backdrop, no area rugs, no scampering roadies, no instruments … NOTHING except for 2 guys: Jason Williamson (the singer) and Andrew Fearn (the musician/laptop operator) and the following: 1 table, 1 laptop, 1 microphone, 1 microphone stand, 6 bottles of water and an electric fan. THAT’S IT!

Musically, they have been described as electronic minimalists, hip hop, low-fi, punk rock, post-punk, political and everything in between … And they are ALL of those things, and more. Alex Watkin of Impact Magazine said: “It’s quite a challenge to fully express the brilliance of this unorthodox combination and is something you never quite get used to.”

With a nod from Jason, Andrew hits the switch (or the return button on his laptop), the music starts and Andrew immediately starts dancing. When I saw them a few years ago, Andrew’s dancing might have been described as mellow. He stood behind or beside the laptop, feet planted, head bobbing, knees bouncing to the beat, but mellow enough to drink a tall can of beer during the dance. Now he’s put the tall cans down and is in full Jazzercise mode. His arms are swinging, legs are kicking … He’s having a blast and the audience is along for the ride. Andrew Trendell of the NME said it perfectly: “His joy is infectious.”

Jason, strutting and chicken walking across the stage, at times, seems to be having a conversation with someone off to stage left. Don’t get me wrong, he’s singing, and he f*cking means it, but he’s not always looking toward the audience. That said, he engages the audience, who sing along with him mimicking his thick English accent. At one point he simply said … “Enjoying it?” Of course, we all were.

Their set was full of tracks from their latest record SPARE RIBS like; Nudge, Elocution, Out There, Mork and Mindy plus some old favorites like Jolly Fucker, TCR, Job Seeker and their ever present Yazoo cover “Don’t Go.”  It was great set.

The band Sorry opened the show. A 5-piece indie band from Northern London who are getting some attention with their debut studio record, 925. They had a good crowd of supporters and are worthy of further investigation.

Sleaford Mods

Sorry

Author

I've done some stuff. I don't do as much now, but there's still stuff.

Write A Comment