Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sleaford Mods

La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
Four stars

“This is a Sleaford Mods disco party,” the Nottingham-sired duo's demonic frontman Jason Williamson roars at one point before launching into Tied Up in Nottz, “and you're all invited.” It had already been a busy week for Williamson and and feral-looking trucker-capped beats-meister Andrew Fearn even before this first of four sold out dates in Scotland, which culminates in a show at Glasgow Art School on Saturday. The night before, Williamson and Fearn had played live on BBC TV's Later...With Jools Holland as the unlikely musical meat slapped between a sandwich of Burt Bacharach and Labi Siffre.

There will be more on the forthcoming extended edition of the show, though it's unlikely to top the Mods' third visit to Edinburgh, a trip which began two years ago when they played to a handful of curious Noise fans in an Old Town basement dive before gatecrashing a performance art night next door. With such a pedigree, their wilfully belligerent austerity era state of the nation address takes on all comers in a set drawn largely from this year's Key Markets album.

Williamson propels himself into the title track with a gobby fury matched by the spindly relentlessness of Fearn's laptop-drawn rhythms. While Williamson is a pent-up ball of pub philosophy on nihilistic terrace anthems like No One's Bothered, Fearn stands shuffling with his hands in his track-suit pockets, lip-synching to Williamson's verbal assaults on the way we live now. Flicking the on switch for each song is his only concession to performance. The result sounds like a musical collision between Madchester savants Happy Mondays and New York electronic confrontationalists, Suicide, and for the moment, at least, is an essential display of back-street poetics borders on the riotous.

The Herald, October 16th 2015

ends

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