Barely 4 months since Sleaford Mods' last Leeds gig, (a memorable hoedown at the Brudenell in case you were wondering), the ever increasingly visible pair of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have managed to step up another rung on the live circuit ladder. It seems they’ve absorbed their way into a certain section of the nation’s consciousness, helped in no small part by a clutch of summer TV appearances, the crowd-funded state of the nation documentary ‘Invisible Britain’ not forgetting a couple of key musical collaborations with natural bedfellows Leftfield and The Prodigy. Recent new album ‘Key Markets’ even managed to grace the i-tunes download charts for one heady week in July, as the veritable anti-zeitgeist gathers pace.
Tonight it’s the Irish Centre that’s packed to the rafters, that’s 800 punters to you and me, meaning five figure gate receipts for an evening’s work. Considering the two of them only recently decided to give up the day jobs and concentrate on their musical careers full time, they must be chuffed to fuck at the moment as they live the dream, particularly as their lo-fi delivery style has not changed a bit and that’s probably just the way their audience want it.
As the pair assume their usual positions following sterling work from support slot, the ex-Crass and Conflict frontman Steve Ignorant, still carrying the torch after all these years, Williamson announces in his East Midlands twang ‘All Right Leeds it’s a full ‘ouuuuse, one-‘undred-and-eighty!’ as they launch into their blitzkrieg set with ‘Key Markets’. For a moment one asks oneself if their minimalist sound system has overstretched itself here as it seems to be a little bit quiet with too much bass. Saying that, after a couple of minutes you’re left with the opinion that the uneven sound probably adds to the occasion as new album favourites ‘Live Tonight’ the skank-tastic ‘No One’s Bothered’ and ‘Face to Faces’ fly by, the latter including the first of many stage side incursions by the rowdy locals, this time the culprit taking three from security to shift him. Judging by the blasé reaction of Williamson and Fearn, this seems to be a frequent occurrence at their live shows. Indeed some of the bolder members in the throng start a game of cat and mouse with security, sporadically leaping on stage, only to dive back off when the men in black start their advance, making an interesting diversion.
All the crowd favourites whizz by getting the mosh pit going nicely, including ‘Jolly Fucker’, ‘Fizzy’ ‘Tiswas’, ‘Giddy on the Ciggie’, ‘Tied Up In Nottz’ and despite the ranting delivery, the show is clearly tight as fuck as spittle fuelled vocal always seems to end in perfect unison with the taut backing tracks. Closing the main set is the brilliant ‘Jobseeker’ unlikely ever to be on the IDS in-car playlist. ‘Tarantula Deadly Cargo’ and ‘Tweet Tweet Tweet’ complete a short encore as the lads give their heartfelt thanks to the attending faithful and then they’re off into the night.
To coin a quote from their ‘Invisible Britain’ trailer, ‘Hope is found in anger’.
Words - MikePrice
Sleaford Mods official
Leeds Irish Centre