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Confetti - Your Future

Sleaford Mods Nottingham Weekender: The Gig

12 October 15 words: Bridie Squires

We got down to Rock City to check out Nottingham's gobbiest pit stirrers in their UK Key Markets tour

Don’t know why, but Sleaford Mods didn’t really stick at first. I’d heard the name bandied around, heard Tied Up In Nottz in the background somewhere, but just never paid them much attention. At some point I heard Fizzy. Then Tiswas. Back to FizzyTweet Tweet TweetDouble Diamond. Jesus Christ. McFlurryJobseeker. Where the fuck did this come from? I was hooked.

My neighbours were pissed. Albums were on repeat, with Jason Williamson’s axe of a voice chopping its way through the back door alongside Andrew Fearn’s funky synths and thick smoke-laden guitar sounds. Soon after my obsession landed, so did a ticket to their Rock City gig. Involuntary top lip curl.

Mark Wynne was the first support act. I only managed to catch a glimpse of his naked back bent over his guitar as I got the first pint in, but there was a good amount of laughter floating out of the crowd. Worth a listen if partial to stuff like Jamie T, Scroobius Pip and, of course, the ‘Mods.

Kagoule were up next. Been wanting to see these earworm-inducers for ages and they more than lived up to expectations. Opening with Adjust the Way and moving onto Glue, their reinvigorated, Nirvana-esque sound got me gawking, same with the way bassist Lucy and guitarist Cai hung off their instruments all vacant and possessed while drummer Lawrence thrashed the shit out of his kit. A few more tunes and a particularly spine-tingling Urth instrumental smashed us in the chests before they ended on It Knows It. 

Enter Cappo. Heavy lyrics, a thud of a raspy flow, and loads of hype. Cappo’s been on the local hip hop scene for years and his steady, accomplished style shows that. When joined on stage by fellow R.A.F rap group members Juga-Naut and Vandal Savage was when things really took off though. All three waving and stomping around created layers of booming voices and energy, glistening beats and conscious lyrics included.

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photo: Dave Parry

The crowd suddenly mirrored a massive game of sardines. Pegged near the front, I gritted my teeth in excited anticipation, no class-As required duck. Andrew Fearn/the less gobby one/Extnddntwrk bounded out to cheers, set up his laptop and disappeared backstage, grinning. Collective chants of Key Markets opener sample “Sleaford Mods, Sleaford Mods, Sleaford Sleaford Sleaford Mods” echoed.

And out they came. No bullshit, straight in. I can’t even remember what they opened with cos I was too busy pouring beer all over myself, clutching onto the edges of a swirling pit of angry, sweaty blokes and gyally, screwing face in pure bliss. Loads of different kinds of people all getting stuck in, booming Jason’s poetry back at him.

The duo are nothing short of mesmerising: Jason with his hand jutting out from his hip, ruffling the back of his hair with sweat and spit spraying out into the light, all over the microphone; and Andrew, with one hand stuffed in his pocket, the other clutching a beer bottle, bopping away and singing with the rest of us. Mr Williamson powers through with gutter chat, grimacing at the crowd like we’ve just shat on his shoe, with intermittent cheeky smirks and a bent stance that says “Oo-err then!” The man has a naturally hilarious and dominating stage presence to champion that aggressive rant and pent-up roar. This is the musical equivalent of a small penis humiliation fetish. And we love it.

Mr Fearn’s beats, stomping somewhere on the edges of punk, electronica, hip hop, and rock, came in the form of Tiswas, No One’s Bothered, Face To Faces, Fizzy, and loads more that got lost in the ether of shit-loss. A proper Notts gig, summat that will go down in history. When Sleaford Mods came back out for their encore, they finished on Tweet Tweet Tweet and then finally did one, while everyone continued to chant that eerie bass choir for about five minutes. A deep, resonating, united bass sound. Claps came in, boots were stomping.

This is optimistic pessimism. Beats that rule with iron fist and chuckle, and a voice that slaps you across the face and says “Look up, you twat” while having a boogie at the same time. Jason Williamson’s poetry doesn’t have any answers, but it shouts out a fair few damn good questions and points about stuff what’s shit duck.

Sleaford Mods played at Rock City on Friday 9 October 2015

Sleaford Mods website

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