I got a bleedin’ strop on, I’ll tell you mate.

1438759864_11393773_857748454300049_587296402972426246_oWell and truly missed the boat on this, a gig from more than a fortnight ago, now. Another truly cracking evening, though, and it deserves its moment…

Sleaford Mods, Bristol Bierkeller

… Although to be fair, I’m not really sure what else you can say about your second Sleaford Mods gig. I pretty much said what needed to be said the first time, really… and this wasn’t a whole lot different. Andrew Fearn stood around with a beer, Jason Williamson jogged about, cussed, belched and shouted a lot, people joined in noisily. Just the ticket.

But having said that, it was another really, really exciting evening and it was hard not to be energised and enervated by the sweary, sweaty parcel of energy and nerves before you. Even though I saw them not six months ago, the set was very different, about half the songs being new (I say “new”, largely from the Key Markets record which I’ve not bought yet, so not really new – but I have seen bands play the same set two years apart…). Williamson’s words are still stream-of-consciousness – jolts of anger and wit, ideas and words linking improbably, nonsensically with an indistinct clarity. It’s fair to say he still has something of a strop on…

If anything, the sticky-floored Bierkeller was even more worked up and disorderly than the Exchange had been in May, punters careening about and oi-oi-ing their way through choruses of spittle-flecked anger and good-natured argy-bargy. All pretty damn stirring…

The recordings are extremely noisy, but what are you going to do?

Jolly Fucker

No One’s Bothered

Tiswas

One of the things that was different this time round, was that a more than decent support slot had been arranged, in
the shape of Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life. The average keen-eyed reader of this Blog will of course recall that Ignorant was the co-founder of dyed-in-the-wool seventies anarchists Crass (I needed reminding…), whom I remember being more than a little nervous about, back in the day.

Things come round again though, don’t they? And it was something of a buzz to see an older, wiser but still very, very angry Steve Ignorant on stage before me. He’s obviously toned his act down a little, backedKWVNQY4H as he was by a modest, almost soulful band with actual tunes – not an electric guitar in sight. (Although, recent YouTubes suggest he’s still true to his noisy roots, most of the time.)

Softer the sound may have been, but there’s no question that Steve Ignorant also (still) has a bit of a strop on too; and another man who uses an impressive range of expletives – Williamson was no doubt backstage taking notes furiously. It was thrilling, challenging, even moving to see a 57-year-old man, still unhappy with the state of the world, still determined to speak out and still full of seething, bubbling ire.

I enjoyed his set immensely. Good man.

Love and a Lamp Post

Anyone’s guess how I got here!

CFpYpUyWMAAvmzt (1)Wow!

Gr-ea-t, rough night at the Exchange on Friday, courtesy of the indomitable Sleaford Mods.

Just, wow!

I’ve been to the Exchange a few times and always had a good time, but it always strikes me how small the place is. I remember Suuns and Speedy Ortiz being pretty packed, even though they’re pretty much niche bands still, so I was imagining it might get a bit tight with the Sleaford Mods in town. Simple… play two nights.

Old school, not sure too many bands would do that, these days.

Sleaford Mods at the Exchange, Bristol

Missed most of Kogumaza’s dense, swirling set, but they might be worth having a look at another time. Their standard indie, grungy look made the shambling figures who presently made their way to the stage stand out even more.

Andrew Fearn wandered on first and stood patiently on stage, obligatory beer bottle in hand, waiting for Jason Williamson to come skittering on later. Fearn’s role is apparently to sort out the rhythms and samples (they’re great, by the way – razor sharp, cheap and nasty beats and brain-numbing basslines), so by the time they’re on stage his only remaining function is to press a button and stand around looking pleased with himself.

Williamson, on the other hand, is a right old bundle of nervy anger and jerky awkwardness. Launching into a set which didn’t last much longer than an hour but which seemed to work in double time; it was as if he was drawing two breaths to every one of the rest of us. Shifting erratically about the stage, using a series of eccentric tics and semi-autistic gestures, he tore through a (Mc) flurry of sweary, semi-coherent tongue twisters with jaw-dropping energy and no-little dexterity. At the time, we thought he looked a bit like severely-constrained Mick Jagger in some of his stylings, but when Josie saw the YouTube videos afterwards, she said straight away that he had something of Ian Dury about him. (And she’s right…)

It was a cracking set, taking in Jobseeker, Jolly Fucker and Tied Up in Notts amongst a bunch of other profane classics. I would’ve liked to hear him deliver the “You walk around like you just wrote Jimmy Mac, fuck off, twat!” line from The Committee, but there was more than enough wit and smart-arsery to satisfy even the archest of punters.

He blew raspberries, swore royally and joked about like he was having a rare old time. Introducing the last song, he apologised for the shorter set and quipped that the previous night they’d played for two hours, brought sandwiches along and gave everyone a tenner. And with that he steamed into a version of Jobseeker which was actually a fair bit more boisterous than this version from the Thursday night

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc9CB4890nM%5D

(Presumably the feller with the sandwiches was round the other side…)

The recordings are a bit raucous but pretty representative of a hugely exciting evening. Get it down!

A Little Ditty

Jobseeker

Tied Up In Notts

Tarantula Deadly Cargo