Sleaford Mods – 02 Academy, Liverpool 2/3/2019

A week after the release of their latest album Eton Alive, there was a decent turn out for Nottingham-based Sleaford Mods in Liverpool. The audience were predominantly men aged around forty plus, reflecting the duo’s age and visual aesthetic of Liam Gallagher style parka coats and caps.

Post-punk trio LIINES were booked to support, a rather complimentary act as they have a dark mood to their music rather reminiscent of old school punk influences. Vocalist Zoe McVeigh delivered a performance with all the attitude of Joan Jett and Beth Ditto combined, which was perfectly complimented by bassist Steph Walker and drummer Leila O’Sullivan. The only criticism was that the guitar and bass riffs started to get a tad repetitive in the first few tracks, but this was quickly broken down with an instrumental section third song in, and by the fourth song they had amped up the energy a notch. Leila’s drumming was impressively energetic throughout, aiding to the excitement of the audience. Overall the crowd seemed very impressed with the young band and gave a massive applause when exiting the stage.

Even more excitement erupted from the crowd once Sleaford Mods came on. Comedic qualities in both song context and performance were embedded into a modern punk genre, with vocalist Jason Williamson personifying the attitude of early era punk in a Johnny Rotten projection. Blowing raspberries and squatting in a gorilla stance during B.H.S. was evident of this sarcastically outraged style. Williamson’s lyrics were almost poetic in delivery, very much speaking for some of the older generation. He had a lot to say on today’s working-class people, pop culture and politics, friendships and rivalry down the pub.

His counterpart Andrew Fearn was projecting the audience back throughout the show, displaying dad dancing to the minimalistic looped beats he’d formulated, beer in hand always. The best performed song on the night was Tarantula Deadly Cargo, which received a positive reaction with the crowd. Notably, Top It Up had a quicker pace in beat which was a good half way mark in the set, followed by Big Burt that was pleasingly strong sound wise. Kebab Spider and Jobseeker were clear favourites amongst the audience, having a very enthusiastic atmosphere that showed that both their early work and latest material are equally enjoyed by listeners.