“I wish I had the time/To be a wanker just like you”
“You got no chin; an’ you got no balls to chin ’em with“
“The trappings of luxury can’t save you from the nail-biting boredom of repetitive brain injury”
“Shotgun lager hotty, like PornHub, sticking constantly”
“Even when your heart hangs like a loose stool that won’t drop”
“You fucking class tourist, you mix your social groups up”
“Levelling up like a Tory twat”
“I hate you and your girlfriend, you clueless cunt”
Jason Williamson has a lot to say, and most of it is filtered through a particularly caustic British wit rife with expletives. I’m sure his iPhone doesn’t try to autocorrect ‘fuck’ or ‘cunt’ or ‘shithead’ as they have been burned into its custom lexicon. Sleaford Mods took a while to get over to play a show in Boston but finally last year they hit The Sinclair, and last weekend they nearly sold out the twice as large Paradise Rock Club in front of an approving crowd.
As touring bands go, no need for a tour bus with the Mods; it’s just Williamson and his cohort Andrew Fearn who hits ‘play’ on his laptop to queue up the next round of beats. No backline, no amps, no instruments. A microphone doesn’t take up a lot of storage space. That also meant the stage was pretty barren. Fearn had his gear set up at the middle point of stage right, leaving Williamson to roam around 90% of it. He did his funny little dances, twirling his hands and squatting and duckwalking all the while spitting out invectives that would have made Redd Foxx blush.
The first time I saw the Mods over in Dublin at the start of 2019, Fearn hung behind his laptop with a handful of Heinekens at his feet. He’d spend most of his time either pressing a button to advance the next track, or swig down some beer. He’s a lot more active now, doing his arm and leg dances non-stop throughout each song. Getting his steps in. Williamson has slowly gone the other way, at least in delivery. Early records had him spitting words so fast you could hear the sharp intake of air into his lungs as he reloaded the next salvo, spraying saliva as the lyrics jettisoned out of his mouth. His vocal delivery isn’t nearly as frenetic these days, but the targets still get punctured with fierce accuracy. Long live the Mods, come back soon.
Mods didn’t string together a big tour, just some East Coast dates before they flew to California for a few others before playing Coachella and as such there wasn’t an opening band hitting each show with them. Boston had locals Muzzins open, and I couldn’t quite grasp what they were trying to get across. The drummer was very solid, both in sharp delivery of hip-hop oriented beats and also doling out some good Chris Farley faces. The bass player had a bit of Hooky in him, some moody post-punk is certainly in his record crates. The singer was the the wild card, sometimes adopting a strange accent, playing keytar and also the occasional out of tune melodica line. The jury might still be out on this one.