By Abi Whistance
This post-punk duo has been on my to-watch list since the explosion of Tied Up In Nottz in 2014, and with the arrival of Eton Alive this month I jumped at the chance to see them in all their glory. Unsure of what to expect of Williamson in action I assumed he’d stand there, arms firmly by his side whilst he charged through some hard-hitting content- prose style. He just seemed like that kind of performer.
But Ian Dury-esque flailing and fitting on stage, Williamson took no time in beating himself and kicking the air with brute force. Captivating from the get-go, they were entirely not what I expected. I for one was perfectly fine with watching him bob his head on stage, vent his spleen and play some songs I’d wanted to hear live for a while, but the compelling nature of his performance made it all the mightier for a Sleaford first-timer like myself.
With no jarring shifts between new and old material, they’ve kept to what they know works. And we know it works; the explosion of the band over the past year has been ground-breaking. It’s hard to imagine that this kind of sound would get this far if you were listening back in 2014, a sound that’s usually reserved for the pub down the road on a Saturday night. But something about them is just so riveting, the novelty of their rougher edges almost seeming, for want of a better word, charming.
This kind of divisive novelty they possess hasn’t really been seen since the collapse of The Fall, a kind where you’re not entirely sure if you like or dislike them, you just know they’re bloody brilliant. In the same weird and wonderful way Mark E. Smith attracted the masses with his eccentricity, Williamson commands that same level of attention out of both love for him or pure curiosity for what the hell he’s going to do next.
Sleaford Mods are one to keep an eye on; everything you’ve come to expect from the post-punk duo is blown out the water when you see these guys play, their music and performance in such contrast with each other it’s both marvellous and terrifying. I’d recommend sinking your teeth in.
Image Credit: Self-Titled Mag