To the haters of Sleaford Mods,
As soon as I heard that Sleaford Mods would be making their Later Live…With Jools Holland debut, I knew that you’d all come out of the woodwork and your reaction to the duo from Nottingham, would set the Twittersphere ablaze with divided opinion.
I knew that as soon as they performed at least a couple of you who tuned in specifically for John Newman and his awesome hair would be bitterly disappointed, but I wasn’t quite ready for how equally passionate and misguided your opinions would be.
So, on the 13th of October; with one eye on Twitter and one eye on the TV screen, I waited for them to perform with an air of optimism. As gleefully as ever Jools Holland introduced Sleaford Mods, the lights went low, Andrew Fearn pressed play on his laptop and bounced around, beer in hand. Lead singer Jason Williamson unleashed ‘No One’s Bothered’ accompanied by his own unique dance moves, to you, the BBC2 viewing public. That optimism quickly evaporated as both eyes turned to Twitter; as soon as they were done you all promptly exploded with confusion, disgust and anger.
On the one hand I can understand your gripes, because out of all the bands working today no one quite divides opinion as much as Sleaford Mods. For a start you can’t really put them in a box, which always seems to piss people off. Is it Punk? Punk-Hop? Post-Hip-Hop-Punk? Or is it just an angry man and his mate poetically ranting about the mundanity of modern life?
Well the answer to that (brace yourself it’s gonna annoy you) is yes AND no. Sleaford Mods are just Sleaford Mods, the only box they fit into is the one they have created for themselves which is why their ever growing fan base loves them, and ironically was the basis for your cyber-hate.
Yet on the other hand it baffles me that you would have anything but great things to say about Sleaford Mods.
I’m a huge fan, which makes me bias but at the same time surely a band who writes lyrics such as this: “Laughing me head off at the old cows that grazed on grass from the boom/ It soon turned its jet on ya face and boom/ Burnt you Puff Daddy, it maced ya bastards…” Should only be loved and given some sort of award for managing to slip a Bad Boy Records/Mase reference into a song?
Or even better than that: “Your attack is just that, a tack/ It keeps your dinner dates on the fridge you fucking twat!” This is the pure un-filtered genius you’re missing out on.
My point is they’re different, they’re unique, and as music fans this is what we should want right? A breath of fresh air from the countless Indie bands doing a bad impression of The Strokes. Well, no, if your thoughtless tweets are anything to go by, it appears you all seem to think music began and ended with Led Zeppelin.
Your unfounded anger towards the duo was ridiculous to me. You were genuinely offended that Andrew Fearn, the man behind the instrumentals of Sleaford Mods, just pressed play on a laptop and didn’t do much else. You were perturbed by Jason’s lyrics and delivery and the whole stripped down nature of their aesthetic.
What you don’t realise is that this is exactly why they are brilliant. Everything about them is a massive “fuck you” to how you think music should work. It’s challenging, it’s engaging and with just a laptop, a loop and beer soaked fury, they can produce more thought, more joy and more potency than any band armed with their second hand Les Paul’s and stolen blues riffs.
You might say I’m just angry at you because you don’t like a band that I like, which isn’t true, in fact I’m upset FOR you, because I know how much you’re missing out on one of the best bands around, and as a music lover, this makes me sad.
The real source of my anger is that you are the same people who lament about how the music scene in the UK is boring and uninventive, yet you are instantly turned off by anything new, exciting and different.
Right now there is no band as exciting and as different as Sleaford Mods and I know you are reading this, still unconverted thinking you may have spoken too soon. Well fear not, there’s still time. Sleaford Mods are the answer.