Jason Williamson singer of Sleaford Mods live at the Junction in Cambridge on the 8 Oct 2015

Jason Williamson singer of Sleaford Mods live at the Junction in Cambridge on the 8 Oct 2015Stark and simple.

No pizzaz. No showbiz.

Sleaford Mods on Jools Holland was a startling moment.

A monochromatic blast from the other side of midnight. A missive from a world a long way away from comfy London media-land.

It was a great moment.

Like when a punk band got on Top Of The Pops in them old days – a moment when ‘one of our bands got through’.

The intensity of delivery was undiminished by the cruelty of TV and the band were as defined and perfect as ever. It looks even better seeing Andrew stand there, pint in hand after pressing ‘go’ on the laptop – an anti music gesture as he shuffles from one foot to the other- the perfect foil to Jason’s shut eyed poetic assault.

It should never work but its perfect.

Deceptively simple this is a stunningly effective music. Someone on my twitter feed called them the Crass of their generation and it’s kinda true. There is complexity in the simplicity and the brutal assault is only a mask for the paid and the angus and the emotional spree that is contained in the poetic an lyrical shards and snippets.

The Sleaford Mods felt like an event. This was not your usual TV fare and they will have split opinions everywhere like all the best bands ever did. Their black and white, their simplicity, their cutting away of the fluff and the bullshit was the perfect riposte to the grin and bear it culture of the mainstream pop parade and lets not forget Sleaford Mods are a pop music as well.

Someone else on my twitter said they got the shivers when the band played and I understand them.

This was a moment. A cultural moment. One of those rare moments when music TV crackled to life.

And Jools went nowhere near them with his piano…

Previous articleLaurence Jones | Red Butler: Grimsby – live review
Next articleKilling Joke : The Death and Resurrection Show : film review
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I thought it was absolutely excellent, and you cover my thoughts above. Stark, angry, minimal, direct, austere in every sense of the word. I liked SM before, now I love ’em

  2. From out of nowhere. Brilliant. Joolz had just finished his yearly chat with Bert Bacharach and then this. Fresh

  3. Their live show is an experience not to be missed. Get down the front and dance your arse off to Andrew’s tunes as Jason’s invective snaps past like the bullets in Saving Private Ryan, barely registering on a subconscious level before the next one whips by.

  4. I have to admit for some reason or other i’ve been very slow at discovering this band.I remember watching the Pistols first live performance on Tony Wilsons So It Goes and the Sleafords performance was a little like that. I have never been so excited to see a band in such a long time and I think I know the reason.They are pioneering the return of REAL music and issuing a two fingered salute to Simon Cowell.

  5. Looked like showbiz to me. Wheeling in the props of a keg & a crate to proudly rest your ‘anti music gesture’ on, clutching a half empty pint of ale to help illustrate your image? It’s become an act, and that’s showbiz I’m afraid.

    • Except of course it was business as usual. Would you have preferred a glass of wine and a chrome music stand?

      I accept your tilt at when does not caring = caring (you’re so anti-fashion so wear flares…) but they are what they are.

      The bandwagon is slow enough for anyone to jump off just as fast as they jumped on.

    • I think this is more a case of substantiating identity than a form of exhibitionism. Might as well call The Fall’s Kurious Oranj stage props ‘showbiz’ too.

    • obvs fine if ya don’t like ’em. no probs. but honestly there was no showbiz set up there. the keg was their way of doing things, they dislike props, always have done. so it was a keg , probably lying about, or a nice shiny d.j table. you have to choose, so they did. they are decent men, very true and honest i believe. if you think the tunes are crap than fair enough but really, they are the last band I can think of that you you could accuse of showmanship. and def not trying to piss you off/start a row. just think you are mistaken. not even sure why i am posting this, suppose i hope you will take my word on it. if you were lying in the street i think these lads would be more inclined to stop and help ya out than any other band i can think of. that’s about it. no offence, no agression. all the best to ya.

  6. Why compare them with anyone? Judge them on their own merit. Comparison is odious. A cycle of self defeating argument. Rhetoric. They’re brilliant. Standalone. Necessary. In our time. Of our time.

  7. The only music makers that are saying anything at the mo, to see them live is electric, i played drums for a band jason williamson sang for briefly back in the early 90’s , he had swagger then, im so chuffed he’s never given up and that people are listening to him now! …… Exciting times

  8. Angry thick bloke talking shite over non-music. This is the future guys. Sorry, but if I want to listen to an inarticulate moron from Nottingham, who thinks he’s really clever and one of the people when he’s not, I think I’ll go to Nottingham and hang out with the binmen. At least they won’t look like some twat of a Weller wannabe.

    • Don’t think Jason has ever suggested he is clever or especially articulate. Have never understood how you go from disliking or even hating a band’s sound/presentation to making personal slurs. I find it odd, but maybe I’m just getting old! You probably have a passion for music and (I’d hope) no particular bigotry against binmen. You could simply say you hated it and left it at that. Yet you chose to make a comment that insulted a huge group of folk, many of whom are far smarter than me, and, perhaps…,you. No harm in disliking a band but why come across as a social bigot? I mean no personal offence, honestly. Just an observation.

  9. Can someone please upload this video of Sleaford Mods on Jools Holland for us SM fans in the states? Like the old pirate with the steering wheel on his crotch said, “Arr, it’s drivin’ me nuts!”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here