Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute, 26 October 2017

Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017Sleaford Mods + Nachthexenpunx + Ceramic Hobs @ o2 Institute,  26 October 2017

Sleaford Mods have become quite a thing, most people have heard of them and most want to see them, hence this current tour, to promote the recent English Tapas album sees them playing their biggest venues to date. Tonight, is a case in point and both stalls and balcony are full, with an eclectic mix of punters covering the whole age spectrum from shouty middle aged punks to young school kids with, what would appear, is too much testosterone, given their continuous antics during the gig.

There are two supports tonight, and the first band are already splitting ears when I arrive. I must confess the wall of noise gets too much at one point and I did go out and down to the merch stand, who reliably inform me that currently on stage is Ceramic Hobs.

They are a four-piece outfit, keyboard, drums, a filthy sounding bass and a fella who shouts and screams into the microphone. Lyrics are indecipherable and to be honest their short set leaves little positive impression.

Next, we have Nachthexenpunx, an all-female outfit from Sheffield, again keyboards, drum and bass and a shouty vocalist. They start fairly slowly but as their set gets going the tunes up the pace and tempo and by the time ‘Ring Ring’ is played they are getting into their stride. They do remind me of the Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire vein, but that could simply be me making too much of their origins. I caught up with the keyboard player on the merch stand and she described themselves as “electronic driven experimental”. They certainly need another listen and are supporting for the remainder of the tour.

The stage is cleared and set, if that’s the right word, for Sleaford Mods. In essence we have a table (for Andrew to place his laptop) and a microphone stand, very much the set-up you’d get for a comedian in a club. At nearly a quarter to ten, the lights dim and Man to Man Parrish “Male Stripper” starts, which is a superb intro and the lads walk out to a loud cheer.

Jason remains as animated as ever, in a grey t-shirt which becomes drenched in sweat during the set. His arm also appears to be gaining more ink and he certainly is covering more of the (large) stage these days, even breaking out some moves during “Just Like We Do”.

The setlist is largely made up of the new album, but we do get some older songs and these particularly make the, ahem, more mature members of the audience move about more. There is little inter-crowd chat, apart from asking if we’re alright, which is asked of each area of the venue in turn. Of course, we’re alright, we’re watching a brilliant gig.

The three-song encore we are told “has been cut to seven minutes as we know some of you have trains to catch” and what follows is genius. Three older songs which sum up what Sleaford Mods are about.

I first saw them at the Hare and Hounds in 2015, in a postage stamp sized room, and they were edgy, exciting and fresh, offering a new experience. Today they still do those things, only the stage is now twice the size of the Hare and Hounds venue, and you can no longer see the whites of their eyes. They have not changed, Jason is still as animated, Andrew still pressing the buttons and bopping from side to side holding a can of lager. They are more commercial now, getting radio play (albeit censored) and have also had TV coverage, but personally the newer songs just aren’t as biting as the early stuff. As Jason says, “we’ve moved on”, and that’s good, but the acerbic wit does seem watered down these days.

However, Sleaford Mods remain an exciting live force, and prove that fancy lights and stage sets are not always required. They are about music, social commentary (tonight donations and collections are being taken by Shelter) and generally sticking two fingers up at the system. They are for many, the modern-day punks. Love them or loathe them, everyone who listens to music should see them live, at least once. It could be one of the best decisions you make.

Sleaford Mods continue to tour the UK throughout October and November.

Set-List

I Feel So Wrong

Army Nights

Just Like We Do

Snout

Moptop

Dull

Carlton Touts

I Can Tell

TCR

Time Sands

Routine Dean

Jolly Fucker

Drayton Manored

Cuddy

BHS

Jobseeker

Tied Up In Nottz

Tweet Tweet Tweet

 

Reviewer: Glenn Raybone
Photographer: Ian Dunn

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