Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

Beer bellies prove no hindrance to fellas in their 50s who leap like salmon to fall at the feet of Sleaford Mods. 

Baby-faced security struggle to contain over-exuberant stage-invading OAPs. 

But before the chaos are LIINES from Manchester. 

The post-punk band are dressed in black and make a lot of noise for three people.

They jolt into action and draw a big crowd. In fact, it’s the largest audience for a support slot I’ve ever seen at the Brewery.  

LIINES are part-Belly, part-Elastica, part-1979-era-Cure.

Within ten seconds of the first song you know front-woman Zoe McVeigh and her bandmates are going places. 

They deliver no-nonsense in-yer-face sound.

McVeigh’s vocals are raw yet strong while Leila could take the title of the most energetic drummer I’ve ever seen.

I’ve spent a lifetime missing support bands. Exactly 27-years-ago this weekend I watched Ride at Liverpool Royal Court and snubbed the support act: some kids from Wigan called The Verve.

I’m pleased I got in early for LIINES - but am shattered some quick-footed fan grabbed their setlist for his bedroom wall before I could. 

Now for the Mods. 

Songwriter Andrew Fearn looks like he’s just jumped off the Mega Bus. 

He lifts laptop from backpack, plugs it in and pulls out two bottles of beer. So that’s the stage set-up complete. 

Moments later singer Jason Williamson appears powerfully pumped-up - like a boxer in a world title fight. 

Sleaford Mods mix Fearn’s brilliant beats with Williamson’s bolshy commentary on life in Britain.

Subject matter for Williamson’s lyrics include drug abuse at a drug user’s funeral, despair down the dole office, TCR toy racing, and having two wheelie bins instead of one… 

It’s stunningly surreal watching him pogo across a stage as 400 worshippers pogo with him. 

The delivery is explosive, stark and at times, highly comedic.

We are treated to every expletive under the sun and it’s completely stunning. A true work of art. 

It would be easy to say that Fearn has the easiest job in live music. He just dances and sups beer.

He’s a bit like Happy Mondays’ Bez - with less hand/arm movements.

But it’s entirely right that one of the nation’s most talented songwriters should bask in the brilliance of his own creations. 

The sold-out audience get more and more frenzied during the 70 minute set which prompts stage invasions and security meltdowns. 

Sleaford Mods have a new album Eton Alive which is short at 38 minutes but could last long in the British psyche.

It could already lay claim to be Album of the Decade. 

There’s no encore, the band depart Cumbria in a fast car. 

It’s so rock’n’roll. 

We’ll never recover. 

DICKIE FELTON

(Sleaford Mods photo credit: Ian Latta)

Sleaford Mods are on tour supported by LIINES.

 

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