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GIG REVIEW: Sleaford Mods With Support Liines; The Perfect Working Class Night Out Because It’s Not All That Stereotypically Working Class. The Old Firestation, Bournemouth, 3.5.2019.

Liines

When support act Liines announced on the Facebook event the early curfew and therefore their early stage time there’s a level of reluctance to rush down to the venue but when Liines had a healthy sized crowd who were in appreciation of their performance it’s clear Underscore Part 3 weren’t the only in attendance who had done a quick Spotify check to learn that yes, Liines are worth dragging yourself off the sofa for.

Post-punk has become such a broad scoping genre that we’re not sure anyone really knows what it means but if you believe punchy, abrasive, electricity that is tuneful are all terms that fit the genre, well, then Liines are post-punk (their Facbook describes them as post-punk too, who are we to argue with the actual band).

‘Liines are methodical and well calculated, no part of the sound is produced without careful thought.’

Listening to Liines gives you all the traits of the above genre but in a style of music that can often verge into the realm of sloppy desperately trying to become the next The Fall we thank Liines for taking their own direction; Liines are methodical and well calculated, no part of the sound is produced without careful thought. Unusually, the drum beats are often played on the off-beat, the bass in played by a crisp yet overdriven Rickenbacker emulating the sound you could imagine of Lemmy’s Motorhead when he’s too damn hungover for his full sound assault and the guitar is played on the lesser-spotted Curt Kobain model Jagstang; again, a likely sonic and stylistic choice. All this and we haven’t even started on Zoe’s vocals which carry as much weight and soul as the beautiful chaos the trio create; a perfect off kilter warm up to Sleaford Mods.

‘Zoe’s vocals which carry as much weight and soul as the beautiful chaos the trio create; a perfect off kilter warm up to Sleaford Mods.’

Sleaford Mods

‘[Sleaford Mods] reputation for being a ‘must see live’ act… makes no sense… but the best music and performance defies logic; Sleaford Mods are the purest example of this.’

Over the past 5 albums Sleaford Mods have built up reputation for being a ‘must see live’ act which from a logical point of view makes no sense, put simply it’s a guy pushing play on a laptop and a guy ranting but the best music and performance defies logic; Sleaford Mods are the purest example of this. Jason (vocals) and Andrew (production & live laptop ‘play button pusher’) show is honest theatre, there is no illusion, it is all there to see but it’s more than meets the eye of many of the audience too busy pogo-ing after a few beers to see. Prior to the bands set Andrew walked on to an eruption of cheers from the audience takes his laptop out of his back pack and sets up, he doesn’t pose for the audience but he’s aware that he’s being photographed and makes it easy for the audience to do so; this is soundcheck, in front of the audience, nothing to hide.

‘[The minimal free beers on the stage is a] metaphor for the 2 personalities, they’re here to do a job and not to take the piss out of their audience or anyone else involved.’

A short while later the band come out to and even larger eruption and after a brief greeting get straight into hit after hit with barely a second’s break. Whilst most bands are extravagant with their rider littering the stage with countless water bottles and beer bottles with just a sip drunk Jason has one water bottle that he returns to until it is done and Andrew the same with a handful of beers. This restrained attitude to the amount the band could request is a metaphor for the 2 personalities in front of us on stage, they’re here to do a job and not to take the piss out of their audience or anyone else involved. Recently Sleaford Mods announced a gig with £5 tickets for low income earners which has no terms & conditions, they want you to be as honest with them as they are with you.

‘Jason is a natural showman performing the working-class ballet, the rare performer that you can’t take your eyes off.’

Visually Jason is tower of a man with muscles on his arms adorned with tattoos in the manner that many would feel intimidated to have an altercation with; and let’s not forget the lyrics flavoured with every swear word possible, but again Jason is more than this. Sleaford Mods are never one that should be quickly judged; Jason is a natural showman performing the working-class ballet, the rare performer that you can’t take your eyes off. Jason’s instrument is the mic stand, the microphone and his body played with his right hand and nimble feet. At no point Jason is still; in fury he displays right hand ticks brushing his head, in rhythm he picks his mic stand like a bass guitar and in poetry he dances the stage part ballet, part ballroom, part actor playing the characters in his song. In this way Sleaford Mods plays like one-man theatre but Andrew plays the Meg White of The White Stripes part holding the room together with his pre-constructed beats and magnetism allowing Jason to lay his words on the room.

‘Sleaford Mods, a performance that is there as an open ticket for a pogo and dance no matter your background.’

With presentation and language many will have discredited the band as thugs, but this performance showed two examples of Jason’s humanity with the audience; one when thanking the audience with humility for their continuing support and the second more when in performance he accidentally spat on an audience member and visibly recoiled as he profusely apologised. Sleaford Mods, a performance that is there as an open ticket for a pogo and dance no matter your background.

 

Words: James Wadsworth



Underscore Part 3

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