SLEAFORD MODS + DRY CLEANING – BRIGHTON DOME 3.12.21
There will most certainly be a couple of thousand music fans that will be thanking Live Nation concert promoters and the Brighton Dome Concert Hall this evening, after the energetic performances from Sleaford Mods and Dry Cleaning.
Sleaford Mods are a duo based in Nottingham, composed of vocalist Jason Williamson and musician Andrew Robert Lindsay Fearn (since 2012). They are known for their abrasive, minimalist musical style and embittered explorations of austerity-era Britain, culture, and working class life, delivered in Williamson’s thick East Midlands accent. The duo have released several albums to critical acclaim.
Before this evening, Sleaford Mods last appeared in Sussex on 20th April 2019, when they packed out the iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. The Brighton & Hove News Music Team were there to report on the night – Read our review HERE.
In January this year (2021), the Sleaford Mods blew the cobwebs off life and unleashed some much-needed wit and charm with their astonishing latest studio album, entitled ‘Spare Ribs’. Grab your vinyl copy HERE.
Recorded in lockdown in a furious three-week studio blitz at JT Soar in July 2020, the polemical Jason Williamson and dexterous producer Andrew Fearn, kicked against the pricks with unrivalled bite, railing against hypocrisy, inequality and apathy with their inimitable, scabrous sense of humour.
The ‘Spare Ribs’ album features Amy Taylor of Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers on the track ‘Nudge It’. British newcomer Billy Nomates also pops up on the album on a track titled ‘Mork N Mindy’.
The album follows on from their 2019 release ‘Eton Alive’, which was recorded in Nottingham. The record was the first release on Jason and Andrew’s own label ‘Extreme Eating’ and their first album since parting ways with Rough Trade Records. However, in a change of fortune, their latest record is back on Rough Trade.
This evening, those faithful gathered at Brighton Dome were subjected to tales and woes of 21st century life from the duo. They played no less than 10 of the 13 tracks found on the new ‘Spare Ribs’ album.
Prior to the start of their 23 song set, which commenced at 9:01pm, Andrew graced the stage early and set up the laptop which was positioned on top of a tour flight case that was laid on its side. This is a step up from previous tours with the use of a couple of plastic beer crates. He waved his arms forward, as in saying “Come on then!” and the punters cheered.
Behind Andrew, the road crew had set up two long curtains, which had diminished the stage area quite a bit and the other side of the curtains (behind them) there was a host of bright lights set in place. Seven overhead kitchen strobe lights flashed down on the duo as well and thus the minimalist stage was set for the proper arrival of Jason and Andrew.
For the whole of the 82 minute set, Andrew (stage right – our left) danced away in Bez fashion, only stopping after each number to click the laptop to bring on the next of his compositions. Meanwhile, Jason (centre stage) applied his fast and furious rants, no doubt many of which were written from his own personal experiences, for instance when (prior to the Sleaford Mods) he had a day job as a benefits adviser in Nottingham. You’ve got to say hats off to Jason for remembering the multitude of lyrics of each number. God knows how many thousand words he spouted at us during the night – very impressive!
One number down namely ‘Fishcakes’ from the 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album and the audience really showed their love from the outset by giving out great cheers. Track three was the fast and furiously delivered ‘Middle Men’, which is found on the ‘Divide And Exit’ album from 2014, was the best thus far for me.
‘I Don’t Rate You’ got an airing and this had a menacing deep rumbly bass which was durrrrty. Jason was continually parading and shuffling across the front of the stage, none more so than for ‘Face To Faces’. 2014’s ‘Jolly F*cker’ had a fabulously fast Sigue Sigue Sputnik style beat and ‘Thick Ear’ had like a shotgun beat.
By the time we had arrived mid-set with ‘T.C.R’ (Total Control Racing), the mixed aged audience were well on board and this number got the biggest applause to date, and justifiably so in my opinion.
They surprisingly dropped one cover during the set and that was ‘Don’t Go’ by Yazoo, which interestingly enough I had actually heard live 39 years and 23 days (14,268 days) ago by Yazoo in this very same building. Tonight’s version was a decent version.
I’m rather a sucker for a fast repetitive beat and thus the arrival of ‘Second’ (from the 2020 ‘All That Glue’ compilation album) was gratefully received. ‘Elocution’ was amusing as Jason begins this ditty by using a posh accent, but inevitably he quickly reverts to geezer talk. ‘Discourse’ (from 2019 ‘Eton Alive’ album) was probably the funkiest number on the night.
The penultimate number was ‘Jobseeker’, which I would suggest was the crowd’s favourite track, judging by the way they were singing along. Final number ‘Tweet Tweet Tweet’ had the fastest, most aggressive beat and vocals and was a great way to conclude an entertaining night out. They vacated the stage at 10:23pm.
Sleaford Mods setlist:
‘Fishcakes’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Shortcummings’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Middle Men’ (from 2014 ‘Divide And Exit’ album)
‘Spare Ribs’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘I Don’t Rate You’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Kebab Spider’ (from 2019 ‘Eton Alive’ album)
‘Face To Faces’ (from 2015 ‘Face To Faces’ split single)
‘Jolly F*cker’ (from 2014 ‘Chubbed Up +’ compilation album)
‘Mork N Mindy’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Thick Ear’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Tiswas’ (from 2014 ‘Divide And Exit’ album)
‘T.C.R.’ (from 2016 ‘T’C’R’ EP)
‘B.H.S.’ (from 2017 ‘English Tapas’ album)
‘Don’t Go’ (Yazoo cover) (unreleased)
‘Second’ (from 2020 ‘All That Glue’ compilation album)
‘Nudge It’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Elocution’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Out There’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Top Room’ (from 2021 ‘Spare Ribs’ album)
‘Discourse’ (from 2019 ‘Eton Alive’ album)
‘Tied Up in Nottz’ (from 2014 ‘Divide And Exit’ album)
‘Jobseeker’ (from 2007 ‘The Mekon’ album)
‘Tweet Tweet Tweet’ (from 2014 ‘Divide And Exit’ album)
(Outro tape) ‘Assault On Precinct 13 (Main Title)’ (John Carpenter )
Find out more information on Sleaford Mods HERE.
Support this evening came from band of the moment Dry Cleaning, who are a post-punk band who formed in South London in 2018 and composed of vocalist Florence Shaw, guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton. They are noted for their use of spoken word primarily in lieu of sung vocals, as well as their unconventional lyrics. Their musical stylings have been compared to Wire, Magazine and Joy Division.
There certainly has been a massive building buzz around this quartet since the release of their debut platter ‘New Long Leg’. So much so that Rough Trade named it as their ‘Album of the Year’ as have Resident Brighton, and that’s exactly where the band were just a few hours ago, when they performed the same seven song set to a packed out record store in Kensington Gardens.
This evening’s seven song set inside The Dome commenced at 8:01pm and ended a mere 31 minutes later at 8:32pm. In that time they most certainly won over many more fans. In fact, it was obvious that some of the crowd were already fans and no doubt came here specially to see them perform. The venue was almost as busy for Dry Cleaning as it was to be for Sleaford Mods.
The post punk opener ‘Scratchcard Lanyard’ (from the new album) was like all the other six tunes delivered with a deadpan talky delivery. Drummer Nick has a pleading bounce whilst playing and Lewis’s bass and Tom’s guitar both sounded mighty fine too. Tom has a confident swagger too, but let’s face it, he knew why as they went down a storm. Dry Cleaning’s world collides with the vocal poetry and the beat from the band.
Five of the seven tunes were from the latest long player, including ‘Her Hippo’, where Tom really rocked out. Both that and the finale ‘Magic Of Meghan’ were the best of their performance and all tracks were greeted with loud applause. It’s likely they will be back here at The Dome within 18 months as the headliners. John Peel, bless him, would have loved them.
Dry Cleaning setlist for Brighton Dome & Resident music:
‘Scratchcard Lanyard’ (from 2021 ‘New Long Leg’ album)
‘Unsmart Lady’ (from 2021 ‘New Long Leg’ album)
‘Viking Hair’ (from 2019 ‘Boundary Road Snacks And Drinks’ EP)
‘Strong Feelings’ (from 2021 ‘New Long Leg’ album)
‘Leafy’ (from 2021 ‘New Long Leg’ album)
‘Her Hippo’ (from 2021 ‘New Long Leg’ album)
‘Magic Of Meghan’ (from 2018 ‘Sweet Princess’ EP)
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