Why I am turning into an aimless person

Sleaford mods: The art of rabble

»The best fucking song since› Anarchy In The UK ‹.« Photos: Wolfgang Tillmans

The British artist Scott King wrote for SPEX N ° 354 about the compatriots and swear-spitter kept by Sleaford Mod's diary and photographed by Wolfgang Tillmans.

September 9, 2013. It all started with a coincidence: I sat in my dining / study room in the afternoon and killed time. I should have been working, but couldn't concentrate and instead clicked aimlessly through YouTube videos. Everyone should know from their own experience how quickly you can lose sight of time and space there: You type in something that you originally want to see, but instead get stuck in the right column, where the "related videos" are suggested. For example, I absolutely don't remember how I came up with MC Pitman that day (does anyone remember the comedy rapper from Nottingham who raped biscuits but dressed like a miner?), But the right column recommended instead of Pitman I got track 1 from a band called Sleaford Mods. Even if middle-aged men like me are usually very irritated when you want to encourage them to listen to this or check this out, I watched the clip. In this case, I even wanted to see the video because someone had told me about the Sleaford Mods the day before and said I would definitely like them. Well: I didn't like her - I loved her. It was like lightning from the blue, it was divine revelation. This guy alone: ​​standing there on a darkened stage, poison and bile screaming its way out - and obviously for an audience that consists of zero spectators. It was exactly what I had been waiting for all my life. This guy is my new hero. Then I sent everyone who got in my way an enthusiastic email with a link to "Track 1" - I couldn't be stopped for weeks.

3rd October 2013. I am now finally infected with the Sleaford bacillus. I'm embarrassed: I'm 43 years old, have a girlfriend, a daughter, a mortgage ... and suddenly I can't keep my hands off Twitter. Every day - sometimes the whole day - I transform myself into a freak who torments the Twitter community with Sleaford superlatives: "The best thing since Earl Brutus!", "The best band in Britain!" I sometimes sprinkle for variety small nastiness like "Nick Cave is a Cunt". My new membership in the Sleaford Club gives me the backbone to rave about old art farts like Cave or Henry Rollins ("Henry Rollins is a twat. Actor"). In order to clarify my position, I also tweet selected Sleaford lyrics like “Rinsing Screamadelica… hanging around the decks… boring bastards discussing the merits of the fall”. My friends call in: “What's that supposed to mean? Do you have a blast? ", But I ignore the small-minded bad guys. My girlfriend says I should finally find a decent job. "This is my job!" I tell her, and send more Sleaford propaganda out into the world. "You're a poor wretch," she says, closes the door and leaves me and the empty beer cans in the nightly YouTube / Twitter universe.

November 30, 2013. Now I'm halfway friends with the band. I talked to Arena Homme + magazine about her and arranged an interview with Jason in London. As an interviewer, I am generally unreasonable: I answer all my questions myself and actually only talk about myself the whole time. But Jason is kindness in person - in complete contrast to the angry he mimes on stage. I'm trying to get my article down on paper, but something's stuck - even when I spend long weekends brooding over how I can balance my meandering questions with his (understandably) short answers. To make matters worse, I'm struggling with a hideous dilemma: I've seen the band live now and - do these words really dare to escape my lips? - came to the sobering conclusion that the gig was pretty bad. They played at The Old Blue Last in London's East End - a pub that, by the way, belongs to Vice magazine. Jason struggled with bad sound and a bunch of hipsters and media people - it just didn't go together. But I already have a plan: next month they're playing in Blackpool, the second poorest city in England. I have dogged myself into the theory that Blackpool offers the ideal environment for them - and that is why I will be there.


Jason Williamson

December 14, 2013. I'm so excited that I'm going to Blackpool the day before. I want to soak up all the misery of this once entertainment Eldorado. But when the band finally arrives on Sunday afternoon, I am - annoyed by 36 hours in my own company - already hopelessly drunk. The gig takes place in a cheap disco, which is located above a sauna. There is no stage and less than 30 paying guests, but on this icy night, in the midst of dilapidated living room brothels and pre-Christmas drunkards, the band is absolutely fantastic. Face to face with their audience, both on the same buggy carpet, they are in top form. The set ends with “Wage Don't Fit”, which is almost like a soundtrack on the broken state of the nation: “Small talk about nothing at all / while you got a suntan and I got what? - a piss-pot - and we all get a free cream cake on a Friday. "At the very end a drunk grabs the microphone and shouts into it:" The best fucking song since 'Anarchy In The UK'. "Even if I do Confession is embarrassing: I was the drunk.

No question about it: 2014 will be the year of the Sleaford Mods. After the gig in Blackpool, I'm absolutely convinced of it. It's just inevitable.

January 18, 2014. "Thom Yorke is a Chunt." I am very impressed by my funny tweet because it pulls the stilted spelling of "Tom" through the cocoa. Middle-class Thom is now the enemy. Strictly speaking, I've never liked him, but now that I have the Sleaford Mods as reinforcement, I'm very brave and say big words like "Class War" calmly. The front lines are drawn - and I'm ready for battle. After all, I'm Jason's brother at heart: same age, same background. We are practically identical - apart from the fact that I have just landed a professorship and live in leafy Highbury while Jason is still working for a starvation wage in a call center in Nottingham. Nevertheless, I know: we are one and the same person. After all, he speaks for me - even if I'm not the only one on this point: The online reviews of the Sleaford Mods shows are now falling in more and more - you can feel with your hands that something is in the air.

3rd February 2014. In the run-up to the new album, the underlying current only seems to intensify. All of the people who hadn't answered my emails before Christmas suddenly spoke up. I know I am not entitled to it, but I actually feel something like pride. My girlfriend makes fun of me, calls me Brian Epstein or The Wizard of Oz. In a sneaky way, she reinforces my illusion that I am somehow partly responsible for the rise of the Sleaford Mods, which are now actually unstoppable. However, there is a bitter damper - at least for me: Arena Homme + informs me that my article will be postponed to a later edition. Originally it should have been released at the end of March - exactly when the new album was released. Divide And Exit is planned for April - and my article would have appeared right before that. Which would have been good for the band, but also good for me. These pigs! Late in the evening I send out a tweet with the words "Arena Homme + are Gay". My girlfriend says I should delete the tweet because it insults gays and sounds pathetic on top of that. I agree and instead write: »Arena Homme + are Cunts«.

March 24, 2014. I'm honored when Jason sent me a demo of the album. I am very excited and listen to it alone in the quiet of my study after my friend and child have already gone to bed. I hear it again. And again. Bollocks! I don't like it, I don't like it at all. Especially one song called »Corgi« drives me crazy. I think he's completely wrong. I'm emailing Jason. I leave out the album (I could be wrong because sometimes the penny falls slowly for me - it took a while for Austerity Dogs to love the whole album), but just write: »I think you shouldn't be writing more songs about animals. The old song 'Donkey' was shit - and so is 'Corgi'. You have no talent as an animal songwriter. Better stick to the other things. ”His answer consists of only one word:“ Hahahaha ”. He's not worried. More than anyone else (with the exception of Andrew) he has to instinctively feel that something is in the air, that something spectacular is happening, that doors suddenly open for the band that were previously closed to them. You only have to take a look at the new followers on their Twitter account: Well-known old punk rockers, 2-tone legends, former "Madchester" stars or comedians like Stewart Lee, darling of all British semi-intellectuals, are now rock solid convinced that the Sleaford Mods are real grenades.


Andrew Fearn

April 19, 2014. It's Record Store Day - and to honor the event, Sleaford Mods will make a small appearance in front of the Rough Trade store in Ladbroke Grove. I made an appointment there with ex-auteur Luke Haines, who is of course also a fan of the band. (Luke and I became friends last year and are currently writing a micro-rock opera together.) The audience consists of typical indie boys, Italian tourists and cider-drinking alt-punks. Right at the beginning the performance is interrupted by a drug-fogged man who is obviously known in the neighborhood. He mobs the band and insults them either as fascists, Martians, communists or messengers of the devil. The man is so kicked that he even makes his way to the stage to snatch the microphone from Jason. He is quickly pushed back, but still moans from the background and lets off tirades that are a mixture Stream of Consciousness and free jazz are. Finally the police take him away.

Later in the pub, Jason tries to figure out what happened: “I think he went nuts - or even more crazy than he was anyway - because he heard our sound, our pent-up anger, our curses, our collective hatred of everything - from Kellogg's cereal to innocent employees ... that's probably the voice the poor guy hears in his head all day. And then suddenly he witnesses all his demons come to life. Poor bastard. ”I guess Luke wasn't wrong when he said,“ That's exactly why the band is becoming so popular. They articulate the subliminal, inarticulate anger that has built up in many people's minds.

May 15, 2014.Divide and Exit was published a few weeks ago and celebrated with cheering reviews. Today the Guardian is reviewing the album for the third time in three weeks. (You almost get the impression that they just dump articles about Austerity Britain in the paper to be able to mention the Sleaford Mods again.) The mainstream media have already developed terminology to approach the band. The authors are obviously enthusiastic, but have trouble finding the right words - and always use the same knitting pattern. And it works like this: “Sleaford Mods are the bastard children of The Fall and Shane Meadows.” “Sleaford Mods are the bastard children of John Cooper Clarke and Wu-Tang Clan.” “Sleaford Mods are the bastard children of Happy Mondays and Half Man Half Biscuit. ”Two left, two right. You can't credit the band enough for not being categorized. At least the reviews seem to do their job, because the band's momentum grows with each passing day. MOJO dedicates a two-page review to the album (one page is reserved for a dubious illu, which Jason & Andrew as Liam & Patsy shows at the height of the Union Jack tipsy Britpop) and uses a small pun as a headline: "Cruel Britannia". Is that how it actually works? Is this the way to make a career? At least it looks like it. Two guys who are not exactly looking to the golden future come together and make rudimentary protest music. They want to shout the truth, complain loudly and shout out to the world to piss off - and they actually have success with it. They are so successful that the media get caught on the wrong foot and pull stupid comparisons out of the cylinder: "X + Y = Sleaford Mods". Well why not? The main thing is that it helps the band - a band that hopefully has enough steam in the kettle to continue targeting a lethargic, mumfordized culture. Later that evening I write another tweet: "Arena Homme + Are Killing Art".
I'm taking a few weeks of Sleaford Mods abstinence - no more tweets, no nightly YouTube sessions. I wonder if I've already lost the Sleaford bacillus, if they mean nothing to me after they were discovered by the mainstream and now every trendy dork in Dalston has "Tied Up In Nottz" on their iPod. Should my time with the Sleaford Mods be up by now?

2nd June 2014. Yesterday I received an email from Wolfgang (Tillmans): »SPEX is interested in printing my Sleaford Mods photos. Maybe you want to write the article? "I answer immediately:" Of course I fucking do! I love Sleaford Mods: Best Band in Britain. «

Anyone who has been infected (again?) With the Sleaford bacillus can watch the newly published, short video of the NME, in which the mods two tracks from Divide & Exit perform in your living room.