Words by Wes Foster.

It was interesting to see whether a two-piece could really hold Academy 1’s attention. It’s a massive room and I’ve seen a few bands lose the gig in smaller places. But somehow they ensured that their show was equally as intense as it always has been.

The gig was no doubt a knife-edge between playing the tracks that got people going and keeping the gig from tipping over into messiness. Little bits of trouble are always to be expected at any Sleaford Mods gig, but this one was certainly bigger than any I’ve previously seen. There’s always something to be said for a pit that’s made up of middle-aged men, and generally it’s the sign of a good gig.

Sleaford Mods embody a working class rage that has been there perhaps always, though rarely have a voice. That voice was out in strength for their Thursday night gig, with regular chants of “Sleaford Mods, Sleaford Mods, Sleaford Sleaford Sleaford Mods”, filling the Academy completely.

Just like spoken word nights, Sleaford Mods make you concentrate so much on the lyrics and what they’re saying. More than any other band, whilst also sounding like nothing you’ve ever heard before, they have an ability to just roll through their enormous repertoire, pulling out tracks that make you listen. They never had to rely on only playing whatever most people knew, a choice that I think was used as a calming agent for the crowd.

Sleaford Mods aren’t a pleasant listen, but they’re undoubtedly something special that’s genuinely making a difference.

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Sleaford Mods played at Manchester Academy on Thursday 27 October, 2016.

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