Joe Sparrow : Are Sleaford Mods the best band in the UK? (Yes.)

When’s the last time you found a band that practically wrested you from your seat and slapped you in the face? These instances are the reason I love and work in music. I can remember a few stand-out occasions in my life. Here are a randomly-chosen few:

  • Standing on Stoke station, waiting for a train to take us on a school trip to London, hearing Common People for the first time, and being instantly transported somewhere else entirely;
  • The first time I heard the thum-clack-skiddle-clack of the beat to Railing by Roni Size, and my eyebrows hitting the ceiling;
  • Together’s So Much Love To Give being played in its entirety at about 2am at a nightclub somewhere, and losing my mind with pleasure.

To the much longer list of moments, add Sleaford ModsTied Up In Nottz, a song that fulfils all my criteria of being a) brilliant, b) quietly revolutionary, c) seemingly beamed in from a parallel universe, and, d) in possession of a decent pun within the title.

Upon cognizing the scatalogically perfect opening line, “the smell of piss is so strong, it smells like decent bacon,” I immediately splashed a month’s superlatives on them on ANBAD.

My good friend Dev Sherlock, who brought Sleaford Mods to my attention and has forgotten more about music than I will ever know, said that Sleaford Mods’ singer, Jason, is a cross between John Cooper Clarke and Begbie from Trainspotting, and he is of course, correct.

I can’t tell where the performance ends and the real people begin: surely they cannot be this intense, this outré, teetering this close to the crevice, in real life. This convergence of reality and persona is a mark of their genius.

I just want to find these two guys and give them a huge, grateful hug, simply for existing.

I won’t, ‘cos by the looks of the glint in their eyes, they’d probably clobber me.