SLEAFORD MODS @ The Rosemount gets 9/10

Sleaford Mods @ Rosemount Hotel
w/ Grunge Barbie, DJ Sandy
Friday, March 13, 2020


What coronavirus? On Friday night Perth moshed, breathed the same air and shared sweat with one another at the long sold out Sleaford Mods show. Their first ever date with WA was as wildly anticipated as any show this year, and a great way to forget one the strangest Friday the 13ths ever – perhaps the last great tour in a while given the current spate of cancellations.

It didn’t hurt that Sleafords delivered an expertly paced set, covering off every major song in their 13 year career and smashing out 22 tracks in a hectic 75-minute onslaught.

It was a good night all round with RTRFM Out to Lunch presenter DJ Sandy handling the vinyl to warm up and between sets. His selection of old punk cuts ranged Cockney Rejects’ The Greatest Cockney Rip Off to The Ruts’ In a Rut to The Trumpton Riots with Half Man Half Biscuit. Occasionally there was something more familiar like I Wanna Be Your Dog from The Stooges, but it was always fitting, in particular Rumble from Link Wray and the Wraymen building anticipation shortly before Sleafords hit the stage.

Grunge Barbie

Grunge Barbie was a revelation in the main support slot. The solo project of Shinead Ruby (Hussy) started as just that – solo – with Ruby busting out lyrics accompanied only by a laptop, then a guitar, and then both. Her wordplay was a highlight, touching on everything from the welfare system (not for the last time on the night) to various bad influences.

Five tracks in, suddenly it became a supergroup as she was joined by ‘Bass Barbie’ aka New Talk’s Keira Alice Owen on bass and ‘Beats Barbie’ aka Germaine Jones (Trolley Boy) on drums. They looked at home on the big stage, making the most of the killer lights and working their way up to recent single St James St., then Gym Bitch to finish. Part hip hop, part post-punk and all attitude, expect to hear more from this fast-rising local outfit.

Sleaford Mods

Jason Williamson is one of the more unique frontmen going around. Once Sleaford Mods producer Andrew Fearn had set up his trusty laptop and dropped the bass, it quickly became the Jason Williamson show. He didn’t let us down, with an array of unique dance moves, odd gestures, idiosyncrasies and foul-mouthed beat poetry steeped in a thick East Midlands brogue. Dragging his mic stand and peacocking around the stage at will, he made sure the two-piece filled the space as Fearn played DJ, bopping along and sinking a couple of tinnies in the background.

From the first “fark orrrfff” to the “get out of it” refrain in McFlurry, it started well, but when he quipped “C’mon Perth it’s fucking Friday!” four songs in, the mosh pit kicked up a notch. Then came a massive trifecta frontloading three of their biggest songs early – Kebab Spider, TCR and BHS – and the room went wild, with crowd surfing and general mayhem ensuing. Pretty soon anyone with a drink was wearing it.

Sleaford Mods

It wasn’t the last time they grouped together big tracks, with Just Like We Do and Stick in a Five and Go a memorable mid-set one-two, all while leaving the very best for last. In between, there was driving post-punk beats, a couple of welcome new tracks and some surprisingly full electronic bass sounds that belied their usual minimal approach. Plus the most wanking gestures you’re ever likely to see at a concert.

Sleaford Mods

Jolly Fucker was a notable highlight, picking up the pace. Then the run home began with Tarantula Deadly Cargo and didn’t let up from there, as Tied Up in Notzz, Discourse, Jobseeker and an almighty Tweet Tweet Tweet followed. It was a finish for the ages, then they were gone – no encore, no gimmicks, no bullshit.

If you can make it, don’t miss their second and final show in Freo tonight – the chance to see one of this generation’s best frontmen giving it plenty should not be missed. After all, it could be your last big night out in a while.


Photos by Owen Gregory

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