Sleaford Mods live @ The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA [05-20-22]

Sleaford Mods live @ The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA [05-20-22]

Sunday, 22 May 2022

It’s safe to say that the Sleaford Mods are in a category all of their own, and this makes them hard to describe. I know descriptions don’t matter but with this band, it’s kind of fun. Sleaford Mods are a rap group (I think) made up of two British guys whose music sounds like a cockney guy speed-talking about working-class problems over simplistic, but grooving, beats. It’s kind of punk rock in the sense that it reinterprets and simplifies rap music…kind of. Maybe, I’ll just stick to saying that the Sleaford Mods are in a category all of their own.

I came to know about this group by complete coincidence, watching an Amoeba Records’ What’s in My Bag segment and became intrigued. That was years ago, and lo and behold, the Mods have continued on and released their best album to date with last year’s Spare Ribs. This whole time, I thought I was the only one who knew about this band. I certainly don’t have any friends who’ve even heard of them. This is why I was surprised to find the band on Tim Heidecker’s Office Hours, and Seth Meyers, and playing sold out shows across the country. What kind of show DO these guys put on, I wondered? How do their music translate to the stage?

Well, I wondered no more this week at the band’s sold out show in Cambridge at the Sinclair. Sleaford Mods are as unique as their music. Picture this: a guy club dancing to himself in front of his laptop, stopping only to press play on the next track, as the lead singer yells/raps into the mic (not facing the crowd), rockette-dancing, stopping only to walk and show like a model on a catwalk (I had to Google this to find out if there is a better term for it). The crowd? Bobbing their heads to the beat. It was…wild…and a spectacle. Particularly, how much energy these two were able to radiate with so little. The Mods regaled us with perfect renditions of the entire Spare Ribs album and some choice cuts from their previous albums English Tapas, Divide and Exit and Eton Alive. It was unexpectedly fun, and definitely noteworthy. My only grievance was that the Mods weren’t exactly leaving the audience wanting more. I was expecting a 45 minute set, but the band played songs for about an hour and a half. If you’re a fan of this band, think about whether an album of their music would get repetitive after 90 minutes. It’s all up to you, though.

There’s no doubt that few things are cooler than a Sleaford Mods show and getting to see them live in the US is a privilege, if you ask me. It’s fun for the whole family.

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