Nottingham’s answer to John Cooper Clarke is how you might describe lead singer of Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson.
However, even the original punk poet might baulk at using some of the language that often appears on an angst-ridden Sleaford Mods track as Williamson rants against the system.
According to the Sleaford Mods wiki page they describe their music as “electronic minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class,” and bloody hell, it’s blue. There is plenty of sneering and bile in there, Lydonesque, with shades of Mike Skinner/The Streets thrown in for good measure if only to ensure a tenuous link with Birmingham City!
I’ve only got into the Sleaford Mods over the past couple of years after a punk mate of mine introduced me to them and, I have to say, they aren’t for the faint hearted. With both members of the band having a Lincolnshire upbringing and Williamson hailing from the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham then his anti-establishment rants carry a little bit more weight.
Maybe it’s the endless sea of farmers’ fields or the vast areas of flatness that have left Williamson angry, or it could be the fact he has moved to Nottingham (one for you there Alan!)
But, whilst Sleaford has risen to ‘fame’ on the back of the Mods’ music it is still an area of the country that looks, to all intents and purposes, picturesque.
Its surrounding villages, such as Billingborough, are quintessentially British and still blessed with a local boozer
69 – The Fortescue Arms NG34 0QB is the sort of place you can’t fail to warm to as it’s a 16th Century building that just oozes tranquility. Sleaford Mods aren’t yet on the tracklist as backing music was the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Donna Summer, The Four Tops going loco in Acapulco and Lionel Richie which left Mrs BB and the kids delighted!
Just after midday on a Monday meant it was a slow burner in terms of punters but, by the time we left, there was a healthy crowd in and it was the sort of courtyard Mrs BB likes to spend time in with a G&T.
Whilst a lot of the pub was given over to food there was a definite bar area in a separate room and a very welcoming, friendly barmaid who couldn’t do enough to help added to the atmosphere.
I particularly liked the way she slapped a beermat under my pint of JHB (Oakham) at the bar in the style of the Sheffield Tap and it was reasonably priced at £3.30 with food also sensibly priced for locals rather than tourists (I’m not sure Billingborough gets any tourists?)
Anyway, a chilled out local boozer which was ticking along nicely on a Monday afternoon with both drinkers, diners, families and adults all mixing in to create a good atmosphere. I’d have been just as happy coming here on my own or just with Mrs BB as it pretty much catered for all.
I’m not sure The Fortescue Arms is quite ready for a blast of the Sleaford Mods as their background music just yet as the people of Billingborough aren’t that angry…yet!