Two bands stumble onto the stage tonight. Both are a bunch of cunts for varying reasons.
I saw one of Sleaford Mods leaving the venue as I came in. I now know why. Animals and Men come on stage, take off their raincoats and announce, “We Are Machines.” If they were, they’d be at the dump tomorrow. To declare the band look like Paddy McAloon without the talent and Deirdre Barlow with none of the sex appeal would be paying them a huge compliment. A severe dis as in dysentery; dire as in diarrhoea. A song called ‘Babylon’ would have made Patti Smith long for suburbia. Neither animals nor men – simply the excrement left behind.
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn shamble on stage and begin the way they mean to continue with ‘Bunch of Cunts’. The pent up anger and frustration of Williamson is evident from the outset: this is a society that is fucked up; the working class are fucked with few means of remedying that situation. Song upon song build on that theme and frustration: ‘Jobseeker’ – fucking finding a job is hard enough and when you do you’re serving a ‘McFlurry’ – zero wage, zero hour cunt shit bollocks. Serving food on minimum wage for a bunch of cunts who earn billions. Cunts! The rage is there for all to see in Williamson’s face. Yet it’s too easy to call people cunts. This band would mean nothing without the humour and wit to carry it off. John Cooper Clarke held Thatcher’s government to account in a literate and humorous manner. Jason Williamson has those same qualities. Passion, anger and humour are a powerful force. The language used is vital, vitriolic, scathing, scabrous, obscene. It has to be to show what is happening in the UK right now. And the crowd reaction reflects that. They connect. I have seen Babybird, Six By Seven, Ezra Furman (all bands I love) at this same venue but none have resulted in this reaction. The audience know the lyrics, scream them back at Jason whose stage demeanour is one of flicking dandruff off his head, cupping his breasts like a porn star and looking as though he’s trying to lick your cunt. When you have Andrew Fearn just pressing a button each song, acting like Chris Lowe has just been fucked in a New York gay sauna, with one hand in his trouser pocket wanking himself off and the other necking a can of lager, you truly have the anti Pet Shop Boys: both great; both literate; one relevant.