After the unveiling of their self-released new album Eton Alive a few weeks back, Sleaford Mods have embarked on a tour that brushes a fine tooth-comb over many of the UK’s smaller town and cities – some of which are unfortunately all-too-often missed out by music’s bigger names.

However, being the sheltered metropolitan hermits we are, Manchester’s Academy 1 was the venue for Far Out’s visit to see the fiery duo unleash their latest collection.

This is the third tour in a row they have played at the same venue, but any fears of a night of repetition are put to bed with a fresh-looking setlist.

However, before it’s time for Jason Williamson’s trademark vitriolic prose, there is opportunity for for an opening spoken word set from East Midlands comrade John Paul, who enters the stage armed with nothing but a four-pack and a backing track played from his phone. Tracks from his social commentary-packed LP No Filter suit such minimalism very well.

The tech requirements are slightly greater for Manchester punk three-piece LIINES, but their output is no less succinct. Angular guitars crash up against pulsating bass-lines, giving the bill a refreshing air of variation.

The main event starts with a flurry of new tracks from Eton Alive and last year’s self-titled EP – it’s always a pleasure to see bands express ultimate confidence in their most recent material. In fact, the album’s lead single ‘Kebab Spider’ almost feels like the closest thing to a pop hit the duo have unleashed to date.

As has always been the case, the performance seems as cathartic for Williamson as it is for those in the crowd. His almost involuntary barrage of expletives that are dropped in the small spaces in between lines are the markers of a man prepared to spew out and share his every emotion

The likes of ‘B.H.S’ and ‘Jolly Fucker’ eventually take the audience back to previous successes, but this does nothing to reduce the essence of a performance that finds itself bang up to date.

You might be forgiven for thinking an encore may not be Sleaford Mods’ thing, but you’d be wrong as they return to the unmistakeable and truly infectious sound of ‘Jobseeker’.

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