Fat White Family side with Sleaford Mods on “middle class boobs” IDLES
You might think that all British groups that sport thick accents might be on the same team, but think again. Last week, Sleaford Mods frontman Jason Williamson participated in a live Q&A session for The Guardian to promote their new album Eaton Alive (out this week) and among the topics covered was fellow UK group IDLES, who he said he doesn’t like because he says IDLES’ singer/lyricist Joe Talbot appropriates a “working class voice.” Here’s more:
I quite liked Brutalism when it came out. It wasn’t my kind of music but I liked some of it — it was catchy. And they were nice lads, polite online and stuff. But I thought they were kind of a street band, there were lines like “Tarquin” that would insinuate that they were knocking the middle classes, but it turns out they’re not working class. That offended me, because I then held the belief that they were appropriating, to a certain degree, a working class voice. Obviously that excelled when the second album came out, and I felt a bit cheated. I also became jaded by this idea that we were a band that was campaigning for social justice, when we’re not, we’re just talking about what’s around us. Music can’t solve political problems. And I think their take on it is cliched, patronising, insulting and mediocre. And that’s why I have a problem with them. I take music seriously, and I’ve come from a place where this music has been created. Without that, we wouldn’t be here. I went through a lot of pain – I understand Idles’ singer has gone through a lot of pain. But I don’t believe their slant on this. I don’t like them at all.
IDLES did not respond, but today Fat White Family‘s Lias Saoudi has jumped in, siding with Sleaford Mods on Facebook, saying, “I’m 100% with Jason Williamson on that band Idles, the last thing our increasingly puritanical culture needs right now is a bunch of self neutering middle class boobs telling us to be nice to immigrants; you might call that art, I call it sententious pedantry.” Then he get in a dig on the Mods, too. “That being said how long are Sleaford Mods going to keep banging on about shit wages and kebabs? There’s only two of them and they have NO BACKLINE!$$$$$$$$$$$$$££!!!!” This was all in a Facebook post to remind folks that tickets to Fat White Family’s UK/EU tour supporting new album Serf’s Up go on sale Friday.
IDLES may not be engaging with either of these two other groups, but they are getting ready to tour North America starting in May, including a sold-out show at Brooklyn Steel.