Sleaford Mods showed off new moves at Irving Plaza (pics, setlist, video)

It's been five years since Sleaford Mods last toured North America. At the time of their last NYC show, frontman Jason Williamson had recently gotten sober, and in the half decade since, beatmaker Andrew Fearn has adopted a more sober lifestyle, as well; it has genuinely changed the band for the better. Of their three NYC appearances over the years, Wednesday night's (5/18) Irving Plaza show was by far the best, most animated I've ever seen the duo. Frontman Jason Williamson took full advantage of the whole stage, showing off some unique moves, including can-can kicks, using his water bottle like a Narwhal horn, and some ballet-style near-pirouetting.

The most dramatic change, though, is with Fearn, who no longer just stands nodding behind the laptop while downing a lager. At Irving Plaza he was a nonstop dance machine and hype man for their entire 80-minute set, embracing his inner Bez (minus the maracas). He was a joy to watch the whole night, and the show was so much fun it's hard to imagine they were ever any other way.

Sleaford Mods' music has gotten more danceable during this last half decade too, and their set was full of recent bangers like "Kabob Spider," "Elocution," "Mork n Mindy," and their great cover of Yazoo's "Don't Go," as well as more mosh-friendly material like "Tied Up in Nottz," "Jobseeker," "Jolly Fucker" (the loudest audience participation of the night) and the Specials-y "Tweet Tweet Tweet" which closed the night. Sobriety hasn't tempered their anger and bile one bit, it's just made them better.

The only disappointment was that Amy Taylor of Amyl & The Sniffers, who play Brooklyn Steel tonight, didn't come out for her feature on "Nudge It." She had hoped to, I hear, but the band didn't get into town from Montreal till late. Williamson and Fearn danced their way through her prerecorded portion of the song.

Openers on this tour are UK group Sorry, whose last NYC show was mere days before Covid shut down the touring industry (and everything else). With a new album due out on Domino later this year, they played recent single "There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved" and two brand new songs in addition to first LP tracks "Right Round the Clock," "Snakes," "As the Sun Sets," "Starstruck," and "Lies." Nice opening set, and they definitely had a lot of fans in the crowd.

Pictures from Irving Plaza by P Squared, along with Sleaford Mods and Sorry's setlists and a few videos, are below.

While in town, Sleaford Mods stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to perform "Shortcummings" from last year's great Spare Ribs. They were in great form, and you can watch that below.

SETLIST: Sleaford Mods @ Irving Plaza 5/18/2022
The New Brick
Middle Men
Spare Ribs
I Don't Rate You
Kebab Spider
Face to Faces
Jolly Fucker
Mork n Mindy
Thick Ear
Don't Go (Yazoo cover)
Nudge It
Out There
Top Room
Tied Up in Nottz
Tweet Tweet Tweet

SETLIST: Sorry @ Irving Plaza 5/18/2022 (via)
As the Sun Sets
Right Round the Clock
New song
There's So Many People That Want To Be Loved
New song