IDLES respond to Sleaford Mods beef: “There’s no authenticity in just being a prick to everyone”

Jason Williamson previously accused the band of ‘class appropriation’

IDLES have responded to the Sleaford Mods beef that saw Jason Williamson accuse the Bristol punks of ‘class appropriation’.

Speaking out last month, Williamson said that although he “quite liked” IDLES’ 2017 album Brutalism, some of its lyrics ended up offending him.

“It wasn’t my kind of music but I liked some of it – it was catchy,” said Williamson. “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.”

Williamson continued: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Now in a new interview with The Times, guitarist Mark Bowen and singer Joe Talbot addressed Williamson’s accusations. “If you’re angry about inequality, you have to preach equality as an alternative rather than go, ‘F*** you, you’re wrong’,” he said.

“Because you’re not going to get anywhere with that. The fact that we’re still talking about the same stuff punks were dealing with in the 1970s means that ‘F*** you’ thing didn’t work.”

“There’s no authenticity in just being a prick to everyone,” added Talbot.