Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson accuses IDLES of ‘class appropriation’

"I don't like them at all"

Sleaford Mods‘ frontman Jason Williamson has discussed his dislike for IDLES, accusing them of “appropriating a working class voice”.

The Nottingham duo have often attacked IDLES on Twitter, and now Williamson has revealed why in a fan Q&A on The Guardian.

Asked about “the beef”, Williamson said that he was a fan of the band’s debut album – before taking issue with the lyrics to ‘Well Done’ and many of the causes that IDLES advocate when learning about their background.


“I quite liked ‘Brutalism’ when it came out. 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.”


In a recent interview with NME, IDLES frontman Joe Talbot said that the band were ‘a message to the boring‘, and that punk music in general was in rude health in 2019.

“Of course there’s a lot of younger kids getting involved and that makes it attractive to the industry,” said Talbot. “It is absolutely more popular now. You’ve got some amazing bands coming through, and some amazing bands that are coming through. I heard a cheeky rumour that Girl Band are going to do something soon. I like a really good band called Egyptian Blue. They played at Yala!, at one of Felix from The Maccabees‘ nights. They were fucking sick. It’s great, and that’s what happens.

“The other side of music is bloated, boring and awful. You’ve got loads of DJs with weird masks on and it’s all falling apart. It’s a bit Ant & Dec these days, isn’t it? People are getting bored of that shit and they want to hear people talking about what’s going on around them. People with Mickey Mouse heads on playing other people’s songs isn’t that interesting.”

Sleaford Mods release new album ‘Eton Alive’ on February 22. IDLES head out on a UK tour in March.

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