Sleaford Mods: the survey

Most of you, who will click on this link, already know what this is about and can skip right to the end of the next paragraph. For everybody else, a short explanation as to what is happening here.

I did a survey about the Sleaford Mods for my MA thesis (see also here). Some of the participants asked me, if they could see the results when it’s over. I said yes, of course! So here they are:

Since the text answers are quite a lot of text, I have put them at the end of this post, right after the graphs. This might destroy the chronology, but improves the reading experience.

If you would like to use my data, feel free to do so. However, please credit it accordingly!

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Text answers

Please be aware that this are unedited, unabridged, 100% as they were written. These answers do not express the opinion of the Sleaford Mods or myself, but solely those of the person who wrote them.

When you hear the song Wage Don’t Fit, what are your thoughts?

A genuine and realistic comment on British life at the moment, under a tory (sic) government intent on keeping the rich, rich, and the poor, poor.

Moderno life is rubish
An attack on the system which grinds me down every day.
Dirty Batman.
On mobile data so don’t really wish to watch it
Lyrical and musical soundtrack to my life.
Get up
Wish more would engage on this level
Hmmm. Good song
Anger and frustration on austerity and the outcome it brings.
too numerous to list
Too fucking right.
i like it, it makes me happy. i think that the song is a good example of the frustration-that is fundamentally based in economic hardship- that sleaford mods express
spot on
Some interesting ideas over a nice beat.
Do me a fucking favour ….banal, banal. Every phrase is spot on.
I feel angry about the folk who have died because of the bastards cuts, angry at politics, angry about Rupert Murchoch.  Then I think I’m not as isolated as I was before I heard it , I think wanna dance. I’m happy.
trying too hard to be working class cliche after cliche
I can’t hear the song. also the drop down answer boxes don’t work on my phone, so yes I have heard of them and I’m from Manchester
Not a favourite tbh.
Sleaford mods classic style
Unmistakable..within 3-4 bars, you know that is Sleaford Mods.
True Story
david graeber anarchist & his essay on shit  jobs …
i enjoy listening to
Brilliant, answer to next question should be all of the above
As though they’re living in the same world as me, reading the same news stories, having the same conversations with their friends that I do with mine. Although they manage to make something of their despair in a way that I get quite sad that I can’t.
The wealth divide
How skint I am
Here’s what’s happening here for me, I want some plastic happiness for once, but I know I’ll come back here, probably, do you hear me ?!
Top tune.
Smash stuff
Articulating the anger and tensions of life in the low wage sector, although thankfully I am not part of it it helps me me to empathise and also it is a cracking good song with a great beat.
Real life
They’re either making a comment about a situation they previously experienced, or responding to a situation someone they know is experiencing (?)   Basically, storytelling.
Punk music, want to hear it again and repeat it in conversation, like Monty Python
Challenges current neoliberalism hegemony about fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
the alienation of consumer culture – anger at having no money in a society that bases your value on how much money you have
Sounds accurate.
The gut pleasure of recognition. Someone articulating how I have lived and felt.
That I’ve not had a pay rise for eleven years.
Unfair. The lower classes work for lower money but do more work.
Bad music, 2 chords, english, protest song, anti-establishment?,
It’s a complex song even if it doesn’t appear so at first, lyrically. They’re speaking for the disenfranchised
I like “Mcflurry” more in this album.
Agree with the sentiment, but makes me angry.
Strong angry beats Nottingham
Rage against the establishment
Raw and relatable
They got it right!
For most people, work is either wholly or mostly shit.
I agree
Modern day slavery
Its good
It’s spot on
I think that its finally a political song done right in our current time, rather than vaguely suggesting the issue in one line its taking the whole song to deal with this issue.
Yeah, it doesn’t really
There’s someone who can write. There’s someone who put a beat together. Live version’s better.
Quite boring.
Fuck the tories
Joyful that there are other people in the world as angry as me.
gritty realism, no messing!
I was just enjoying it really
My thoughts in song form
Fair comment about the exploitative nature of today’s employment market.
Gritty angry honesty
Sounds like modern britain. A lot of anger
hip hop
Fantastic song. Hyper accurate description of living in the U.K.  Capturing essence of how austerity has stripped back the quality of life for many.
Anger but with a sense of humour can only be British
Not my sort of music
Being a woman and middle income earner I can relate to “the wage dont fit”. Chanting along can help me vent but doesn’t help me change things.
An accurate portrayal of employment for huge swathes of people in Cameron’s Britain.
They’re right.
Truthful, funny, striking
Album ‘Wank’, 2013. About right
they are speaking the truth about the current wage situation
Similar accent
Zero hour contracts are tantamount to slave labour
An honest wage there is not.
Shit wages. Shit job!
Great song and totally relatable
I agree 100%-the last week before payday I eat spiders webs and dust
Righteous energy!
I like the bass in it, “put my life on eBay” made me laugh
A protest statement about the exploitation of people physically and morally; about he reduction of everything to the lowest common denominator; about the blind ignorance of the ‘haves’ towards the ‘have-nots’; about the almost invisible line that divides the lawful from the unlawful.
If you’re at the thin end of the wedge trapped in a poorly paid job, able to afford the cheapest and worst of everything, the concept of ‘job satisfaction’ takes the piss. When the gap between rich and poor gets so wide, and you squeeze the thin end that bit more, don’t be too surprised when crime figures go up.
Like the origins punk music
Working-class rage (legitimate)
Brilliantly bile-filled frustration at the tyranny of pointless, unsatisfying work
I think that the sparsity of the music reflects the bitter nature of the time it represents. I feel angry and resentful.
That they give the working classes a voice. Listen.
Speaks to me on so many levels…  Low pay doing a job no one else wants to do, for those who hate you, and want to use you.  Why should I be ‘proud of it’?

Minimal works fits the arrangement…

Anger for all and daily disapointment
Great song, sincere sentiment
Yes, great someone in saying that and what a great tune’.
The song and iths theme is for real! Not produced by someone else…
Passionate, giddy, energetic, creative.
Free cream cakes on a Friday.
Endless programmes, posters, magazines showing you other people’s better lives. Selling you a floating opiated high. For a minute you forget your world and slip into a comfy daydream.
Then you snap out of it and remember that all the shit that life throws at you is still there. You don’t have a beautiful idyllic life and what you have to look forward to is hard work and uncertainty. Some people tell you ‘you’re lucky’. Well it doesn’t feel like it.
Those same people say that people are too lazy to do shit jobs with terrible pay. Usually while they themselves are having dinner parties or while they are doing well paid life affirming jobs where you never get your hands dirty.
There is always shit to shovel and if you don’t want to do it your lazy. You might have hoped life meant a bit more than this. Meanwhile when the wealthy politicians are asked to ensure better wages or to pass laws for better conditions for workers or to give help to those that never understood that life is a game but only a few get shown the rules, they sneer.
If another politician proposes raising taxes on the wealthy to help the poor s/he is told they are an enemy of aspiration. Aspiration!!! Fuck off and shovel your own shit.
Bit of a vague question but I’ll try. I think it sounds scummy, which I like. It makes me think of my shitty weekend job in Grantham doing a 14 hour shift on a Sunday. Makes me think of the Duchess that I work (no joke) who are living it up with Champagne and constant dinner parties while my skin falls apart and I get more and more debt to fund my existence. Mostly it just makes me laugh though.
Guilt about myself and the general employment system, tired of useless conversations that go in circles from managers/bosses, wishing I did better in life so I wouldn’t have to be so stressed about working lower end jobs that I need to do, just to be able to pay off debt. I despise the management but love my co-workers because we go through the same things and share our negative thoughts about our bosses, over drinks, or playing sports, doing weekend camping/cottage trips together. How does management get away with being so clueless and professionally lazy. My Dad escaped communism in Eastern Europe, and I’m this stressed about employment and money? And because I live in Canada, we’re more conditioned to be apathetic and get scared of whistle-blowing/blowers.
Rage at 0 hrs contracts and sht employers. Cathartic!
Speaks about life as I experience it
Very english
Hard work for fucking all money
Acerbic commentary on the underbelly of the UK, invisible but not for long.
the righteous fury of those thrown on scrapheap of low wage no future work
Bang on
Refreshing in style, content, delivery, attitude. Truth hurts. Anger is legitimate in modern dysfunctional Britain and the combination of delivery and music lofts me up.
Quality. More balls than anything I’ve heard in years, these and the fat white family and a few other are the only brit bands worth a wank these days.
Frustration, familiarity
Raw commentary on the mundane aspects of life and keeping up with the joneses
Someone speaking the truth about the frustrating shite of day to day.
Well he’s fucking right isn’t he? The wage don’t fit for most jobs. Ask a nurse.
Not too much really.  I like them and the music but I don’t use it form opinions or feel particularly drawn to a cause by it.
It brings to mind my anger at the way ordinary people are continually exploited and lied to by corporations and the hereditary rich in order to increase their own wealth. The latter have no compassion, no conscience, no humility.
How would you describe the Sleaford Mods in one sentence?
English Rap.
Real, honest and from the heart
Fucking amazing.
Totally excellent angry political ranting about/from the British political situation
Energy and black humour
Engaged music in apathetic times
Minimalist punk hip hop
Soundtrack to modern day Britain
Soundtrack to modern day Britain
Powerful – a breath of fresh air in an otherwise dreary musical landscape
Middle aged East Midlands hop
Stripped down authentic roots culture
Best band in Britain.
minimalistic production mostly comprised of bass and drums with polemic rant
fingers on the pulse of life
Surprisingly entertaining!
Raging, honest, raw and brilliant.
What UK music needs
Stripped down musical poetic perfection
Angry twats with a social conscience and one tune
Working class heroes
Refreshingly powerful, with great insight.
The line that joins a lot of dots.
I believe that the Sleaford Mods speak to a generation who are tired of all the bullshit in the world.
Basic and complex.
needed …
interesting to listen to for a clear head
Clever angry old men
The most politically relevant band of 2016.
The sound of angry suburbia
A band that has the balls to tell it how it is
they throw brick-hard slam poetry at music thus feeding the hungry
One of the seemingly few bands around writing explicitly (leftwing) political songs.
Jolly Fuckers
A breath of fresh air in a muggy music world
Fucking awesome, needed to wake people up
Social commentators
Modern poets, comical & simplistic with a strong message
Necessary, relevant & captures the zietgeist perfectly
English white trash rap
a northern britain Public Enemy
Contemporary music.
Articulating the discontents of a large section of the population invisible to metropolitan media.
Strichnine in a saccharine sachet
The angry voice of the forgotten classes.
While they artistically mediocre at best, their lyrics may be relevant for contemporary socio-political debates.
Raw visceral punk poetry you can dance to.
Attempting to reflect the absolute visceral rage of the unheard and ignored.
Angry,minimalist punk-hop.
The sound of a revolting proletariat, but that could be wishful thinking
Break from the norm
Minimal beats with angry clever lyrics delivered in a real Notts accent.
Local anger
Not political, just 2 normal fellas making music based around every day problems, activities, obstacles, and life in general.
Raw, aggressive, humourous, lyrical genius
Last gasp of the idea that music can mix with politics
21st century punk
An antidote to pop musics sugar coated shite
Shouty and entertaining.
The music we need for the times we live in.
An angry, intelligent entity seeking for our questioning of society.
Raw and real. The definition of art reflecting life.
Hard-hitting truth
Angry working class
Voicing the realities of hardships on the streets to the backdrop of hypnotic music
The best band to articulate dissent since the Specials
the voice of anti austerity.
Honest about real Britain
Lo-fi spoken word punk with working class rage
Rejuvenated my belief in music
Punk poetry delivered in a vicious style
a new punk band
Angry, rude, funny, lifting elements from everything before them but still sounding entirely original.
DIY hip hop for realists
fearless, open and a band intensely linked to politics
excellent and real
East  Midlands Agit-prop punk
the sound of the disenfranchised
Extraordinarily expressive of existential angst with political venom
An incendiary, eviscerating indictment of Cameron’s Britain, reigniting punk and hip hop like a Transatlantic answer to Death Grips.
Young and different
The new ian dury
They speak to me, live is even better
Refreshingly straightforward
Frustrated middle-class ranting
Most important band in the country
shouty, political, talking sense
Pre, present and post angst.
Funky and punky.
Not political in rhetorical sense. Political in the most day-to-day macro ‘everything is political’ sense. No solutions offered as in the often didactic tradition of primarily middle-class ‘political’ music.
Great lyrics, great music and they seem like decent blokes
Funny, angry, sad-great tunes
Articulating anger at powerlessness.
Funny, aggressive, ironic, minimal, grim, real, to the point music.
nu punk wage slave dystopia rap
angry blue collar punk poetry
Not like the sex pistols.
Voicing the discontent of their time.
There’s this bloke ranting – funny as fuck, some spot-on observations though – about the pissy state of Britain over this sort-of jerky, propulsive programmed beats and bass
Refreshing, honest, abrupt slap in the face. Humerous and wonderful written
Like nothing else.
Authentic voice of Britain; intelligent, angry, been fooled too many times.
Fucking Brilliant
SM is the freshest, funniest and most politically relevant band for a generation.
Resolute in their defence of the underclass
A two man nailbomb…
sound of busted britain
The voice of this generation
Articulate, incisive, emotive poetry.
Modern punk
High energy vibrant cinematic spoken word electro post punk.
The only band that matters.
Sleaford Mods are broadcasting what they receive from the forgotten corners of modern life.
Relentless bollocks of the reject’s mind.
Older age version of The Clash sells their instruments to cover debt.
Punk and Relevant
A punk band promoting anachy
Art cunts
Protest music for the disenfranchised not jst w/c anti establishment punk.
Modern poets, the new angry young men.
The most eloquent band from the uk.
Best band in U.K. Since LSK
Best new band for 25 years with plenty to say.
Just what the good doctor ordered in a 2000ad mega city style scene of shite music and shitter futures.
A breath of fresh air
Not necessarily pleasant to listen to, but there’s something so raw and honest about it I’m drawn in
They’re high energy and kind of mucho with a bit of anger thrown in the mix.
Sleaford Mods are passionate chroniclers of the lives of those with no voice/power.
Can you explain why you do (or don’t) agree with the sentiment the Sleaford Mods display in their lyrics?
I almost entirely agree with everything they say, their commentary on British life is as I see it.
I am can relate to most things they say but I’m only a kid so I haven’t really been exposed to adult and working life
They’re good lads
Jason’s lyrics are about escaping the mundane day to day of life.
they write songs about the frustrations of modern life
Their songs say what is happening in my life and my family’s lives.
If you don’t feel a paen of outrage at the world today you are lost
They work from the languages and images they are presented with in society, the same langyages and images I see.
I relate to or admire 95% of their lyrics
I tend to agree with their assertions
Nobody else gives a shit
Frustration with current climate we live in.
They speak to me
Same city, same generation.
I relate to the impotent rage.
yes. i can identify with the frustration and annoyance that they have, also the humour that pervades all of their songs, i often find humour in even the worst things that happen.
i can just relate and understand a lot of what they say
No bullshit. So much wrong with society and how we all live within society. Urging for political change.
They don’t hold anything back
They are part of our sub culture. Even thou you hear it for the first time, it immediately resonnates with my head, heart and soul
politics mostly in the right place misfires occasionally
They speak for my generation, an outspoken generation, modern generations do not speak out for thenselves, so we have to do twice the work … well jason does .. and he does
I connect with some of the angry frustrated senimtent if not all of the lyrics
They are describing what is around them, and I feel I can relate to that.
I live in Australia !
We all think politicians are a bunch of idiots (if you don’t then you really should!) so it’s refreshing to hear someone speak up about these things.
too many twats in the world who need taken down a peg …
I don’t  sing along to any other bands lyrics as much as I do theirs and this is due to the relevance they have to my situation.
Im in a fortunate place for my age but a lot of what they say are the worries and fears i have
Every song means something real. No filler lyrics
the lyrics- I see just getting by financially while walking on wet pavements. the music is quick on its feet, no virtue in being working class because culture cleansing comes from the London & Southern-based dominated media machine, telling us it’s all about the London Wheel & the Gherkin and PC stinking thinking. Bollox!
See answer to question above.
No fuck off
They remind me of myself when younger but much less literate
I say the same thing all the time just not as eloquent
I love their attitude, I don’t think I need to identify with an artist to enjoy the work.
Jason’s delivery speaks to every person who was not born with a silver spoon
I’ve worked in several shit jobs
I don’t need to agree with all their views to recognize they are brilliant in what they do
lyrics reflect the disempowerment felt by those without in a society based on the needs of those who have
The stripping back of employment legislation has left a lot of folk, however well educated, trapped in zero hours service industry jobs with no hope of advancement, no hope of owning a half-decent home or a proper family life. I would draw your attention to the flak directed at Sports Direct at the moment as indicative of the way a tremendous amount of people are forced to live. This gets virtually no political or cultural recognition. Pop culture seems to be dominated by super hero movies. Politics has devolved from any real sense of vision to narrow managerialism, at least until Corbyn showed up.
At 52 yrs old I feel I’m on an elevator descending from lower middle class to working class . Those with the right kind of jobs are standing on my fingers when I’m trying to climb out the council swimming pool
Pent up anger supressed in an unfair and biased society were ourspoken working class people are deemed as radicals and scum.
While I share their sentiment for wage inequality, I’m not a big fan of their vulgar language and especially their style of music. I would rather just read their lyrics as a poem than suffer through their lack of singing and musical skills.
Just listen to the lyrics. It’s that simple.
A continuously accepted deeply unbalanced society is troubling.
I honestly don’t know how ANYONE can be happy with the  state of this country. SM seem to be the ONLY band who tell it like it is, the rest are scared.
Thankfully it’s been a while since I had to do a shit job for shit money. Now I just have a shit job.
I love their music but I’m not sure whether being political always means being left.
Same age bracket and life experience (jobs etc.)
Usually explicit sometimes personal to the band so less clear (about specific people!)
My rage is global while theirs is local
I can relate to alot of what they’re on about. Jasons words are what alot of people think, he just puts it down to music perfectly. Very relatable stuff most of the time.
We’re all affected by the system. Many of us had shit jobs with no or little prospects. They talk about life as it is. It’s bleakness. But with a ton of humour.
They connect to the people who weren’t born with a silver spoon
An honest assessment of 21st century living through the mouth of the working classes
The songs are very grounded in reality
Similar age from the same area-anti-party politics stance
I completely understand where they are coming from and agree with them, but as being from a middle class rather than a working class background i dont think i will ever be able to truely grasp and feel what they are putting across.
A perfect band for our time and place.
They articulate the concerns of the people I know, giving them and me a voice, and don’t worry that might inconvenient for us, them or the people who run the system we live under. They have a perspective I sometimes struggle to keep myself and rarely see elsewhere.
Sometimes wages don’t reflect the effort or work put in…so yeah.
I work in mental health. I see the suffering
SM are the only band addressing these issues, music has become stale and marketed, they stand out massively
I agree with them but I know I fit some stereotypes they’re against
The lyrics are clear to me
They say what I think
too simple
Being roughly the same age as them i can relate to all the cultural references, although living in Scotland some of the social issues are different.
Tell it like it is
they speak for the people neglected by authority and paint an accurate picture of most of the country
i’m not a twat
Not really. They just connect with how I feel.
Modern politics feels so out of touch and it feels like the distance between people and those in power gets bigger every day that the political situation in this country is fucking bleak but you have got to laugh at it or else it’s just pure depression. I didn’t give an 8 though cos I don’t always understand the targets of there songs and I’m not as apolitical as they seem.
They have a point
Frustration and disappointment and anger all hugely relatable
I recognise the viewpoints and stories espoused in their music as giving voice to the reality of millions of people. I have marked myself as a ‘6’ above though as I would not say I am immersed in the same culture and lifestyle that the band and the people they speak directly for are and it would be unfair for me to pretend that I am.
Not my sort of music but I enjoyed it
They ‘ click’ with me
Yes, they are just as annoyed with everything as I am
Most important band in the country at thr minute, while I dont agree with every thing, im a massive fan due to the fact that they represent the Britain i know, that I exist in, frustrated and disenfranchised, a recognasible voice in a world of manufactured pop and rock acts with no interest in the people of the country, apart from telling them how they should be.
They say the things I didn’t realise I was thinking & are from the same place as me
they talk sense
Musically, yes.
I just feel their music.
I’m American so a lot of slang and English references are lost on me but I think I get the general thrust of almost everything that is said. Railing on all that phony. Especially the gentrification of everything, including ‘the arts.’
Similar age similar observations and spot on wit
jason doesn’t seem to edit his lyrics much- he says what he thinks and records it
I think they are chronicling the sames things that I am seeing.
Well I understand what they’re saying and can identify with it; anyone can, but it’s not all there is to life being angry all the time. It is however a very important facet of human character and one I don’t always see being represented a lot.
all sentiments don’t align, but still like
Don’t just accept things, if things make you angry, be angry at them an embrace it creatively.
I enjoy the commentary.
We as a nation / a generation have been indoctrinated through media vested interests to create, maintain and despise the underclass that was created, maintained and despised by successive governments.
I agree with the sentiments expressed but it’s not direct reflection of my comparatively comfortable life.
Half and half
there is no b*llsh*t with them
Jason’s words observe and explore contemporary life in a perceptive and intelligent way
If I was making music still, it would sound the same.
SM confront the ideological decisions that have been made to attack and intimidate the majority of the citizens of the U.K. by a government that is calculating and callous.
I am a working class lad ofd a council estate. My Mam was a single mother qho worked three jobs. You either sank or swam….and often that choice wasnt yours.
I can tally memories to the lyrics and funny incidents recounted in the tracks.  Emotions and feelings…
I realise how fed up a lot of us are
They say what many think, much more eloquently than given credit for
They talk about life as it is. The music is sharp, repetitive and simple. Their message is clear, intelligent and modern (contemporary).
They are the voice from the real europe
The band manage to evoke the feeling of navigating the horrors of modern Britain but without being too melancholy about it.
Same age. Same observations.
I don’t understand every aspect of their music but it sounds like the frustration I feel when I see how unfair life has become
I identify with the feeling behind it. It makes a lot of sense to me. They don’t say what “I think” though, they say what “they” think. That’s the point, they just speak from their own experiences. I don’t even understand half the lyrics to be honest. But I always get the feeling because it’s vital and makes sense. It’s real.
Adore the angst/honesty, not afraid to say what they feel is wrong, and the stripped down music of just voice, mic, and laptop adds to their stern simplicity. As a Canadian though, some lyrics elude me, but some research and questions for English friends quickly inform.
 the only protest band around
I agree with the sentement of working hard for little wage but disagree with the crime aspect
Similar age and background to me
As above. Protesting aginst the establishment fucking people over
Description of lives that are beyond the cosy consensus. It’s part of a serious cry for change.
No need
Exploitation, misery, corruption, greed, racism and many other consequences of grotesque inequality inform their ‘sentiment’.
They say it all and not preachy whiny guardianista machiatto soya milk brigade style.
can relate directly to some of the experiences on their songs
I come from a working class background, and I can identify with a lot of the issues they raise, and the manner in which they raise them. Their commentary on politics and society in general is bang on
Yes. He’s talking the truth, can relate to most of the stuff about work
I don’t really identify with any band’s music. I like the sound but don’t pay much attention to the lyrics.
Their songs are protest songs which to me promote the same paradigm shift in politics that I myself believe is necessary and long overdue.

Picture taken from Alice Severin’ blog


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