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Review: Bunch of Kunst

Game of chants for the Sleaford Mods

20 April, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Divide and exit: Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson in Bunch of Kunst

BUNCH OF KUNST
Directed by Christine Franz
Certificate 18
☆☆☆☆

This is a great film but you will need to either be a fan of the band the Sleaford Mods or show a strong interest in angry, political music to truly find it absorbing.

Director Christine Franz follows the Nottingham duo Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn over a two year period, starting with lo-fi DIY recording sessions in their homes to taking the stage at Glastonbury (where singer Williamson marches on, walks up to the microphone, and starts the gig by telling the audience to f*** off!).

The pair use low-key backing music – bass, a bit of drum, the odd repetitive lick over the top – as a basis for Williamson’s extraordinary rat-a-tat-tat delivery of chewed-up, spat-out lyrics that speak of a UK that you sense he has stepped in and is now trying to wipe off the soles of his trainers.

So where does this film show them in the grand scale of British music?

Often lazily described as modern punks, they are lyrically a world away from people like The Pistols – some of their lines are spectacular and make the Pistols look rubbish. However, as the film unintentionally shows, their music composition lacks the nuances of, say, The Clash.

But you can hear the root of their dismay, like a modern version of the Nottingham novels of Alan Sillitoe, and above all, Jason is a great performer with a mesmerising delivery. He spits out quotes galore, too, as he tries to make sense of how he writes: “When you are on £15 a week, do you want to see some bloke with a guitar standing in a forest singing about love? That is just totally shit…” he says.
Whether you think the Sleaford Mods are poetic geniuses or just make some shouty, dull football chants that is virtually impossible to dance to, this is an endearing documentary and will help you pick your side in the debate.

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