Revolution Hall

Getting the chance to see Nottingham, UK’s Sleaford Mods perform at Revolution Hall recently was a treat. The state-of-the-art Portland, Oregon venue, aka “Rock ’N Roll High School”, is nicknamed after its early 1900 roots as Eastside High.

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The school was relocated in 1909 and remains in its current location to this day (the school closed in 1981 due to low enrollment).

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It was purchased and renovated to include the historic music hall, office space, a pre- and post-show bar, café and Show Bar, a smaller venue.

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Foodies may be interested to learn that the school counts chef/author James Beard amongst its alumni.

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Weather permitting, Revolution Hall’s Roof Deck terrace is open from April through October and boasts 360-degree views of Portland.

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Since their 2007 inception, the cheeky, minimalist post-punk Sleaford Mods have produced 12 albums and are currently touring their latest UK Grim (released in March 2023). It’s hard to define the Mods, as they weave between “punk-hop rants” and electronic music in style. Themes of austerity-era Britain, working class life/strife and culture punctuate their music, as do a ton of F-bombs.

The closest comparison I can draw is to Dublin’s Fontaines D.C., (particularly Boys in the Better Land) but aside from the rapping nature of both bands, sonically they’re still a few worlds apart from one another.

Sleaford Mods at Revolution Hall

The band’s even collaborated with The Prodigy (the song Ibiza appears on Prodigy’s 2015 album, The Day is My Enemy). It wasn’t until 2017 that they headed to North America on tour. Jason Williamson’s voice has been compared to everyone from Shaun Ryder to Mark E Smith.

F-bomb-spiked tunes aside, they’ve a clever discography and appear to have a loyal fanbase, at least here in Portland. Williamson and Andrew Fearn played to the crowd for 90 minutes.

Some of the evening’s highlights included Pit 2 Pit, Tilldipper, On the Ground, Fizzy, TCR, Force 10 From Navarone, I Don’t Rate You, Jobseeker, Tied Up in Nottz and Strike Force, wrapping up with one of my faves, Tweet Tweet Tweet, during their encore-free set.

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Brooklyn art punk outfit Gustav, relative newcomers to the scene (2021 debut album Audio Drag for Ego Slobs), opened the show with a set.

Those new to Sleaford Mods may consider checking out their self-released Chubbed Up – The Singles Collection, a 2014 compilation containing a dozen of their better known tunes, on California’s indie label Ipecac Recordings.

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