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Estimated release date: December 15, 2023
320 kbps, LAME-encoded
Sleaford Mods are pleased to announce the release of their cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ iconic single “West End Girls”, with all profits from the track going to the homeless charity Shelter.
The Nottingham duo created a version of the 1986 classic between tours for their latest album UK GRIM, and then sought the blessing of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe to put out the track.
Not only did Sleaford Mods’ “West End Girls” meet with the pair’s approval, but the Pet Shops Boys were inspired to remix the cover which will feature as one of the tracks on the limited edition single.
Hifi Sean has also contributed an Acid House meets Hi-NRG remix for the release, while Sleaford Mods’ own Andrew Fearn has added a heady vocoder led mix under his solo guise of Extnddntwrk.
Clearly apparent from their own minimal approach to music, the Pet Shop Boys have always been an important influence for Sleaford Mods, with Chris and Neil’s ability to merge sophisticated electronics and rich character often serving as a lodestar for the partnership between producer Andrew Fearn and front man Jason Williamson.
This esteem for the Pet Shop Boys can be clearly heard on their take on “West End Girls”, although Jason and Andrew have not flinched from creating a version of the song which is truly Sleaford Mods.
If the original is a sophisticated exposé of the heartlessness of 80s Thatcherite Britain while also paying tribute to people’s ability to shine despite living in brutal times, then Sleaford Mods’ have skillfully distressed the shimmering classic with sharp synths and scuffed-up vocals, offering a sense of the resilience now required to survive in our disconnected and dysfunctional days.
“’West End Girls’ is a song that’s very close to my heart, my coming-of-age track in so many ways.” says Andrew Fearn of the original.
Jason Williamson continues, “I’ve been listening to the Pet Shop Boys albums ‘Please’ and ‘Actually’ a lot, the music still fits this landscape so well. When Andrew suggested we cover “West End Girls”, it was important to honour the track’s brilliance. So when Neil and Chris gave the track their blessing, our tiny minds were blown, and when we received their remix… it was almost too much, it was brilliant!”
Neil/Chris added… “Sleaford Mods have brought East End boys back to the West End streets for a great cause and we love their new version.”
Sleaford Mods “West End Girls” cover will be available on a limited edition 12-inch with remixes from the Pet Shop Boys, HiFi Sean and Extnnddntwrk, which can be pre-ordered now ahead of release on 15th December. All tracks will be available to stream from 21st November.
Profits generated by the single are being donated by Sleaford Mods to the charity Shelter, details of their work can be found here.