Fishcakes

Album: Spare Ribs (2021)

Songfacts®:

  • Here, Sleaford Mods vocalist Jason Williamson remembers growing up in a family where money was tight and eating fishcakes was a culinary treat.

    Makeshift purple kitchens
    And chip shop birthdays there with no nothings
    Second hand but I don't mind
    Scouring the papers at Christmas time


    Williamson told Mojo magazine: "I didn't want to do a cheesy. 'Oh, we were poor but we were happy.' But I started thinking about the times when I was a kid, having secondhand Christmas presents or going to the chip shop for my birthday because my mum couldn't afford to do anything really special. The chip shop was great anyway. I sometimes worry that perhaps I've overplayed it and it's a bit of a sob story, and I didn't want it to come across like that. I wanted to try and get that idea of being eight years old in Grantham in 1978."
  • This is one of two songs on Spare Ribs where Williamson writes about his childhood, the other being "Mork n Mindy," which is set five years later. He explained to Mojo how the two tracks were triggered by lockdown thoughts after he injured his back.

    "Gyms closed, so I was in the garden, going like the clappers, trying to make up for exercise I would have done at the gym, and obviously I haven't got any of the apparatus. I had an operation on my back when I was a kid - I was born with a mild form of spina bifida where the nerves in my back were all tangled up and a little bit dodgy. When I was about 10 or 11, it got to the point where I couldn't walk so I went to the hospital and this crack team of surgeons sorted it out. But every now and then I get an injury because its quite a sensitive area.

    Especially this time round, I was full of codeine and every painkiller going and I started thinking about childhood. I spoke to one of the surgeons at Queen's Med (Medical Centre) in Nottingham, and he knew the guy who did the operation so it was quite emotional and I started thinking about my childhood and where I lived and I started exploring that a bit more."

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