Most people attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with high expectations. Which is, objectively speaking, wild verging on nuts.

Coachella takes place in a desert. Do people not have a working understanding of geography? Have they not seen Chinatown? For something not evil to happen to you once you willingly follow a mob into the wastelands outside of Palm Springs takes a minor miracle. Even Moses had the benefit of a recipe for low-sodium saltines, and the self-esteem that comes with successfully parting a sea, before he tried his hand at putting on a multi-weekend desert festival. Still, despite all such logic, hope springs like water dragged kicking and screaming from the ground, to the tune of 90.4 million gallons a day, to sate the thirst of the more than 120 golf courses in the valley where the festival is held. In turn, Coachella, year after year, draws a veritable hootenanny of Instagram influencees, semipro vapers, token gestures to millennial/Xer indie nostalgia, and 1,001 rappers suckered by Big Guitar into believing that a live band equals authenticity. In the midst of this cross-generational migration, a Corn Dogs Gone Wild kiosk stands, squat and sturdy, like an American Lady Liberty, welcoming all who have $549-$l,609 and the drive to watch YUNGBLUD (pronounced “Young Blood”) perform “I Think I’m Okay” at dusk. Ellis Island never saw the likes of these dreamers.

On the other side of this equation is Sleaford Mods, with your intrepid CREEM reporter in tow, playing Coachella for the first time, chasing their own dreams, and knowing that you can wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first. And there’s a market for either.

Sleaford Mods expect a bad time like it’s their job, which it is. A newly lucrative one at that. Nice work if you can get it. And they have, reaching No. 3 on the U.K. pop charts with the release of UK Grim, the duo’s 12th studio album. Which, if you’ve heard a note of the band, is absurd. Or rather it would have been absurd, if the past few years hadn’t seen a hundred thousand speak-singing post-punk bands lousing up the U.K. charts, each one crawling through the Overton window that Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn have smashed.


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