Sleaford Mods release Pet Shop Boys endorsed cover of West End Girls for Shelter
November 21, 2023
Sleaford Mods are releasing a cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ iconic single West End Girls – with all profits from the track going to Shelter as the band continue their longstanding collaboration with the homeless charity.
A video for the song, directed by Ewen Spencer, is available to watch, while the track will be released physically, as the single will be available both during the band’s current tour and in record shops from 15 December. See below for details.
The Nottingham duo created a version of the 1986 classic single between tours for their latest album UK GRIM, and then sought the blessing of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe to release 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 and that version will now 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, 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 producer Andrew Fearn and frontman Jason Williamson’s partnership.
“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 their motivation to pay homage to Pet Shop Boys.
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!”
For their part Pet Shop Boys say they were suitably impressed with the 2023 take on their classic, declaring: “Sleaford Mods have brought East End boys back to the West End streets for a great cause and we love their new version.”
Available to stream now, Sleaford Mods’ West End Girls cover will also be released on a limited edition, white-label seven-inch which will be sold via the merch stand on the duo’s upcoming UK dates. A 12-inch edition single, featuring the remixes from the Pet Shop Boys, HiFi Sean and Extnnddntwrk, can be pre-ordered now ahead of its physical release on 15 December.
Profits generated by West End Girls are being donated by Sleaford Mods to Shelter, following on from their previous work with the charity – most recently raising funds earlier this year through a limited-edition T-shirt featuring Cold War Steve’s artwork for single UK GRIM. Details of Shelter’s work can be found at Shelter.org.uk.
“It’s amazing that Sleaford Mods have chosen to support Shelter again this year with the release of their cover of West End Girls,” says Sarah Stickings, Shelter’s Senior Community Fundraising Area Manager of the latest collaboration.
“We’re also grateful that they’ll be collecting donations to Shelter at their UK tour dates. The housing emergency means that more than 131,000 children will be homeless over Christmas. We’re outraged that this is still a reality in England and so thankful for the support from Sleaford Mods and their fanbase as we continue our fight for home this winter.”
Jason Williamson adds: “We wanted to do something for Shelter again in the run up to Christmas so felt why not join up the two things. Their work all year round is so important and – unfortunately, considering the state of the country – needed more than ever. We are pleased proceeds from the single can go to them, and if you are coming to a show and can afford to make a donation, then Andrew and I really appreciate it too.”
Along with collections at their shows, fans can also donate to Shelter online.
Sleaford Mods are currently in the middle of their biggest tour to date in support of their Top 3 album UK GRIM which was released earlier this year and was followed recently by their all new, six-track MORE UK GRIM EP.
After sold out shows in the US, Australia and Europe, and a turn at Wembley supporting Blur, Sleaford Mods are bringing UK GRIM to the UK & Ireland kicking off dates in Birmingham on 22 November, before culminating with a huge night at London’s Alexandra Palace on 2 December, where they will be joined by John Grant, Big Special, comedian Stewart Lee and Hot Chip on the decks.
Final tickets for shows are available via www.sleafordmods.com/live, while the full tour dates are as follows.
22nd November Birmingham O2 Academy
23rd November Glasgow O2 Academy
25th November Dublin National Stadium (SOLD OUT)
28th November Leeds O2 Academy
29th November Manchester Victoria Warehouse
30th November Bristol O2 Academy (SOLD OUT)
2nd December London Alexandra Palace