The Mekons perform “Where Were You?” and “Armalite Rifle” live at the 100 Club, London April 13, 2018
It’s now over four decades since a group of wayward youths broke into a quiet Galashiels cottage, earning themselves a footnote in Borders musical history.
THE SOUTHERN REPORTER :: In the 1970s, there was nothing unusual about housebreaking sadly, unemployment being high and there being little in the way of entertainment for the disenfranchised young.
This break-in was unusual, however. Nothing was stolen, but these youths, in the eyes of some, were more dangerous to society than mere petty criminals as these were punk rockers, regarded by many as a threat to the old order, and they were here to record one of the most pivotal punk records of the 1970s, having travelled all the way up from Leeds to do so. Their recording would become the first 7in release on the influential Edinburgh label Fast Product. It was not only set to create a blueprint for the emerging post-punk genre but also to inspire a generation of misfit Scottish youths to believe they too, regardless of ability or class could become pop stars, albeit in their own unique way.
The Mekons, the unkempt bunch of Leeds University art students responsible for that single, Never Been in a Riot, being reissued next month, are now regarded as one of the most visionary groups of their era and would later combine punk with politics, country and folk [ . . . ]
Read more at THE SOUTHERN REPORTER: Borders break-in yielded big break for punk-rock veterans the Mekons
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Musician known for work with Mekons leads show that will raise funds for green space commemorating ’32 Ford Hunger March
Standing on a barren patch of grass in the shadow of the Marathon refinery, Paul Draus is a man with a vision.
Here in the city’s Oakwood Heights neighborhood, along the banks of the Rouge River in the middle of Michigan’s most polluted ZIP code, Draus looks past Southwest Detroit’s scarred industrial landscape and sees a diamond in the rough.
In the wake of Marathon’s multi-billion-dollar expansion and its controversial home-buyout program here, Draus and his colleagues in the Fort-Rouge Gateway Partnership envision a greener future where the grass is transformed into a small, but strategic green space, a critical link in the Iron Belle bike trail and a buffer zone amid a sea of gray. And this weekend, their goal is getting some assitance from a famed Welsh punk rocker.
“I come from Newport in South Wales, and violent struggle against social injustice is writ large in the history of that town,” says Langford, known for his work with groups like Mekons and Waco Brothers. “The Chartists were gunned down in numbers there in 1839 for asking for democratic reforms that we take for granted today.”
Site of the infamous 1932 Ford Hunger March, the proposed park next to the recently reopened Fort Street Bridge is the brainchild of the late Ed Bagale, the former University of Michigan-Dearborn executive known for bringing local stakeholders together on environmental projects such as the green roof atop Ford Motor Company’s Rouge manufacturing complex in nearby Dearborn [ . . . ]More at Detroit Free Press: Welsh punk-rock icon Jon Langford headlines Friday fund-raiser to commemorate Ford Hunger March
In his 40 years of making music, Jon Langford has earned a reputation for not doing things by the book. That applies most notably to the Mekons, a band the Welsh native cofounded in Leeds in the late 70s, whose sound has evolved over the decades from rudimentary punk to a dark, strange melange of rock, folk, country, and even reggae. In 1984 they played a series of benefits for striking coal miners, whose communities were being starved by Margaret Thatcher’s decision to close many UK mines—a burst of activity that produced their early masterpiece Fear and Whiskey. When the Mekons went on their first U.S. tour in 1986, it was a a revelation for Langford. “Starting as a teenager, there was a longing for America and wanting to go there and wanting to find out things about it,” he says. [ . . . ]