The packed out crowd at the Lewes Con Club tonight witnessed the rare spectacle of an evening in the company of the original 1977-1980 line-up of The Mekons, known currently as The Mekons 77.
The Mekons formed in Leeds in the late 1970s as an art collective and are one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands, although during that time they have moved across many music genres.
Through the years, The Mekons musical style has evolved, incorporating aspects of country music, folk music, alternative rock and even occasional experiments with dub. The band has experienced several changes in line-up since their formation over 40 years ago, and although the current line-up of ‘Mekons’ are writing and recording music, playing shows and touring, the original ‘The Mekons 77’ have reunited and are playing live shows for a limited time and the Lewes gig is one of those.
The band were responsible for the totally epic ‘Where Were You?” single which has truly stood the test of time – I never got bored of it. If anything I have always felt that it was just never long enough and I would immediately pick the needle up and place it at the start of my prized 7” vinyl and listen again, oh and errr again.
The six-piece politically and socially aware Mekons 77 are more like a collective on stage rather than a solid band, having been off on their own separate projects. It feels that they got together for the fun of it, for possibly one last tour and one last album – ‘It Is Twice Blessed’. As the singer stated at the Lewes gig tonight, that it was probably the punters last chance to see them as by the fiftieth anniversary they might be dead. This was typical of the bands sense of irony and humour. [ . . . ]
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. [ . . . ]
For many musicians, it’s a dream to record in the famed Shoals region with members of the legendary Muscle Shoals recording crew. But Jon Langford was invited to do just that, completely sight-unseen. After producing artwork for an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015, the Welsh musician was invited to come out to Alabama to record by Elvis’s former bassist and member of Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Norbert Putnam.Joined by f
Source: Jon Langford Four Lost Souls