Monday, June 24th: MEKONS
The Mekons are a British-American rock band. Formed in the late 1970s as an art collective, they are one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands. Through the years, the band's musical style has evolved, from punk rock incorporating aspects of country music, folk music, and alternative rock. Their current line up has remainted intact since the mid 1980s.
The band was formed in 1976 by a group of University of Leeds art students: Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan and Tom Greenhalgh - the Gang of Four and Delta 5 formed from the same group of students. For several years the loose-knit band played noisy, bare-bones post-punk, releasing singles on a variety of labels. The Mekons' first album, “The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen,” was released in 1979.
After a hiatus, the Mekons returned in the 80s as an active group, now experimenting with musical styles derived from traditional English folk and American country music, building on the innovations of Gram Parsons and blending punk ethos and left wing politics with the minimalist country of Hank Williams. They continued to record at a prolific rate through the 90s and 2000s, moving to a more folk flavored sound.
A music documentary about the band, “Revenge of the Mekons,” was released in 2013. The Mekons celebrated their 40th anniversary with the "Mekonville" festival near Ipswich, UK, with both the current 2017 line-up and the re-united original 1977 lineup performing.
The Mekons 22nd album, “Deserted,” was released this year and was recently added to WYCE’s library.