NOSTALGIA IN SEPTEMBER (7)

Mekons

Some extracts from ICA 73.

There are twenty-one albums by The Mekons up here in the music room (as at 1996), which is almost their entire output, bar one compilation album from a few years back (Heaven & Hell: The Very Best of the Mekons ) and the album Pussy, King of the Pirates they made with Kathy Acker in 1996, which I think I bought second hand from Polar Bear records in Birmingham many years ago, but I must have traded it in again.

They were punk, then post-punk before a radical change in direction in 1984, when The Mekons started making records with more than a hint of country, then ca. 1989 the music became more “indie/alternative” for a few years and latterly more folk-tinged. All of which may have you running for the hills, but that would be a catastrophic mistake, because The Mekons are a great band (apart from those punk/post-punk early years).

Memphis Egypt 

This is track 1 from the 1989 album The Mekons Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Not a bad track on the album. Has been, on occasion, One Of The Ten Best Albums Of All Time. The first album of their “indie/alternative” era.

Tourettes

From the 1998 album Me.

There are some rather rude words in this, so in the name-of-the-sweet-lord do not play this when your granny’s in the room. But it’s a song that could very well make you laugh. Or not, if you’re a bit prudish.

Last Dance

The penultimate track from Fear And Whiskey, the first album The Mekons made (in 1985) after their hiatus, and I think one of the first alt-country albums. Some people refer to it as country punk. And an album you really should possess.

GEORGE FORSYTH

5 thoughts on “NOSTALGIA IN SEPTEMBER (7)

  1. I have only the most tangential knowledge of The Mekons, but Ghosts Of American Astronauts from 1988 is magnificent.

  2. I don’t mind the country/folk stuff, but I have to say I like their earliest post-punk phase most. I was surprised to read not that long ago that Langford (?) disdained The Quality of Mercy when I think it’s one of the very best records of its time, and the follow up is great too, all in the same vein of experimental/amateuristic/anti-rock explored by the likes of Swell Maps, Glaxo Babies, Television Personalities et al.

    I saw them supporting The Rezillos in 1978 and they were great. They came on to warm applause, shouted something like “26, 27, 28, 29, THIRTY!!”, hit a big, loud messy chord, BLAAAMM!!! and then unplugged and went off again. Then they came back on, did the same again, and went off again. Finally they came back and did a ‘proper’ set to everyone’s satisfaction, including their stand-out FAST Product single Where Were You? which is still one of my favourite discs ever.

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