The genre-defying Mekons formed in Leeds, England in 1977, born form the emerging British punk scene. They progressed from socialist art students with no musical skills to the prolific, raucous progeny of Hank Williams. This current classic line-up has remained intact since the mid-1980s. Theirs is an improbable history — a surprising and influential embrace of folk and country music; with occasional forays into the art world. Throughout their history, they have worked collaboratively and collectively with everything credited to the band, never to individuals. Their mind-boggling output consistently blurs the lines between high art and low and has included exhibitions in the UK and US, a deranged musical recorded and staged with Kathy Acker, an art performance with Vito Acconci, and several books including the unique art catalog/unfinished novel Mekons United. The Mekons continue to make bold, unpredictable music while staying true to the punk ethos. Their mind-boggling output consistently blurs the lines between high art and low and they remain one of the truly great live bands.
(Photo Credit: Paul Beaty)