Artist: The Mekons
Songs: Millionaire / Abernant 1984/85 / Last Dance / Simone on the Beach
Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, September 17, 2016.
An unruly trans-Atlantic collective and an unviable project on any sort of capitalist analysis, this visit to town from the legendary Mekons was a long time coming, with the band last having passed through a dozen years or more ago. Although the Chicago-based Jon Langford is a frequent visitor to these parts, it took the economic logic of a large corporate music festival (for which, if nothing else, we should be thankful for TURF) to get the whole mob together and over the border to Canada. Fortunately for those not inclined to spend the day outside in a cattle pen, the band also played a club set at The 'Shoe. As a designated tie-in with the festival, things didn't get started 'til late, arguably well past the mean bedtime for the band's members and fan demographic alike.
But even, so there was a lot of energy on both sides for this, and the set had most of the "hits", a few worthy depth picks, and a small taste from their new album/book combo. There was also playful intra-band verbal jousts, missed notes, bad jokes (repeated until they were good jokes) and Dallas and Travis Good wandering on-stage to occasionally play a little guitar, sing along or offer the band some Johnny Walker Red. A sprawling, messy, joyous time, in other words, and pretty much what you'd want from a Mekons show. After one particularly bombastic finish to a song early on, Sally Timms commented, "it might be a mistake if we peak too soon."
"It's already too late," Langford replied, "too late to peak too soon."
I've uploaded this entire show to the Live Music Archive. You can stream the whole thing, or download it in the format of your choice, including lossless FLAC files.