Monday, August 3, 2009

Live: The Mekons @ Mercury Lounge 8.1.9

(photo left stolen from bob berger on the mekons list)
It had been a couple of years since I had seen The Mekons. I had seen many, many Mekons shows in the past in the last fifteen years and that was well before Langford solo shows and Waco Brothers shows started to factor into the equation. It's horrible to think that I could have gotten jaded even to The Mekons. Regardless, after this show,I'm right back on the horse.

I could listen to Jon Langford talk all night long. He is undoubtably the spiritual godfather to punk rock banter masters like Patrick Costello. The band was more or less intact, save for Tom's absence and Jean Cook stepping in at the last minute to play violin. Only an hour and a half of a set, but still better than most I've heard this year. Here's a setlist, courtesy of NYCtaper. Perceptive readers might be able to find a recording of the show on the interwebs.

01 [introduction]
02 Beaten and Broken
03 Club Mekon
04 Give Me Wine or Money
05 [banter]
06 Tina
07 [banter]
08 Corporal Chalkie
09 [banter]
10 Tempted to Believe
11 Perfect Mirror
12 Fantastic Voyage
13 [banter]
14 Abernant 1984/85
15 [banter]
16 Dickie, Chalkie, and Nobby
17 Diamonds
18 Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem
19 Cockermouth
20 Ghosts of American Astronauts
21 Heaven and Back
22 [banter]
23 Big Zombie
24 Memphis, Egypt
25 [encore break]
26 The Hole in the Elephant’s Bottom
27 The Last Dance
28 Oblivion
29 Hole in the Ground
30 [banter]
31 Powers and Horrors
32 Hard to Be Human

Chris Mills popped up towards the end of the set for Heaven and Back, Mekon-approved blood alcohol level in tow, having previously fetched the alcohol rider for the band as the set ran on. I would have liked to have seen more of him, especially in an opening slot. Megan Reilly opened instead, backed by a stellar backing band comprised of Tony Maimone, James Mastro and Mekon drummer Steve Goulding. She was (and is) good, but it's hard to go wrong with a backing band like that. Heavy hitters aside, Reilly is not the Mekons, so she could only pale in comparison. Sadly, this was the last show of the short tour, but there was talk of a new recording, so I hope we see the band back in town damn soon.


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