Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Mekons played last night in SF. Not sure why they’re here. No new record. Low key show that I found out about only two days ago. I was pretty on the fence about going. I was tired. It was Tuesday. I’ve seen ‘em a million times. I rallied, made it to the show and pretty early on I thought to myself, “Why was I even considering not coming to this show? I love this band.” I’ve loved the Mekons since purchasing a scratched, over-priced import of The Edge of The World back in 1986. $14.99 for a sealed, yet scratched record! Had to take it back to the record store, have them ship it back to England and get another copy, which arrived 60-90 days later. But hey, the band crossed my doorstep just as I was discovering country, blues and non-rock material. They came into my life at just the right time. And while not every track on every record is amazing, I probably have more of their records than any other band. And last night, they delivered in a big way. In a classic Mekons-of-old style, there were plenty of broken strings, broken accordion straps, and missing 9 volt batteries plaguing the opening half hour of the set. But no worries, the comedy team of Timms and Langford were as tight as ever and as good as anybody I saw at Sketchfest this year. Once they got their gear in order, the band ripped into a fantastic set. I remember seeing the Rolling Stones about ten years ago. It was a time when I wasn’t listening to the Stones that much. I remember being blown away by the sheer volume of hits. They’d pull out a song like It’s Only Rock and Roll, and I’d think, “Holy crap. I forgot all about this song.” Hit after hit just kept coming. That was going through my mind yesterday as the Mekons rolled through lots of choice selections from the back catalogue. Staples such as Hard To Be Human, Wild and Blue, Beaten and Broken, Hole In The Ground, Fantastic Voyage, Last Dance delivered as usual. But there were moments of “Oblivion! Abernant! Have I ever heard them play these live?” The answer is probably, but hell, that was a long time ago and it all sounded so damn good last night. Even with Tom Greenhalgh missing in action, Lu Edmonds and Rico Bell filled in nicely on vocals. And the new material focused heavily on last year’s Natural, a record I like enough, but don't think their best. But live that material sounded great and will definitely make me take another listen. Moral of the story. If one of you’re favorite bands are playing, don’t be a fool. Just go to the damn show.