charts the unlikely career of the genre-defying collective notorious for being--as rock critic Greil Marcus notes--"the band that took punk ideology most seriously." Born out of the 1977 British punk scene, the Mekons progressed from a group of socialist art students with no musical skills to the prolific, raucous progeny of Hank Williams. Joe Angio's exuberant documentary follows their improbable history - a surprising and influential embrace of folk and country music, forays into the art world and consistent bad luck with major record labels. Featuring interviews with celebrated fans, from author Jonathan Franzen to film director Mary Harron to comedian/musician Fred Armisen, REVENGE OF THE MEKONS reveals how, four decades into an ever-evolving career, punk's reigning contrarians continue to make bold, unpredictable music while staying true to the punk ethos, directed by Joe Angio.
Back in '77 things were definitely changing, halcyon days had become a thing of the past and the recent austerity of 3 Day Weeks and industrial action had truly bitten the bum of those still holding dear to any of those fading hippy ideals - even Punk was facing its demise, although it didn't quite realise it at the time.
It was therefore no surprise that the country had become a breeding ground for counter-culture and radical thinking. Leeds, itself, had always had a reputation for being political, in a left wing sort of way - it was, after all, the feminist capital of the UK, students had been known to occupy their campus in a collective 'sleep-ins', the fine art department of the University had become a hotbed of Marxist theory and blinding hangovers, and the day after the 'Anarchy in the UK ' tour hit the 'Poly', The Mekons were formed.
Thirty years later, and still pursuing their own particular brand of musical anarchy, the band played their anniversary concert at Leeds City Varieties, and Tony Baker filmed the whole event. Completed nine years ago, and having laid festering in the bottom drawer of a sideboard, Mekons Leeds, the documentary and concert video, is now out in the open again for one it's rare public screenings at Mekonville, before being put back in its drawer.
Directed by Tony Baker
THE ADVENTURES OF PRRINCE ACHMED - WITH LITTLE SPARTA
Late night Friday, Mekon spin-off band Little Sparta will be reprising their Edinburgh Festival smash success of a live accompaniment to classic German silent animation "The Adventures of Prince Ahmed", The Herald described the piece as a "most cosily sublime offering".
"A handsome prince rides a flying horse to far-away lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess."
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN - WITH THE DEBEN COLLECTIVE
In the evenings, we are being treated to two late night films with live music accompaniment. Secondly, the musical genius of The Deben Collective will be performing an improvised score to iconic Russian movie Battleship Potemkin - 'the most influential propaganda movie of all time' late night on Saturday.
"In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre."