In the miserable 1970s, when many people had to make do with cashing a giro, cold porridge and a single-bar electric fire, The Fine Art Department at Leeds University encouraged its students to indulge in fierce debate. Right in the centre of a working-class northern city, the “fookin’ stewdents” lounged around in the Fenton pub, discussing Marxist theory and spending their grants on copious amounts of alcohol. The spirited arguments were often settled with a fight.
It was this environment that spawned The Mekons, Gang of Four and Delta 5. They thrived on friction, their music was a product of their ‘theory’ and their purpose was to be ‘ideologically sound’. They knew they were out of step with the people around them but they didn’t care if they were provocative.
The Mekons were a shambolic, loose collective based on the theory that anyone could do it. People wandered on and off stage. One gig descended into complete chaos, as opposed to routine chaos, because each band member had been given a different set list. They should never have made a record but they did and the NME loved them.
Delta 5 included Mekon girlfriends. Their songs depicted sour relationships » Continue Reading.