KatJonBand on Apple Music

KatJonBand

Katjonband mark a collaboration between members of two uncompromising, politically charged bands that have been engaged in musical troublemaking since the late '70s -- Jon Langford of the Mekons and Katrin Bornfeld (aka Kat Ex) of the Ex. While the Mekons were formed in Leeds, England, in 1976, with the bulk of the group relocating to Chicago, IL, in the '90s, and the Ex were founded in Holland in 1979, the two groups often found themselves crossing paths while touring, and Langford produced several albums for the Ex, beginning with Tumult in 1983. Bornfeld was also drafted to play drums for a 1985 performance in Amsterdam by Langford's side project the Three Johns when their drum machine went on the blink, and the Mekons were frequent guests at the Ex's communal squat when they toured in Holland. In 2004, the Ex staged a special 25th anniversary concert in Amsterdam, and Langford was invited to serve as master of ceremonies. Langford was eager to perform at the show as well, and he and Bornfeld did an improvisational set, with Langford on guitar and vocals and Bornfeld on drums and vocals; the performers and the audience were enthusiastic about the results, and Jon and Kat agreed to continue their collaboration. Writing songs when they were both in the same city and sharing ideas via the Internet, they began working up material and did a short tour of Germany and Austria together in 2005. In 2006, the duo made its American debut at Touch and Go Records' 25th anniversary festival in Chicago (where the Ex also performed and Langford also performed with fellow Mekon Sally Timms) and began work on an album. The duo's debut CD, simple entitled Katjonband, was released by the respected Chicago-based indie label Carrot Top Records in the fall of 2008. ~ Mark Deming

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