Newport musician's book in US top ten

South Wales Argus: Former Mekon Jon Langford Former Mekon Jon Langford

A BOOK reminiscing about the Newport of yesteryear was voted as one of the top 10 publications of 2011 by an American magazine.

Jon Langford's Skull Orchard Revisited was lauded by prominent arts magazine, Paste, which put it at number nine.

Newport-born Mr Langford, a former member of punk band, The Mekons, released the book in June along with a newly-recorded version of his 1998 album Skull Orchard.

Now based in Chicago, Mr Langford's work features his own paintings of the town and laments about the demise of nightclub TJ's, the once-mighty docks area and how rugby clubs formed the heartbeat of surrounding valleys communities.

As well as odes to local greats, such as the late former TJ's owner John Sicolo, it features a short story on the passing of Moby Dick and a south Wales alphabet by Mr Langford's brother, David.

Paste's books editor Charles McNair said Mr Langford reminds him of Elvis Costello in his "ceaseless search for new forms."

He added that he even goes a step further with "arresting words and images between book covers".

Mr Langford was excited by the recognition, saying: "I've never been in a best-of before."

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