Mark Stewart & The Maffia Live in London for On-U Sound 40th Anniversary


'The joke's On-U'

Ransom Note favourites Mark Stewart & The Maffia are set to perform live in London for the first in over a decade as part of On-U Sound’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Mark Stewart & The Maffia will play the On-U Sound anniversary gig at O2 Forum Kentish Town on the 7th of November 2020.

Stewart & co will join fellow On-U acts and associates African Head Charge, Creation Rebel, Little Roy, Horace Andy and Little Axe, whilst Tackhead will also reform especially for the event. The Forum, formerly known as The Town & Country Club, holds some significance for On-U Sound, with the label holding several parties there during the late 80s and early 90s.

One of the last times Stewart & The Maffia played in London, they joined Russell Haswell for his 'Easy To Swallow' ATP event alongside some bloke called Aphex Twin, Whitehouse and the British Murder Boys (bugger me, someone do that again please?!)

This time, Stewart & The Maffia's long awaited return sees them commemorate another historic connection. Founded and run by innovative dub producer Adrian Sherwood, On-U Sound released Stewart’s debut solo album ‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’ alongside The Maffia in 1983.

Stewart and Sherwood have subsequently collaborated on a series of influential works including, but not limited to, ‘As The Veneer of Democracy Starts To Fade’, ‘Metatron’ and ‘Control Data’, all put out by Mute Records. Last year Mute released an expanded reissue of ‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’ which included ‘The Lost Tapes’, a collection of unreleased material.

Alongside archival projects, Stewart has recently released the single ‘Favour’, a contribution to last year’s On-U Sound compilation ‘Pay It All Back Volume 7’, as well as putting out ‘4’33’, a conceptual reinterpretation of John Cage’s ideas, in honour of the extensive Mute compilation ‘STUMM433’.

Over the last year or so, Stewart has also been engaged in several collaborations. As part of a ‘post-punk supergroup’ comprised of members of Killing Joke and Public Image Ltd – including the likes of Jah Wobble, Youth and Keith Levene – Stewart has featured on the single ‘A Very British Coup’, a response to the ongoing turmoil surrounding Brexit, and has also joined forces with the Italian underground collective Obsolete Capitalism for ‘Chaos Variation IV’, a cross-border project and limited edition release seeing the light of day in February / March 2020.

Stewart is currently at work on a new album which is set to coincide with the On-U Sound 40th anniversary celebrations.

Tickets now available here.

In the meantime, check out this behind-the-scenes video of Mark Stewart & The Maffia Live at Fuji Rock in Tokyo for the 2008 edition of the festival.

Photo by Chiara Meattelli and Dominic Lee.

Keep up to date with all things Mark Stewart here.

Follow On-U Sound updates here.