He used to be known as one of the best finger-picking guitarists in the whole of York. Not New York, with its Rockefeller Center and Ghostbusters fire station. The City of York, England, with its uniformly short buildings and weekly Rick Witter 'Disco Down' DJ sets. Still, it's an accolade that doesn't come lightly and back in the day Mark Wynn found moderate success playing with the band Hijak Oscar, who supported the likes of Alabama 3 and appeared on Channel 4's Mobile Act Unsigned.
At some point, Wynn is believed to have experienced some kind of epiphany, although certain folk describe it more in terms of a breakdown. Apparently deciding that there was a dubious, unavoidable insincerity to English white boys playing trad-blues "baby, baby" swamp-rock stuff, Wynn reinvented himself as a "word noise blah" artist: a deliberately ramshackle songwriter and performance artist who drawls outsider poetry in a Yorkshire accent over crude guitar riffs, evoking the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Mark E. Smith, Wreckless Eric and maybe even Alex Turner when he still had to travel by public transport, observing real things. The self-sabotaging behaviour of eccentrics like Frank Sidebottom and Daniel Johnston also come to mind. As well as showcasing his own compositions, Wynn's live sets would see him play a mainstream artist's CD over the PA while screaming the words "THIS IS A COVER" over the top. Sometimes he'd get naked and roll on the floor. When he caught the attention of the NME's beady eyes, being listed in their "Ones To Watch In 2015", Wynn reacted by promptly announcing his retirement from music and moving to Scotland. (He has since been coaxed into a handful of gigs as well as this compilation of "singles" which aren't actually singles but tracks lifted from various self-releases).
Wynn probably doesn't appreciate any of the above comparisons any more than Sleaford Mods enjoy being likened incessantly to The Fall, although incidentally one of Wynn's choruses does go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, rip off The Fall, rip off The Fall" and Sleaford Mods are loyal champions of Wynn. They've had him support them a bunch of times and Jason Williamson has said this of Wynn: "The same grey fucking cloud that followed me now hangs above him. He's got it!" Wynn, however, channels his disaffected anger in a more sardonically baffled manner than the more outright, furious ire of Williamson.
READ MORE HERE: http://thequietus.com/articles/19912-mark-wynn-the-singles-review