Gee Vaucher - Guardian - July 2014

Emily Mackay. 2014. Gee Vaucher: ‘Anarchists wasn’t a title we gave ourselves’. The Guardian, 19 July 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/jul/19/gee-vaucher-crass-penny-rimbaud

“There’s no isms,” confirms Vaucher, a sharp, warm presence in simple, dark clothing, as we settle into one of Dial House’s many cosy, serene corners. “‘Anarchists’ wasn’t a title we gave ourselves. It was something that was given to us, and we thought we’d run with it. The anarchism I took on was to uncover myself. By looking at certain areas, you do create chaos inside yourself, because you’re taking away what you think is your solid ground.”

Belly Of The Beast‘ An Evening with Dunstan Bruce (Chumbawamba)
17 July 2014, from 7pm
Outlaws Yatch Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, UK LS2 7DY

Dunstan Bruce, vocalist of Chumbawamba takes us on an illustrated talk, full of humour, irony and politics, in an attempt to explain and elucidate on their rollercoaster ride that took them from anarcho-squat gigs to Madison Square Gardens and back again all thanks to their anthem Tubthumping. Also features a singing gorilla. This is a free event & everybody welcome

Dunstan Bruce - The Belly of the Beast - Leeds - 17 July 2014

Dunstan Bruce – The Belly of the Beast – Leeds – 17 July 2014

I think it worth drawing attention to the write-up of the No Sir, I Won’t symposium held at Oxford Brookes university in June 2013, written by organiser Pete Dale, published a couple of months back on the Oxford Brookes web site (especially as it’s not the easiest document to find!). Dale’s piece offers a detailed summary of the different talks and presentations on the day, and offers some interesting reflections on the different perspectives to emerge from the day’s discussion.

Web pages documenting conferences and seminars are notoriously ephemeral, as universities take down ‘legacy’ event content (and Oxford Brookes has already partly archived off the entry for the No Sir, I Won’t event). So I’m ‘taking a liberty’ (that would be a good title for a single, you know) and archiving off a copy of the write-up on this blog.

Cite the original: Pete Dale, 2014. “Write up of the ‘No Sir, I Won’t: reconsidering the legacy of Crass and anarcho-punk’” event at Oxford Brookes, 28 June 2013, Popular Music Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University, <http://arts.brookes.ac.uk/events/resources/No-Sir-I-wont-write-up.doc>, accessed [access date].

Cite this copy: Pete Dale, 2014. “Write up of the ‘No Sir, I Won’t: reconsidering the legacy of Crass and anarcho-punk’” event at Oxford Brookes, 28 June 2013, Popular Music Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University, republished on The Hippies Now Wear Black blog, <http://thehippiesnowwearblack.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/pete_dale_no-sir-i-wont-write-up.pdf> accessed [access date].

There’s no one place online where all of the presentations are currently available, but my own “You’ll never beat the system by bombing Number 10″ is available on this blog, while Matt Grime’s Call It Crass but “There Is No Authority But Yourself”: Re-Canonizing Punks Underberlly is available through the academia.edu site, where you can also find related works by other presenters Pete Dale, Ana Raposo and Jim Donaghey.

Russ Bestley’s illustrated booklet, written and designed for the event, and to accompany the one-day exhibition of anarcho-punk artwork and graphic design, is also available to download (as a 5mb PDF file).

Oxford Brookes - No Sir, I Won't - this event has now finished


Belatedly catching up on a multi-city gig-come-festival happening in three cities in Scotland across this weekend…

FREEDOM OF THE CITIES is the biggest anarcho event of 2014 in the UK. This event is happening in three cities in Scotland over the same weekend: Glasgow (4-5 July), Aberdeen (4-5 July) and Edinburgh (6 July). There are over 40 bands and acts from all over the UK and Dublin, as well as local bands.

Freedom of the Cities – Glasgow

4 July – 5 July
4 July at 18:00 to 5 July at 23:00
Classic Grand, 18 Jamaica street, Glasgow G1 4QD.

Freedom of the Cities - Glasgow - 4-5 July 2014

Freedom of the Cities – Aberdeen

4 July – 5 July
4 July at 10:00 to 5 July at 23:55
The Tunnels Aberdeen, Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen AB10 1BF

Freedom of the Cities - Aberdeen - 4-5 July 2014

Freedom of the Cities – Edinburgh

6 July at 19:00 to 7 July at 03:00
The Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LG

Freedom of the Cities - Edinburgh  - 6 July 2014

STEVE IGNORANT IS interviewed in the Aberdeen Evening Express (4 July 2014) about his involvement in the festival in the city as a member of Paranoid Visions.

FORGET Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned or the Buzzcocks – or any other punk ‘legends’.

The most vitriolic, subversive and influential band from that era were Crass.

Many punk bands weakened their message and watered down their sound in search of commercial acceptance.

Not anarcho collective Crass – they never compromised.

And former Crass vocalist and lyricist Steve Ignorant will headline Tunnels tomorrow as part of a two-day punk festival.

Steve will front Paranoid Visions.

He said: ‘I had heard of Paranoid Visions before and when we met we hit it off straight away.’

‘I love their attitude and what they write about.’

‘It’s almost as if they are doing a Crass angle on the Irish side of things, and I am learning from them.’

‘I like the sentiments they hold and I’m glad they offered me the chance to work with them.’

Steve first began working with Dublin band Paranoid Visions when they supported him on tour.

They have subsequently recorded the album What? together.

Steve said: ‘We complement each other, but there is no sense of stardom or heroism.’

‘I’m not anyone special.’

‘When I perform with Paranoid Visions I am just another member of their family.’

‘As it is not my words or music, it also means it’s not my responsibility, so when I do gigs with Paranoid Visions I can relax a little bit.’

‘It’s funny to say that but the pressure really is off of me.’

Formed in 1977, anarchists Crass released Feeding of the 5,000 the following year.

Material like So What, Gasman Cometh and System is as relevant today as when it was released.

Steve said: ‘When we were Crass we always saw ourselves as an information bureau.’

‘A lot of people listening to the records were 15 or 16 year olds who had never heard of Anarchism, Ban The Bomb or CND.’

‘The reason why the Crass records have such a unique sound is because none of us were musicians.’

Also performing during the punk festival are The Mob, Rubella Ballet and Oi Polloi.

‘Ex-Crass singer leads Paranoid Visions at Aberdeen punk bonanza’, 2014. Evening Express [Aberdeen], 4 July. http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/lifestyle/entertainment/music/ex-crass-singer-leads-paranoid-visions-at-aberdeen-punk-bonanza-1.453613

All eight episodes of the Dutch punk-anarchist documentary series Neon (1979-1908) have been archived online as part of the Internet Archive ‘Community Video’ collection. Episode eight features some remarkable (if brief) on-camera interviews with Steve Ignorant (Crass), Vi Subversa (Poison Girls) and equally brief peformance footage from Crass, Poison Girls and Annie Anxiety (as well as some live footage of The Slits). The series is available for streaming and download under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Creative Commons licence.

[The existence of the Neon video archive was posted on Facebook by Opiate Brighton]

Steve Ignorant, Vi Subversa (Neon, episode 8)

Steve Ignorant, Vi Subversa (Neon, episode 8)

Crass (Neon, episode 8)

Crass (Neon, episode 8)

Poison Girls (Neon, episode 8)

Poison Girls (Neon, episode 8)

Annie Anxiety (Neon, episode 8)

Annie Anxiety (Neon, episode 8)

No Future? Punk 2001 conference, Wolverhampton

No Future? Punk 2001 conference, Wolverhampton

To make available the full-text of the conference paper that I gave at the No Future? punk conference back in 2001, I’ve republished an archive web page of mine (from a putative anarcho-punk history web site that I worked up a few years ago).

To cite the original conference presentation: Rich Cross, 2001. ‘Yes that’s right, punk is dead: Crass and the anarcho-punk critique’. Paper given at the No Future conference, University of Wolverhampton, 21 September.

To cite this online version of the original presentation: Rich Cross, 2001. ‘Yes that’s right, punk is dead: Crass and the anarcho-punk critique’. Paper given at the No Future conference, University of Wolverhampton, 21 September, [available online], The Hippies Now Wear Black, http://urko.org.uk/hnwb/index.html (Accessed on access date).

ABSTRACT: As McLaren conjured up the myth of the Pistols’ “rock’n’roll swindle” he urged punks to “call all hippies boring old farts and set light to them.” In 1978, the release of The Feeding of the 5000 by the band Crass had signalled the emergence of a current within punk equipped with a more complex and subtle understanding of the hippy era. Anarchist, feminist and (initially at least) pacifist, anarcho-punk began as a critique of punk ‘as it had gone before’ and a celebration of punk ‘as it was always supposed to have been’. With Crass at its centre, anarcho-punk evolved into a distinct sub-culture of music, bands, labels and fanzines, organised by a network of politically mobilised activists fiercely protective of their own autonomy and anti-commercial practice. Crass’s own gigs were a testament to the aesthetic and political distinctions of anarcho-punk – with shows combining poetry, film and banner art alongside the relentless agit-punk music. Crass’s critique of punk found its own reflection in the hostile reaction of other sections of the movement, which rejected anarcho-punk’s claims of legitimacy outright. This paper re-assesses the political, musical, artistic and cultural significance of Crass and the movement they inspired, and describes how anarcho-punk’s awkward relationship with ‘mainstream’ punk rock might best be understood.

Access the full-text of the paper (there were no slides or other visuals).

The conference web site was taken offline following the event, but an archive of abstracts and other information can still be accessed through the Web Archive version of the site.

Many of the ideas explored in the conference paper were later included in an article in Socialist History journal in 2004, the full-text of which is also now available on this blog.

The Mob - Canada and west-coast US tour

The Mob begin a short tour of Canada and the west-coast of the US on 23 May 2014, with dates in Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, Portland OR and more, The tour concludes with gigs in Los Angeles CA and San Diego CA, before the band return for more live shows in the UK and continental europe.


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