Below are two posters advertising the event – the first designed by co-chair Alastair Gordon; the second by Gee Vaucher.
The Punk Scholars’ Network in association with the Cultural Exchanges initiative presents Penny Rimbaud ‘in conversation’ at The Cultural Exchanges Festival in Leicester on 21 February 2014. Tickets to this particular event in the festival programme are free, but numbers are limited, and seats do need to be booked online in advance.
Penny Rimbaud is widely known within global punk cultures as the former drummer of legendary anarchist punk band Crass. Crass were the band who took the DiY punk legacy to new creative levels in the 1970s and 80s inspiring a new generation of anarchist activism and art. Beyond Crass, Penny has been a record producer, writer, poet and cultural commentator. He is ‘in conversation’ with Alastair Gordon of Leicester De Montfort University and Mike Dines, of the University of Chichester.
Venue: Clephan Building Room 3.03 De Montfort University, Leicester
Date and time: Friday 21 February 2014 – 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Ticket Price: £0.00
Box Office: 0116 2506229
The Artist Taxi Driver (whose YouTube channel offers hundreds of personal political statements and rants alongside interviews with political and cultural figures of all kinds) interviewed Penny Rimbaud at home at Dial House in a series of four 10-11 minute episodes, recorded in the last few days (of January 2014). The setting was a break with the interviewer’s usual style – which normally sees interviews carried out ‘in the cab’. Part one is, unsurprisingly, followed in turn by part two and part three and wrapped up with part four. The intentionally unstructured interview ‘journey’ begins with memories of Rimbaud’s work on a coal lorry, and the aspirations which led to the setting up of Dial House, and ends with some reflections on the political positions of Pete Seeger and the inevitability of the state’s surveillance of its opponents…
Steve Ignorant is interviewed in the new issue of Vive Le Rock magazine (No 16, 2014). In a one-page Q&A, Ignorant recalls – amongst many other things – his hopes of punk:
I thought for a couple of months that we could make some change, if everyone in punk got together. But of course they didn’t, for various reasons, such as signing up to labels. [...] For a while, I think were actually selling more records than the actual top 10. The indie charts were covered with bands like Conflict, Crass and Poison Girls and we thought we were doing something. Then the Tories got in again and burst that balloon. Gone were the days of thinking we were going to change the world.
Bit late spotting this one – but the full 50-minute on-stage interview with Steve Ignorant at the 2011 Incubate festival is available on the Incubate YouTube channel. The interview, from 16 September 2011, is conducted by John Robb and ranges far and wide across Ignorant’s associations with punk, Crass and after.
Before the concert: Q&A session with anything you wanted to know about Crass but are too afraid to ask anyone but their former members about.
Approached by Vice magazine to comment on the inclusion of a Crass logo on a ‘vintage men’s punk leather jacket’ being marketed by Urban Outfitters for $375, Penny Rimbaud was forthright – but perhaps not in the way that many might expect.
In an article headlined: ‘Crass’s Penny Rimbaud doesn’t care about urban outfitters profiting off his band’s name’, Rimbaud comments:
As far as I’m concerned, if the wealthy want to spend $400 on a rather naff leather jacket and go to book launches and gallery shows and all the things that those literati and glitterati do, then that’s great because it means that we’re getting the name floated around in areas where it’s very difficult for us to penetrate. I actually quite like it when people like Angelina Jolie and David Beckham wear Crass T-shirts.
He goes on to add:
The anarcho punks have been ripping us off since the beginning of time, doing rather pale reproductions of both our music and our art. So as far as I’m concerned they’re just in for what they can get, and that’s laissez-faire [economics] at its most extreme.
I’m quite sure some people who follow us will be pissed off. But they’re not looking at the bigger picture. The sort of people who will be pissed off are the sort of people that are very happy to be working on a very small, almost ghetto existence within a particular genre of thought, a particular genre of action, a particular genre of behavior, and particularly a predictable set of political ideas. [...] Part of the DIY ethic has gone right up its own ass because it can’t look beyond doing it yourself. And very often doing it yourself means not doing it as well as other people can do it. My increasing experience is that the so-called commercial outlets will get the job done quicker, better, very often in a much more friendly way.