Steve Ignorant’s new acoustic project Slice of Life (with Carol Hodge and Pete Wilson), with support from Andy T, play The Blind Tiger Club, 52-54 Grand Parade, Brighton on Saturday 26 October 2013, from 7pm, entrance £6.
No Sir, I Won’t: Reconsidering the Legacy of Crass and Anarcho-punk
Friday 28 June, 11:00 til 18:00pm, Headington Campus in Willow 01 and RHB Arena, Oxford Brookes University
Free entry, lunch provided, to book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org
No Sir, I Won’t: Reconsidering the legacy of Crass and anarcho-punk
Oxford Brookes University
Friday 28 June 2013
Organised by Oxford Brookes’ Popular Music Research Unit (PMRU) in association with the Punk Scholars’ Network (PSN).
20 years since legendary anarcho-punk group Crass released their highly challenging LP Yes Sir, I Will, this symposium will explore the impact and long-lasting legacy of Crass and anarcho-punk. Crass are widely perceived as ‘reluctant leaders’ of the anarcho-punk scene; an ironic title for self-proclaimed anarchists, of course. The central question, for this study day, is: were Crass and anarcho-punk scene significantly effective politically or, alternatively, was the anarcho-punk scene surreptitiously more about clothes, music, image and ‘symbolic rebellion’ (to use Adorno’s term)?
Newspaper articles, journalist/fan publications and a growing body of scholarly work on Crass and the anarcho-punk music scene has been keen to celebrate the fact that such groups sold many thousands of records (more than a million in total in Crass’s case, reportedly), contributed substantially to the rise of anarchistic strategies on the Left and the revitalization of CND in the UK, drew the attention of the UK establishment including the House of Commons and were eventually prosecuted under the Obscene Publications act.
Recent scholarly work on punk has challenged classic academic accounts of punk such as Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style. Querying the legitimacy of such accounts has been a specific intention of the nascent Network of Punk Scholars, for example. This symposium, however, would offer a counter-challenge to post-Hebdigean scholars: what is the meaning and politics of punk? What have bands such as Crass done, beyond the ‘bricolage’ which Hebdige describes? What are (were) the limits to their efficacy as agitators? Was/is anarcho-punk really about more than music? If so, was music the best possible vehicle for the forms of agitation which Crass undertook?
Within the study day, in addition to presentations from members of the Punk Scholars’ Network and any other interested parties, an afternoon panel combines the views of Penny Rimbaud (the vociferous drummer of Crass), Sarah MacHenry (Crass fan, 1in12 member and ex-Witchknot/Curse of Eve drummer) and George McKay (author of Senseless Acts of Beauty discussing examples of correspondences he had with Crass in the early 1980s).
The symposium will be free of charge and will run all day. A free lunch will be provided. However, spaces are limited and interest is expected to be high so it is recommended that you book a place early to avoid disappointment. Those interested in giving a paper or wanting to book a place should contact Dr. Pete Dale at Oxford Brookes University, email@example.com c/o School of Arts, Richard Hamilton Building, Headington Hill, OX3 0BP. Please do not hesitate to contact Pete if you are at all interested in this symposium event.
Live rehearsal video of The Way Things Are, performed by Slice Of Life (Steve Ignorant, Pete Wilson, Carol Hodge), April 2013.
Penny Rimbaud speaks and answers questions after the screening of the punk double-bill film evening at The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, on 18 February 2013.
Punk Double Bill at The Railway Film Night
The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
18 February 2013, from 19:30
A double bill consisting of two seminal documents from the UK punk movement, followed by an informal Q&A session with Penny Rimbaud, co-founder and drummer of Crass.
Don Letts’ Punk Rock Movie
A revealing look into the bands comprising the 1977 London punk-rock scene, and a peek back-stage at the lives behind the facade. Includes performances by Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eater, and other concurrent bands.
Most of the bands were filmed at the Roxy club in London, where Don Letts worked as a DJ. Letts filmed the bands very simply with a Super-8 camera, and also filmed on the tour bus and at shows with The Clash and The Slits. The Sex Pistols were filmed at Screen on the Green in London on 3 April 1977, Sid Vicious’s first show with the band. A wonderful historical document of one of the most important musical and cultural revolutions of the 20th Century!
There Is No Authority But Yourself
The anarchist punk band Crass was very different from their contemporaries. The Sex Pistols and The Clash sold their souls to big record labels, whereas Crass stayed true to their anti-corporate ideals. Crass still exists today as a commune just outside of London named ‘Dial House’- a safe haven for those individuals of principle who still live by the old punk slogan ‘Do it yourself’.
Free admission and popcorn!
Alex Burrows. 2012. ‘Something From Nothing: The Crass Art Of Gee Vaucher’. The Quietus, 2 December. http://thequietus.com/articles/10865-gee-vaucher-crass-art-interview.
Alongside Peter Blake, Storm Thorgerson and Jamie Reid, Gee Vaucher’s record sleeve artwork is some of the most iconic and enduring of the 20th century. Alex Burrows asked her about her psychology of art