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Last Saturday Silent Radio welcomed into the studio Steve Ignorant former lead singer of Crass one of the most influential punk bands, well ever. Steve was joined by Carol and Pete from his new acoustic project ‘Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life’.

Interviewed by a very excited Simon Poole Steve took us back to the Crass days, where the band formed in the late 70’s at Dial House and went on to spearhead what now is commonly known as the DIY scene. There was talk of John Lydon, hippies and selling more records than AC/DC.

The Silent Radio Show 11/07/2015 with Steve Ignorant by Silent Radio on Mixcloud

Filmmaker and former Chumbawamba member Dunstan Bruce has launched a funding bid on Kickstarter for new documentary project I Get Knocked Down (The Untold Story of Chumbawamba). The bid aims to raise £40,000 by Friday 31 July 2015. A wide variety of Rewards packages are available – from £1 to £5000.
 

 

How to survive as a political pop star, keep your friends, self-respect and sense of humour when everyone hates you

The Brit Pop 90’s: Cool Britannia was in full swing, the Oasis vs. Blur rivalry was simmering, people were using Friends Reunited to connect and the Nokia 3210 was the must-have tech gadget. And there was that song; ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again': either the ultimate anthem of working-class perseverance or a deeply annoying novelty song, brought to you by a group of anarcho-punks living in a squat in Leeds.

Chumbawamba, the anarchists-turned international pop stars, will be reunited in a feature length documentary revealing for the first time the hilarious and surprising story behind their meteoric rise to fame, their infamous John Prescott moment at the Brits in ’98 and a legacy reduced to a dancing gorilla sold by Walmart.

This film – a modern day cautionary tale – is Chumbawamba vocalist Dunstan Bruce’s account of the rollercoaster ride that took them from DIY squat gigs to Madison Square Gardens and back again. A personal exploration of what happens when a political pop band accidentally have a worldwide smash hit and given their “15 minutes of fame” what they attempted to achieve.

Chumbawamba’s unconventional route to stardom started with 15 years of squat gigs, transit van tours, sleeping on people’s floors, bad haircuts, communal living and communal underpants whilst arguing the toss about syndicalism and class war. 15 years of fiercely preserving their independence, relying heavily on their fanbase that they spent years nurturing.

Then, in 1997, they controversially signed to EMI: a compromise they hoped would help them change the world for the better. Their single Tubthumping, instantly became a worldwide hit. Not quite what a bunch of self proclaimed anarchists from the north of England were expecting.

Instead of spending the money they made on fast cars or country piles, they started to funnel it from major licensing deals into causes they supported: striking dockers, anarchist radio stations, European community centres…whilst hoping they’d find a bit of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll along the way.

Despite this they were deafened by shouts of “Sell out!’ from their previously loyal fans who deserted them in their droves until in 1999 when the release of ‘What You See is What You Get’ hastened their return to obscurity, emptied their wallets and left them with virtually nothing.

(Maybe that’s what you get for trying to crack America with an anti-American album.)

As Dunstan revisits the 90s, some familiar Brit Pop era stars and all eight band members, he’ll capture their often conflicting accounts of one of pop’s most astonishing untold stories.
And it’s your story too!

We would love you to be a part of the story.

If you were there, at their gigs, in the squat, in the pub, we need your photos, home movie footage or flyers.

Whether you loved them or hated them, however that band or THAT song affected you, we want hear your stories. Surely someone can help Dunstan fill in the gaps?

Get in touch with us at info@igetknockeddown.com if you have anything to send us and we’ll let you know how even if your material is on VHS’s, old film tape etc. let us know and we can get it converted. You never know – you might just see your material in the finished film!

Southern have launched a BandCamp page offering tracks from the Crass releases The Feeding of the 5000, Stations of the Crass, Penis Envy, Christ the Album, Yes Sir, I Will, and Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day for paid-for digital download.

Just another cheap product for the consumers’ head. All original masters now available in any digital format your heart desires, including Flac and Ogg Vorbis. Get 20% off until Sunday midnight (12 July 2015) with code sowhat.

I’m sure someone from Southern can sort out the naff generic ‘stencil’ lettering in the page template…
 

Southern - Crass - BandCamp - July 2015

A two-page, colour feature on Poison Girls appears in the current issue of Zero Tolerance magazine. Written by Avi Pitchon, the article is based on new interviews with Vi Subversa and Pete Fender.

Describing her pre-punk associations with British anarchist culture, Subversa recalls:

it just so happened that a friend of mine was the daughter of someone from the old anarchist newspaper Freedom, so I started selling the paper and helping out at Freedom Press in the East End, which was not far from where I lived. At the time, nobody wanted to hear of it, but we kept on with it regardless until punk happened, and there was a sudden upsurge in interest.

Poison Girls interview - Zero Tolerance magazine - 2015

Avi Pitchon. 2015. ‘Not Just Boys’ Fun’. Zero Tolerance. No 66, pp.52-53.

Professor Matthew Worley interviews Steve Ignorant, proponent of punk and lead singer of Crass (1977-1984) – Filmed and Edited by MotionBlurr – Published on Vimeo in April 2015.

Slice of Life - Andy T - Bite Back - 11 July 2015

Culture Shock – Slice of Life – Andy T – Bite Back – 11 July 2015 – Fort Perch Rock – New Brighton

Slice of Life have also published an updates series of live dates in the UK, including a support slot on selected dates of the Sleaford Mods‘ Key Markets tour (September-October); as well as dates in the UK, Germany and the US where Steve Ignorant will perform with Paranoid Visions.

Slice of Life - live dates - 2015

Slice of Life - Sleaford Mods - 2015

Sleaford Mods – Key Markets tour – September-October 2015 (selected dates feature support from Slice of Life).

Steve Ignorant - Paranoid Visions - Sutton-in-Ashfield - 27 June 2015

Steve Ignorant – Paranoid Visions – The Enemy – 3 Stone Monkey – Static Kill – The Outlines
New Cross, Sutton-in-Ashfield
27 June 2015
£10 in advance | Doors from 7pm
Advance tickets available

Poison Girls’ Vi Subversa celebrated her eightieth birthday at an event for family and friends in London Hove, near Brighton last week.

Poison Girls' Vi Subversa celebrates eightieth birthday

Vi Subversa - 80th birthday - speech

Vi Subversa - 80th birthday - cake

Photos: Ming DeNasty. More photos from the event can be found on the the Poisongirlfriends Facebook group page.

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