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Penny Rimbaud -Noisey - Vice
 

WITH THE RELEASE of What Passing Bells: The War Poems of Wilfred Owen, Penny Rimbaud discusses the project (and life, the universe and everything else) with Noisey’s Jamie Thomson. Of his work on the Wilfred Owen project he says:

I wouldn’t have done it if it was just a horror story. Because certainly, equally, his poetry is more powerful than any I know of describing the horror and the misery in the trenches, but at the same time there’s this sort of strange, deep love of the people who he was there with, which is the very love that he went back. I mean, he was hospitalised and actually could very easily not have gone back, but he did go back. He went back not because he believed in the war, but that he did believe in his men and loved his men.

Jamie Thomson. 2017. ‘War all the time: a conversation with Crass’ Penny Rimbaud’, Noisey, 10 November https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne394x/a-conversation-with-crass-penny-rimbaud

No Glue. No Glass Bottles - poster for 2017 retrospective exhibtion

In a guest post, Darren Pike reflects on the recent The Bunker 35 events, which celebrated thirty-five years of Sunderland’s acclaimed punk venue

 


“WHO’S YOUR LEADER? Which is your flock?” One of my favourite lyrics written by one of my favourite bands: Crass.

Crass were part of a movement which was spawned in the late 1970s and which gained popularity and notoriety into the early and mid-eighties. Anarcho-punk was a scene in which bands’ lyrics became extremely political and where serious anarchist ideas and ideals were expounded. Its DIY punk ethic saw like-minded people coming together forming collectives, bands, setting up record labels, writing fanzines and opening venues across the UK.

One such collective who “did it for themselves” were The Bunker group, who opened up a venue and activist centre in Sunderland. This September, members of the group arranged a celebration of 35 years of The Bunker at the “Pop Recs” coffee shop and art space (which was once part of the old Bunker). An exhibition and gig held over two nights (the line-up featured two bands that had played at the Bunker 30-odd years ago Anti-System and Andy T). Having attended one of the very first gigs at the old Green Terrace School (Conflict, Icons of Filth and Omega Tribe) and subsequently formed my own anarcho-punk band named Hex, I was intrigued and excited by the planned events.

As I pulled up in my car, I looked across the road and saw a large group of people standing outside Pop Recs, smiling, hugging each other and shaking hands. Faces I hadn’t seen in years mingled with people who weren’t even born 35 years ago. I was transported back in time and remembered my younger self chatting with mates while waiting to go into a gig, maybe to see Antisect or Flux of Pink Indians or one of the host of other bands which I saw play at The Bunker (or sometimes didn’t due to drinking far too much home brew).

Framed photographs of the original collective, of the venues, of people at the gigs and of the bands themselves had pride of place on the walls

The first thing that struck me was the sheer amount of people there. Once inside, you could barely move. I was really pleased with the amount of support shown. After chatting with mates and organisers, I had a look around the exhibition. Framed photographs of the original collective, of the venues, of people at the gigs and of the bands themselves had pride of place on the walls. A film made by the collective in the 1980s was also shown. Real DIY stuff, but great all the same. I then watched Jamie Harwood perform. He was excellent and very well received. After buying some merch, which consisted of high-quality reproduction posters and flyers, I said my goodbyes and was on my way and already looking forward to the gig the next evening.

The Bunker 35 - Prolefeed - Mr and Mrs Hardcore Photography
Prolefeed – The Bunker 35 – Mrs & Mrs Hardcore Photography

There were a lot of different faces in a large crowd for the gig the following night. After speaking to mates, it wasn’t long before Prolefeed came on and ripped the place apart. They are loud, aggressive, tight and on top form tonight. Each song lasts about 90 seconds. Barely giving you time to get your breath back before the next onslaught of rage and power is thrust into your face! Great stuff indeed.

Next up was Andy T. I first heard Andy on the Bullshit Detector compilation album back in the early 1980s. I still regard the song “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” as utter genius, and loved his debut single Weary of the Flesh. I’ve seen Andy T and band on a few occasions and thought tonight he was exceptional: spitting out poetry and songs from Life at Tether’s End and finishing off with “I Still Hate Thatcher”. Andy is still thought-provoking, original and relevant; a spoken word performer who’s up there with the genius that is John Cooper Clarke.

Let’s hope “the kids” get off their backsides and create some kind of worthwhile movement of their own

Finally, Anti-System take to the floor: a whole 32 years since they last played the Bunker! I remember buying their Defence of the Realm EP and loving it. This band have really gone through the mill, having members of the band imprisoned for various animal rights’ actions. They are a band who really do mean it. Confirmed by their recent mini album What Price is Freedom, they remain a band who are still angry, have something to say, and show no signs of slowing down. Starting off at such a ferocious pace, you think there was no way they could keep it up. Wrong! They were still blazing at the end of their set, and leave with the audience roaring for more.

And so the gig ends, and it’s off to the Museum Vaults with bands, punters and organisers for an after-show drink or three. This was a fantastic weekend, and I have to say the hard work put in by those involved certainly paid off. So, what now? Well let’s hope “the kids” get off their backsides and create some kind of worthwhile movement of their own, taking up the mantle themselves instead of leaving it to the old timers. But whatever happens next – here’s to The Bunker, and all who hunkered down, hung out, held the stage or hatched plans in her.

Darren Pike

The Bunker - Andy Hardcore and Raf Mulla

Andy Hardcore and Raf Mulla – The Bunker 35 – Mr & Mrs Hardcore Photography

EXITSTENCIL PRESS ARE planning to republish all issues of International Anthem (the ‘nihilist newspaper for the living’ first produced by Gee Vaucher in 1977) in book format. Three issues were produced between 1977 and 1980.

In the pipeline – A publication that brings together the five International Anthems (published and unpublished) made between 1978-1982, into one book. This will hopefully be available towards the end of the year. International Anthem was created by Gee Vaucher as a vehicle for her own work and that of friends including, Eve Libertine, Penny Rimbaud, Dave King.

International Anthem - issue one

Punk Lyrics with Murray Lachlan Young

PENNY RIMBAUD APPEARED ON BBC Radio 6 this weekend discussing the lyrics of punk with British poet Murray Lachlan Young and punk magazine editor Kirsty Allison.

The playlist featured a wide array of punk artists, and includes the Crass tracks ‘Punk is Dead’, ‘End Result’, ‘Fight War Not Wars’, ‘Bloody Revolutions’, ‘Yes Sir I Will’ [extract] Jeffrey Lewis’ cover version of ‘Where Next Columbus?’ and Penny Rimbaud, Kate Short and Liam Noble performing ‘Anthem For The Doomed Youth’ from the forthcoming What Passing Bells: The War Poems of Wilfred Owen

British poet Murray Lachlan Young takes a lyrical look at the world of punk.

He’s joined in the studio by Penny Rimbaud who co-founded the Anarcho-punk band Crass in 1977.

Punk poet, DIY club runner and punk magazine editor Kirsty Allison will also join in the discussion.

Punk lyrics with Murray Lachlan Young was first broadcast on 22 October, and in the UK is available on the BBC iPlayer until 21 November 2017.

Antisect - The Rising of The Lights - first album since 1984

EARLIER THIS MONTH Antisect released their first album in 34 years: The Rising of the Lights is the follow-up to 1983’s In Darkness, There Is No Choice.

The album is previewed on the Noisey site, and there’s more information on the band’s official web site.

 

Interrobang -self-titled debut album - cover

THE DOWNLOAD AND streaming versions of the debut album by Interrobang‽, formed by former Chumbawamba members Dunstan Bruce and Harry Hamer and Stephen Griffin, have now been released, with the CD and vinyl versions now scheduled for March 2018.

NO BULLSHIT DETECTED Interrobang‽ frontman and Chumbawamba co-founder Dunstan Bruce talks at length with Amy Goodman on the US national, daily, independent news program; Democracy Now! – The War and Peace Report. Watch to the end for an impassioned spoken word performance; drawing on writings from Interrobang‽’s album, accompanied by Joey DeFrancesco of Downtown Boys.

Interrobang‽ – the self-titled album is available now via download and streaming platforms and will be released on both Vinyl and CD via All The Madmen Records in Spring 2018, to coincide with a UK tour

Penny Rimbaud - What Passing Bells

AHEAD OF THE release of Penny Rimbaud’s What Passing Bells, a reading of the war poems of Wilfred Owen set to an original musical soundtrack, on the One Little Indian label in November, Patrick Clarke of The Quietus discusses Rimbaud’s views on Owen’s poetry; the process of developing the studio recording; and his perspectives on politics and culture, both contemporary and historic.

In a new short documentary, Noisey invites Rimbaud to reflect further on the power of Owen’s words and the relationship between his own personal and political history and his musical and philosophical worldview.

Patrick Clarke. 2017. ‘Interview: Penny Rimbaud on Wilfred Owen’, The Quietus, 27 September. http://thequietus.com/articles/23279-penny-rimbaud-wilfred-owen-what-passing-bells-interview

 

Noisey. 2017. ‘Get Out of Your Own Way: Anarchy & Peace with Penny Rimbaud of Crass’

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