Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Fight War Not Wars - The Art of Crass - Leicester - June 2016
The ‘Fight War, Not Wars – The Art of Crass‘ exhibition, curated by Sean Clark, opens in Leicester on Wednesday 1 June, running until Saturday 18 June. Running alongside the (free to enter) exhibition are a series of (ticketed) gigs, performances and other events (see details below).

Setting up The Art of Crass exhibition - photo Sean Clark

Fight War, Not Wars – The Art of Crass

1-18 June 2016
LCB Depot Lightbox
31 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1RE

Free entry to exhibition
[More details]

Wednesday 1 June 2016
LCB Depot Lightbox
Free entry
[More details | Book]

Penny Rimbaud, Eve Libertine and Louise Elliot

Yes Sir, I Will
Friday 10 June 2016
LCB Depot Lightbox
Entry £10.00 (including booklet)
[More details | Book]
Exhibition open from 18:00, Anerki at 20:00, Penny Rimbaud and Louise Elliot at 21:00, the exhibition will remain open until 23:00.

DIY + Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life

Saturday 18 June 2016
LCB Depot
Free entry to daytime event
Evening gig: £8.00
[More details | book]

Fight War, Not Wars: The Art of Crass: http://www.theartofcrass.uk

Greg Bull has published an interview with Sean Clark in the online Subculture magazine.

Greg Bull. 2016. ‘The Art of Crass: An Interview With The Curator’, Subculture, 27 May http://subcultureldn.co.uk/the-art-of-crass-an-interview-with-the-curator/

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Re/Search publications are to publish a new pocketbook collection of interviews with Crass co-founder Penny Rimbaud. The publication date is listed as 16 December 2014 on some sites; but the item is currently available for order from the Re/Search web shop.

Penny Rimbaud is probably most famous as the drummer, songwriter and philosopher-founder of the proto-punk band Crass (1976-1984), which in a pioneering DIY spirit produced their own vinyl LPs which included dazzling poster-size artworks by Gee Vaucher (plus lyrics, essays) hand-inserted into plastic sleeves. The listener had a lot to look at while hearing the record! After-Crass, Penny has written poetry, journals, prose, produced drawings, lectured, read poems aloud and done musical performances (with Japanther, jazz musicians) in Europe, London and at City Lights Bookstore and Emerald Tablet in San Francisco.

RE/SEARCH - Interviews with Penny Rimbaud by V Vale

Penny Rimbaud [interviews by V. Vale] (Re/Search publications: San Francisco, 2014). ISBN-10: 1889307416; ISBN-13: 978-1889307411. 4×6″. 184 pages. A Re/Search Pocketbook.

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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.

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Socialist History - No 26 - Youth Cultures and Politics

Socialist History – No 26 – Youth Cultures and Politics

In response to various requests to the site, the full-text of the pre-print of my article ‘The Hippies Now Wear Black: Crass and the anarcho-punk movement, 1977-1984’, from the Socialist History themed-issue on ‘Youth Cultures and Politics’ from 2004 has been added to the site. Publisher Rivers Oram does not publish an electronic version of the magazine, so I’ve loaded a pre-print version.

The original published version of this article can be cited as: Cross, R., 2004. “The Hippies Now Wear Black: Crass and anarcho-punk, 1977-1984”, Socialist History, 26, pp.25-44.

The online pre-print version of this article can be cited as: Cross, R., 2014. “The Hippies Now Wear Black: Crass and anarcho-punk, 1977-1984” [online], 11 May, The Hippies Now Wear Black, https://thehippiesnowwearblack.wordpress.com/?p=874 [Accessed on date accessed].

Access the full-text of the pre-print: The Hippies Now Wear Black, Socialist History, No 26, 2004

Many of the themes explored in the article were first developed for a paper presented at the No Future? punk conference held in Wolverhampton in 2001, the full-text of which is also available through this blog.

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Belly of the Beast – an evening with Dunstan Bruce of Chumbawamba
Wednesday, 25 September 2013, 19:30 until 23:00
The Railway Hotel, Clifftown Road, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1AJ

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

Warty Hubbard and his Magic Cupboard will be also be performing a selection of classic songs from the anarcho-punk canon…

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The text of my short news report on the No Sir, I Won’t conference, from the June 2013 edition of Freedom:

Rich Cross. 2013. ‘Debating the legacy of anarcho-punk’, Freedom, 74 (June), p.7

Around 50 academics, students, amateur researchers and punk enthusiasts gathered at Oxford Brookes University on 28 June for a conference reconsidering the impact and legacy of anarchist-punk band Crass and the anarcho-punk movement.

The event was organised under the auspices of the new and informal Punk Scholars’ Network (PSN), an association open to anyone interested in researching, writing and publishing on any aspect of the past, present and future of punk internationally.

The morning session of the ‘No Sir, I Won’t’ conference (its name an inversion of the title of Crass’ fifth studio album Yes Sir, I Will) offered two presentations: the first exploring the changing perceptions within anarcho-punk of the utility of political violence; and the second examining the sometimes awkward relationship between anarchist punks and activists in the ‘traditional, formal’ anarchist movement.

In the afternoon, a trio of presentations looked at the inclusion and exclusion of anarcho-punk in the canon of punk documentary film making; at the representation of political ideas in the distinctive graphics and iconography of anarchist punk; and at the sometimes challenging tensions between the musical and political ambitions of anarcho-punk bands.

The day concluded with a panel discussion featuring academic and author George McKay, founder member of Crass, Penny Rimbaud, and Sarah McHendry (who’d spent her youth as a feminist punk activist in Telford), each of whom spoke of their different experiences in the original anarcho-punk wave. Rimbaud in particular provided an intentionally challenging and provocative account of his work with Crass, Exitstencil Press and Crass Records. The interactive panel session, which sparked a large amount of questions and debate, generated some illuminating personal perspectives; complementing the more analytical presentations that preceded it.

The conference also included an exhibition of anarcho-punk graphic design, featuring record sleeves, posters and political artwork, accompanied by an illustrated booklet authored by exhibition designer Russ Bestley.
This highly productive conference is evidence of the growing interest amongst radical punk historians in the UK in drawing together a critical participant account of the experience of anarcho-punk, and its contribution to the wider political and cultural history of British anarchism.

Freedom, June 2013

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Journalist Gary Bushell interviewed Steve Ignorant on his internet radio show on 8 August 2013.

Garry’s live guest this evening is the co-founder of the seminal anarchist punk band Crass, Steve Ignorant. Loud, uncompromising, highly strung, often copied, loved, hated but but never forgotten. Crass were simply one of the most subversive and influential bands to emerge from Thatcher’s Britain. Are their ideas more relevant now than then? Join us for tales of resistance, rebellion, direct action and Thatchergate. Doesn’t get better than that, does it?

Steve Ignorant, Garry Bushell

Stream the show:

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