Archive for the ‘Penny Rimbaud’ Category

Penny Rimbaud reflects on the experience of his recent heart attack in a recent edition of BBC Radio 4’s Short Cuts (7 November 2016), which is available (in the UK) to stream and download through the BBC iPlayer. Host Josie Long also quotes from the lyrics of her favourite Crass song Big A, Little A.

Rimbaud’s appearance on the show is also available (as a ‘Radio Four in four’ clip) on the BBC Programmes‘ site.

Penny Rimbaud - Short Cuts

Why I found my heart attack a beautiful experience

Penny Rimbaud is a writer, philosopher and musician. He recently had a heart attack at Rochdale train station. He explains how confronting death was profoundly beautiful and liberating.

First broadcast on Short Cuts, 7 November 2016.

Read Full Post »

Twenty three of the exhibition pieces from the recent The Art of Crass exhibition are on show as part of the Punk in the East festival taking place in Norwich.

The Art of Crass pieces are on show in the The Alley, 20 Brideswell Alley, Norwich NR2 1HX (Wednesday: 11:00-18:00; Friday and Saturday: 11:00-23:30; Sunday-Tuesday: closed). Entry is free, and the exhibition runs until 3 December 2016.

The full programme of the festival can be found on the Punk in the East site.


Read Full Post »

Gee Vaucher - exhibition

Gee Vaucher (1945) is an internationally renowned political artist living outside Epping, Essex. She is best known for her radical creativity, montages and iconic artwork for the infamous anarcho-pacifist band Crass. Employing an eclectic range of styles and techniques, coupled with an essentially DIY aesthetic, she creates powerful images exploring political, cultural and personal issues. She sees her work as a tool for social change.

This retrospective survey of Vaucher’s work is her premiere in the UK, bringing together for the first time a comprehensive collection of her paintings, collages, prints, photographs, videos and sculptures plus installation work and rare archive material.

MORE DETAILS OF the events that will accompany Gee Vaucher’s upcoming ‘Introspective’ exhibition, which will run from 12 November 2016 to 19 February 2017 at the Firstsite gallery space in Colchester have been published. Not all of the specifics are yet known, but these are some of the dates for the diary…

  • Friday 11 November 2016, 18:00-20:00: Private viewing of the exhibition, on the eve of the main opening; opening party
  • Saturday 19 November – Sunday 20 November 2016: The Print Project Workshop (featuring the Letterpress gang from Shipley)
  • Thursday 24 November 2016: Screening of ‘Angel’, a film by Gee Vaucher; followed by a Q&A session.
  • Friday 25 November 2016: Penny Rimbaud performs with “assorted musicians & words”.
  • Saturday 26 November 2016: Artist and Curator tour of the exhibition.
  • Thursday 1 December 2016: A discussion and debate on Gee Vaucher’s work with: Rebecca Binns, George McKay, Brandon Taylor & Stevphen Shukaitis (plus Gee “maybe stirring the soup”).
  • Friday 2 December 2016: Eve Libertine and Charles Webber. Eve Libertine has written the lyrics for & is co-director of an exciting new chamber opera Room of Worlds for live voices, electronics and video. The opera charts the physical and psychological journey of a woman in a patriarchal landscape of domesticity, love and loneliness, through medicine and memory, to the edge of madness. Room of Worlds is based loosely on The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and is the result of an ongoing collaboration between electronic artist Charles Webber (composer/video) & experimental vocalist and ex-Crass chanteuse Eve Libertine.
  • 13 January 2017: Penny Rimbaud reads the poetry of Wilfred Owen
  • 14-15 January 2017: Monoprint workshops with Eve & Pandora
  • 28-29 January 2017: no.w.here Film Workshop for Young Women

Full details of these and other events are still to be announced.

Lewis Gardens, High St, Colchester CO1 1JH

Read Full Post »

CRASS CO-FOUNDER PENNY Rimbaud has a busy schedule of appearances this autumn, including the following events:

Small Wonder exhibition - 2016

Tales of the life and times of Small Wonder Records

Tales of the life and times of Small Wonder
Friday 23 September 2016, 18:30ish
Hoe Street Central, 3 Central Parade, Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London E17 4RT

As an event during the Small Wonder exhibition, Penny Rimbaud will be part of a question-and-answer session: ‘Tales of the life and times of Small Wonder Records’, the label that in 1978 unleashed Crass onto the unsuspecting public.

Patriotism & the ‘great game’: the impact of Wilfred Owen’s poetic testimony

Patriotism and the ‘great game’
12 October 2016, 18:00
River Room (2nd Floor) – King’s Building, Strand Campus King’s College London, London, WC2R 2LS.
Free entry – but advance booking required

Rimbaud joins an academic panel to discuss Wilfred Owen’s devastating accounts of the conditions of war during World War One and his denouncement of the patriotism that persuaded an entire generation of young men to ‘step in line’ and play the ‘great game’ of war. This patriotic call to arms was a global affair, as can be seen in the first verse of A Lockhead’s poem, published in both the Times and The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand on 26th January 1915.

This discussion serves as an introduction and accompaniment to the performance of ‘The Pity of War’, which will take place on Thursday 13 October in King’s Chapel. Penny Rimbaud will perform the war poems of Owen accompanied by Liam Noble and Kate Shortt on piano and cello with visuals by Gee Vaucher. Both panel discussion and performance seek not to glorify victory, but to remember the terrible darkness brought by war.

The Pity of War

The Pity of War
13 October 2016, 18:30-20:30
Chapel – Strand, London WC2R 2LS
Tickets available online shortly

Penny Rimbaud will recite the war poems of Wilfred Owen accompanied by Liam Noble and Kate Shortt on piano and cello with visuals by Gee Vaucher.

‘I was a war baby who, like many, didn’t meet their father until they were three or four, which too often was too late. My father brought the war home with him. He never much spoke of it, rather he was imbued with it; it seeped from his every pore. He was distant, absent and cold, and he made me feel fearful. Then how was I to know what horrors had so muted him, horrors which in his imaginings and his dreams would forever be present? He would speak of “the real world” and how he’d fought for my freedom, but as I grew older I became increasingly cautious of the conditional nature of that freedom. I’d seen pictures of the death camps, knew about atom bombs and was aware of the carnage, but, beyond a sense of uninformed sorrow, I grew to feel loathing and contempt for what seemed be the utter senselessness of it all. My father’s war and his real world had to me become synonymous.

In my late teens I was introduced to the poetry of Wilfred Owen and from one line in his “Strange Meeting” I was awoken to an entirely new way of being – “I am the enemy you killed, my friend” – no malice, no terrible vengeance, only love; a true expression of human possibility beyond the bitter brutality of jingoistic cant. In Owen’s selfless tenderness I had at last found something that made sense within the madness of the warring material world; we are no more, no less than the other, divided only by the fall from grace. It was from this illumination that I became an active pacifist committed to the promotion of peace and love.

It is, then, only natural that I chose to commit myself to present Owen’s poems throughout the centenary years of the euphemistic ‘Great War’. In doing so I am able to honour the great gift that he gave through his life, his works and his untimely death.’

Rimbaud in performance

Penny Rimbaud, TMDG conference, Argentina

Penny Rimbaud
TMDG conference [international design conference]
Sunday 16 October 2016 (TBC)
Av. Juan B. Justo 3525, Peralta Ramos Oeste,
B7602EHJ. Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tickets available online

Penny Rimbaud pledges to take “art, politics and common-sense nonsense” during a trip to Argentina part-sponsored by the British Council. Details of other events during the trip are still to be announced

An evening of poetry and jazz, Canterbury

An evening of poetry and jazz
Thursday 20 October 2016
Free Range
Water Lane Coffeehouse, Water Lane, Canterbury Kent CT1 2NQ

Described as ‘one of the country’s great trombonists’ (BBC), Annie Whitehead is joined by Penny Rimbaud and the immensely experienced singer, bassist and producer Jennifer Maidman for an evening of poetry and jazz.

Penny Rimbaud - portrait - Louder than Words

‘Open Door, Open Heart’, Louder than Words festival

‘Open Door, Open Heart’
Louder than Words festival
Sunday 13 November 2016, 14:00
The Palace Hotel. Oxford Street, Manchester, M60 7HA
Tickets available online

We’re delighted to welcome back Penny Rimbaud to Louder Than Words 2016.

In ‘Open Door, Open Heart’ Penny Rimbaud and John Robb discuss the meaning of peace and love in a world which might so easily appear to practice the opposite – ‘There is love if we make it’.

Crass founding member Penny Rimbaud has been writing poetry, song lyrics, philosophy and memoirs for over 50 years. A drummer, performance artist, environmental activist and philosopher, he claims “breadmaker” as his most prevailing occupation. Rimbaud and Crass’s lasting influence on youth culture are a testament to the original importance of their words and deeds. Having formed a collective in 1967 to live outside of the status quo, Penny Rimbaud continues to inspire new generations of artistic rebels.

Highly regarded as one of England’s great rebel poets, Penny Rimbaud is a prolific author and fearless explorer of possibilities in life and art. Over the three decades since Crass disbanded he has been involved in a myriad of arts projects, published over 14 books, and released vast ranging music including free form jazz, spoken word and symphonic punk.

An undoubted festival highlight, join us for this very special event!

Steve Ignorant is also appearing at the 2016 Louder Than Words event on the same day.

Penny Rimbaud and Hugh Metcalfe

Penny Rimbaud and Hugh Metcalfe
Tuesday 15 November 2016, 20.00
The Klinker
Apiary Studios, 460 Hackney Road, London E2 9EG

Dada poet Hugh Metcalfe is joined by Penny Rimbaud on percussion to excrete tales of shite, crap and general unwholesomeness.

Read Full Post »

Yes Sir - Coldspring Records - 2016

The challenging / provocative / controversial / suspect / distasteful / unconscionable (* choose your adjective) Coldspring Record label are to release a CD version of the live reworking of Crass’ 1983 album Yes Sir, I Will performed at the 2014 Rebellion punk festival.

The label previously announced (August 2015) and then summarily cancelled (September 2015) plans to release bootlegs of live Crass performances. This latest project appears to have the active support of performers Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine, with Gee Vaucher providing artwork for the packaging.

Yes, Sir, the Truth of ᴙevolution is scheduled for release on 27 June 2016 and is available for pre-order.


Crass’ album, Yes Sir, I Will, was possibly the most angry and hard hitting attack on the political/military/industrial complex ever consigned to vinyl. Written by Penny Rimbaud in 1982 at the height of the Falklands conflict, it seethes with righteous indignation over what he saw as a pointless but vicious exercise in vote catching by a government whose popularity was severely on the wane. So powerful was this critique that it led to threats of prosecution by that very same government, threats which were typically used by Crass to further their attacks on it and its tyrannical leader, Margaret Thatcher.

Over thirty years later, in 2014, Rimbaud was asked to participate in the Rebellion Festival, a yearly punk gathering held in Blackpool, UK. Realising that the opening date of the festival closely coincided with that of the euphemistically named ‘Great War’, Rimbaud and the festival organisers agreed that as an appropriate response they should open the event with a performance of Yes Sir, I Will.

In preparing for this performance, Rimbaud began to question the relevance of some of the content of Yes Sir, I Will. It seemed to him that much of it was pertinent only to the time in which it was written, a time when a genuine social uprising had appeared to be a very real possibility (one that was violently and conclusively squashed during the miners’ strike of 1984). But times change and there was, he now felt, an element of aggression within the work which veiled its essential message of love and peace; it was a passion that could all too easily be mistaken for blind anger. With this in mind, and inspired by John Lennon’s ‘All You Need is Love’, he set about rewriting ‘Yes, Sir’ from what he describes as a more Taoist viewpoint. Through replacing screams of anguish with laments of love, he was largely able to satisfy his wish to change Yes Sir, I Will into an expression of compassion, that being the hugely demanding realm of love in its unconditional form.

For the Rebellion performance of the now retitled Yes, Sir, the Truth of ᴙevolution, Rimbaud was joined by Crass’ lead vocalist Eve Libertine plus a group of leading musicians from the London jazz scene with whom they’d worked extensively in the past. Named ‘L’Académie des Vanités’, the band consisted of Eve Libertine/vocals, Penny Rimbaud/vocals, Louise Elliott/sax, Kate Shortt/cello, Jennifer Maidman/guitar, Phil Robson/guitar, Thad Kelly/bass and Gene Calderazzo/drums. The live recording of that show, presented here, captures all the tense excitement created by presenting a primarily punk audience with complex poetics of love, accompanied by equally demanding freeform, improvised jazz. However, as had generally been the case with Crass’ output, wild, willing and worrisome, it would be wise to expect the unexpected. Equally, through its progressive and colourful imagery, the vibrant packaging designed by Gee Vaucher shows a refusal to harp back to the illusory golden past of punk dreams and conceits.

‘We are poets, armed with the cobblestones of love, unconditional, uncompromising, beyond need of proof.’ However, if proof is needed, it will most surely be found in the content of this radical, imaginative release.

CD in digipak with 28-page booklet.

Read Full Post »

Musician Marc Carroll‘s seventh studio album (released on One Little Indian Records) features collaborations with Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher.

Rimbaud provides the lead vocals on the title track Love Is All Or Love Is Not At All; while Vaucher supplies designs and illustrations for the album and CD artwork. Carroll told the Louder Than War site of the collaboration:

Everything about Penny and Gee resonates with me, their art, words, sense of humour. Their life’s work has influenced millions. And it has been a life’s work. It’s a beautiful story that is still lived out to this day. Quite simply, there is no authority but yourself.

Love Is All Or Love Is Not At All is reviewed by Folk Radio UK; The Irish Times; and Louder Than War; and in Mojo, Record Collector and Uncut magazines.

The album is available in digital format from iTunes and in physical formats from the One Little Indian online shop.

Love Is All Or Love Is Not At All - Gee Vaucher

Read Full Post »

Fight War Not Wars - The Art of Crass - Leicester - June 2016

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]

This exhibition includes records, posters, prints, videos, books and other items from Leicester-based digital artist Sean Clark’s collection of Crass-related materials, built up over almost 20 years. Thought-provoking, confrontational, angry and beautiful in equal measures, the art of Crass remains as important now as it was almost four decades ago.

Exhibition Opening

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

There will be a welcome by Sean Clark at 7pm followed by an introduction to Crass by Alastair Gordon from De Montfort University and a short talk by Stevphen Shukaitis about the Gee Vaucher retrospective happening in Colchester in November.

Penny Rimbaud and Louise Elliot

Yes Sir, I Will
Friday 10 June 2016
LCB Depot Lightbox
Entry £10.00 (including booklet)
[More details | Book]

Penny Rimbaud (vocals, ex-Crass) and Louise Elliot (saxophone) present a lyrical re-working of Crass’ seminal anti-war album Yes Sir, I Will. The show will take place in the gallery and be include video projections. This is a very rare opportunity to see this work performed live. It is also the main fundraising event for The Art of Crass exhibition. Support will be provided by Leicester’s Music, Live Art, Spoken Word and Film night Anerki.

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]

Punk may have been 40 years ago, but the “do it yourself” attitude it promoted is as relevant now as it ever was. To mark the end of “Fight War Not Wars: The Art Of Crass” exhibition we will be holding an all-day and evening event of self-organised creativity of all kinds. More details will be released soon, so keep the day clear. If you are interested in contributing please post on the Facebook Page or email theartofcrass@interactdigitalarts.uk.

To finish off the Art of Crass exhibition we have Crass co-founder Steve Ignorant’s latest band – Slice of Life. This is a real treat!

Having cut his punk teeth in Crass, Steve Ignorant’s latest project – Slice Of Life – allows for the more contemplative side of his song-writing to reveal itself. Like musical depictions of a British kitchen-sink drama, the songs on the debut album Love and a Lamp-post (Overground Records, 2014) provide vivid vignettes of the everyday. Both personal and universal, Slice of Life present ruminations from the bar stool honed on the late-night walk home. Musically, the band is built on an acoustic arrangement of piano, guitar and bass. Having shed the punk noise that defined Crass, Slice of Life retain the emotional impact and compassion that has long distinguished Steve’s work.

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

UPDATED, 26 April 2016: New version of the poster added.

UPDATED, 8 May 2016: Third and final version of the poster added.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: