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All Around Was Darkness - front cover

THE NEWLY PUBLISHED ANTHOLOGY, And All Around Was Darkness is “the third in the Tales from the Punkside series; a collection of books whose main concern is to provide a space for stories, anecdotes and various other shenanigans by those persons rarely heard – the fans and everyday participants in the punk movement.”

Published by Itchy Monkey Press, the book is A4 size, 288 pages, and full to bursting with essays, reflections, memories, photographs, flyers, poems and drawings. The first edition is a limited run of 100 copies, and can be ordered for £12.00 (plus £3.00 p&p, in the UK) via Paypal. Contact Mike Dines to confirm order and arrange payment.

Greg Bull and Mike Dines (eds.). 2017. All Around Was Darkness. Itchy Monkey Press. ISBN 978-1-291-74025-7

Contents

  • Introduction, Mike Dines
  • So You Joined a Band to Change the World, Gregory Bull
  • Recording No Doves/Laughing, Mark Wilson
  • Confessions of a Pre-Teen Punk, Chris Low
  • The Girl in the Band, Kathy Freeman
  • Anarcho-Feminism and Greenham Common, Lucy Robinson
  • Tales From the Ghost Town, Alan Rider
  • “No, It’s a Zine, Not a ‘Fan’ Zine”, Anth Palmer
  • Punk in Norway, Viggo Mastad
  • Should We Help the Miners?, Andy Hardcore
  • Poems, TS Paviour
  • The Mob Touring Finland (2016), Antti Lautala
  • Crass, Graham Burnett
  • Green Anarchist, Graham Burnett
  • Hyper-Active as the Day is Long, Neil Transpontine
  • A Woman in a Male Dominated Industry, Gail Thibert
  • Notes Written on a Tattered Page, Nick Hydra
  • Tales of a Teenage Punk, Andy Owen
  • How Much Longer?, Russ Bestley
  • Increasingly Right Wing, Ted Curtis
  • Fifteen Shades of Grey, Rich Cross
  • When John Met Clem, Rich Cross
  • The Stranger in the Pit, Francis Stewart
  • The Mother of all Soapy Stamp Stories, Phil Hedgehog Tonge
  • Amebix Art, Jonny R
  • Stopping the City – A Micro Memory, Stephen Spencer-Fleet
  • Smash the System, Persons Unknown
  • ‘Running Wild in the Disco’, Mike Dines

All Around Was Darkness - front and back cover

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Chumbawamba - The One Show - September 2017 - interview

Former Chumbawamba members Boff Whalley, Jude Abbott and Dunstan Bruce appear in a film segment on the 1 September edition of BBC One’s The One Show discussing the twentieth anniversary of the release of the Tubthumping hit single. The interviews were recorded back in June.

In the UK, the episode can be streamed and downloaded from the BBC iPlayer until 1 October 2017. The Tubthumping segment begins at 23mins 40secs into the programme.

The anniversary of the release has also been covered in online magazine features including: Junkee’s The Secret Anarchist Punk History Of Chumbawamba’s Hit Song Tubthumping (10 August); AV Music’s Chumbawamba on the unlikely, anarchic legacy of Tubthumping 20 years later (11 August); and Stereogum’s Tubthumping Turns 20 (1 September).

Chumbawamba - The One Show - September 2017 - archive

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In a feature in The Guardian‘s music section, published earlier this month (4 November 2016), Steve Von Till of the Oakland metal band Neurosis select tracks from the 1980s British anarcho-punk scene and concludes that: ‘Crass were the mother of all bands’.

Von Till selects Discharge (Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing); Subhumans (From the Cradle to the Grave); Rudimentary Peni (When You Are a Martian Church); Crass (Mother Earth) and Chumbawamba (Stagnation/Liberation).
 
Neurosis - Crass were the mother of all punk bands - The Guardian

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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.

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Daily Mirror - 10 November 2016

THE DAY OF DONALD Trump’s election as US president, Gee Vaucher’s acclaimed 1990 gouache on card Oh, America (originally commissioned for the cover of the 1989 Tackhead album Friendly as a Hand Grenade) became something of an (almost wholly unattributed) internet meme, shared numerous times on the social web, as people responded to the news of Trump’s victory at the polls.

In the UK, Oh, America has been appropriated as the front page illustration for the Daily Mirror‘s post-mortem on the election – it’s now confirmed that the Mirror used this image with the knowledge and permission of Vaucher, and that her artistry is credited on the front page of the print edition of the paper, and inside.


UPDATE: 12 November 2016:

The Mirror has now published a piece describing the selection process around Gee Vaucher’s artwork:

Gee Vaucher - The Mirror

Gee Vaucher’s artwork ‘Oh America’ and the story behind the Daily Mirror’s historic US election front page

IN THE INEVITABLE avalanche of social media fallout that followed Donald Trump’s astonishing victory, one image struck the mind more forcefully than others.

The words ‘Donald Trump elected President’ are arguably all that’s required to convey the full impact of the 2016 US election result.

But in today’s digital world, where news travels as fast as a tweet or email, national newspapers face the unenviable task of summing up the story in a few words and a memorable image, but better than has already been done online – and hopefully better than its competitors.

That’s when an inspired editorial decision is required.

“We knew we wanted to create an iconic front page to mark Trump’s amazing and historic victory, so we were all keeping an eye out for something striking,” said The Mirror‘s Editor-in-Chief, Lloyd Embley.

“It was morning editorial conference and our picture editor, Michael Rye, was showing the senior team a selection of images relating to the US election.”

“And suddenly – bang! There it was. It was perfect.”

The image in question came from the inevitable avalanche of social media memes that followed the election result.

The next task was to find out where the image originated, who owned the copyright, and whether permission for its use was available.

Fortunately, not only did the image prove to be a cult artwork, but the British artist behind it, Gee Vaucher, is about to enjoy her first major retrospective exhibition.

“Michael tracked down Gee and she kindly gave us permission to use it,” says Embley.

“Every day is a special day editing the Daily Mirror but seeing that front page on the news stand will live long in my memory.”

Oh, America

The image is titled ‘Oh America’ and was created in 1989.

When The Mirror asked Gee for a comment to accompany our article she offered the following words.

‘Give us justice which is not the searing spite of revenge, peace which is not the product of war nor dependent upon it. Give us freedom where now there is only servitude.’

The words are by British punk poet-philosopher Penny Rimbaud, Vaucher’s lifelong creative partner, and have previously been superimposed over a version of the image.

The artwork – gouache on card – has also previously been used as the cover of an album by hip-hop group Tackhead on 1989’s Friendly as a Hand Grenade.

WHO IS GEE VAUCHER?

The Dagenham-born artist is a pioneering figure in the DIY and protest art scenes and has been working for more than 40 years.

She first rose to prominence in anarcho-punk band Crass in the late ’70s, who performed under minimal lighting in front of video collage backdrops, often created by Vaucher.

Born in 1945, Vaucher spent her formative years working as a political illustrator for publications including The New York Times and New York Magazine.

Her work straddles the gap between the absurd and the harrowing, focusing on political, personal, environmental and humanitarian messages. Her works are often collage or photomontage.

Throughout her career, she has produced books and ‘zines, allowing her the control to produce and disseminate work through her own channels and on her own terms. Her most recent work, A Week of Knots, was published through Vaucher’s own Exitstencil Press.

The radical counter-cultural touchstone, who designed the sleeve for The Charlatans album Who We Touch among others, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex in 2016.

WHERE CAN I SEE THE ACTUAL ARTWORK?

‘Oh America’ features in Introspective, the first major British show of Vaucher’s work, which takes place at Firstsite, Colchester, from November 12 2016 – February 19 2017.

You can see more details about the exhibition here.

Gavin Alley. 2016. Gee Vaucher’s artwork ‘Oh America’ and the story behind the Daily Mirror’s historic US election front page, Daily Mirror, 10 November. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/gee-vauchers-artwork-oh-america-9231864.

 

oh-america_1990_gouache-on-card

Gee Vaucher, Oh, America, 1990.

Gee Vaucher’s Introspective exhibition opens at the Firstsite gallery, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH on Friday (11 November 2016).


UPDATE: 12 November 2016: Interestingly, in the copy of The Mirror front page Tweeted in the Crass and Southern Records accounts (presumably from the first edition London copies printed early on 10 November), the image does not include a credit to Vaucher’s in the top-left hand of the image (as seen in the later editions, including the one above).

 

Below is a blow-up of the additional small credit on page 13 of the print edition of The Mirror:
 
Gee Vaucher - Oh, America credit - The Mirrror

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Little Annie - AnOther magazine
Photo: Jessie John Jenkins

In an excellent interview with AnOther magazine, Little Annie (formerly Annie Anxiety) discusses her life, work and art as well as “Beyoncé, Malcom X and contemporary social inequality”.

Of her time living at Dial House and recording for Crass Records, she recalls:

It was exhilarating and it felt like a honest place to be. It aligned with everything I already knew I believed in. You know what? When me and Penny Rimbaud were making Barbed Wire Halo (1981), we thought that we were making a disco record! Honestly, I know it might not sound like that but we loved listening to disco together!

Reba Maybury. 2016. ‘Little Annie: Avant-Garde Songstress’, AnOther, 9 June. http://www.anothermag.com/design-living/8759/little-annie-avant-garde-songstress

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The latest edition of The Wire magazine (No. 388, June 2016) includes an illustrated eight-page ‘primer’ feature on anarcho-punk, written by Louis Pattison and illustrated by Savage Pencil. The intro declares:

In the late 1970s, the righteous racket and tireless political activism of Crass helped spark the ideologies and DIY networks that became anarcho-punk. Louis Pattison traces the spread of a grassroots movement that spawned Poison Girls, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict and legions of overlooked footsoldiers of punk. Illustration by Savage Pencil

Louis Pattison and Savage Pencil. 2016. ‘The Primer: Anarcho-Punk’, The Wire, No 388, June, pp. 30-37.

The Wire - The Primer - Anarcho-punk

The Wire - No 388 - June 2016

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