You should come to my (absolutely free, though 21+) live interview with Steve Ignorant tomorrow night (April 26) at The Comet starting at 6 pm – because Crass, the band he sang vocals for, sound better and truer and more meaningful than ever in these uber-apocalyptic times. Have a listen to their greatest non-hits collection Best Before 1984, and you will hear the voices and noises of women and men beating back the darkness as hard as they could. Whether that despair be political repression, male domination, religious hypocrisy, Crass sounded like the Sex Pistols and The Clash on overdrive, in song revolutions so real you could taste the tear gas and pints that fueled them.
As keenly described in his honest and humorous autobiography The Rest Is Propaganda (scribed with Steve Pottinger), which Ignorant will be signing copies of for sale at The Comet, he was a fun-loving teenager when he began hanging out at the Dial House, a hang-out for artists helmed by Crass co-founder Penny Rimbaud. Ignorant was kicked off the dole for a bad attitude, and didn’t have much hope given him growing up in a poor, violent part of England. When he saw the near-30 year old book designer and vegetarian Rimbaud living life exactly the way he wanted to, he came along, in his own fashion. Wine-soaked nights ranting about the UK going right wing, along with seeing Rotten in the Pistols on TV and Simonon of The Clash commanding mod coolness live, put these two men into a spoken word/drums duo for rants like “Do They Owe Us a Living?” and “Reality Asylum.”
From there guitarists and bassists and brilliant vocalists like Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre joined up with Crass, and if that sounds military, well, they were very militant about challenging individualistic and materialistic society. The band had a fearsome reputation, and pulled off some brilliant hoaxes and art attacks in Britain, and their records were (very) slowly accepted by the music press for the transcendent rage and roil they captured.
If you only know the band by their Dave King-designed logo on the patches of nearly every crusty punk you know, and have never heard their music, come to hear Ignorant chat about those early days with the collective, why he’s chosen to bring the songs back for a live setting, and ask him anything you’d like (though I’d try not to be silly about it, if the brilliant wit of his book is any indication of how he is with a comeback). Then if you want to hear that music played, here’s the information about the show that immediately follows across the street at Neumos:
Infinite Productions presents
Steve Ignorant Presents “The Last Supper”
Crass songs 1977-1984 with Goldblade, The Estranged (PDX), and Special Guests @Neumos
Tuesday, 4/26. Doors @7pm, Show @8pm
$21.00 adv. @etix.com, Moe Bar, Singles Going Steady and all Sonic Boom locations – $23.00 D.O.S.