CRASS – Remastered records, label relaunch and a Steve Ignorant book release and tour

CRASS - Remastered records, label relaunch and a Steve Ignorant book release and tour

“… a nasty, worthless little record.” Tony Parsons, NME 1978

Formed in 1977 by Steve Ignorant and Penny Rimbaud, Crass were an
English punk band, which promoted anarchism as a political ideology,
way of living, and as a resistance movement. Crass popularised the
seminal anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, and advocated
direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism. The band both
utilised and advocated a “Do It Yourself” approach, producing sound
collages, graphics, albums and films.

“…it sounds as revolutionary and poisonous today as it did a quarter of a century before.” Tommy Udo, Metal Hammer, 2004

Crass also criticised and attempted to subvert the dominant culture
with messages promoting feminism, anti-racism, anti-war, and
anti-globalisation.

“…full of shit, spirited shit maybe, but let’s face it, Crass?
Precisely.” Garry Bushell, Sounds, 1978

The band were critical of the punk movement itself, as well as wider
youth culture in general. Crass promoted the type of anarcho-pacifism
that eventually became more common in the punk music scene. They are
also considered part of the art punk genre, due to their use of tape
collages, graphics, spoken word releases, poetry and improvisation.

“…one of the most influential bands in the history of rock.”George Berger, Sounds, 1990

Crass disbanded in 1984, just as their cryptic catalogue numbers
suggested they might. Before doing so, they altered the course of
history. Without Crass, would “D.I.Y” have meant what it did to the
record industry? (They were the first band to form their own label to
retain complete artistic control, as well as political and legal
responsibility for their work, and to print the price (“pay no more
than”) on the sleeve to prevent record stores from cashing in.) Would
Banksy mean the same in the art world? (Crass used stencil art to
decorate the streets and tube stations of London with though-provoking
agit-propagandist work.) Would anti-globilisation protests be what
they are? (Crass were lynchpins of the Stop The City demonstrations of
1983 and 1984.) Crass had their phones tapped, were raised as a
question of national security in Parliament, conned a teen magazine
into distributing their subversive message as a cover-mounted
flexi-disc.

Despite all of this, and having sold over a million and a half
records, Crass are routinely written out of the rose-coloured
nostalgia afforded to punk, rock, and their musical peers. Thirty
years on, are people still afraid to look Crass in the eye?

CRASS REISSUES

The Crassical collection is finally here and the first release is the
newly re-mastered The Feeding Of The Five Thousand which will be
released on the band’s own Crass Records. This seminal and influential
album has been restored from the original analogue studio tapes,
repackaged and bolstered by rare and unreleased tracks and stunning
new artwork from Gee Vaucher (aka G Suss), who has lovingly breathed
new life into her original work (feast your eyes below)

Also coming out this year will be Stations Of The Crass and Penis
Envy.

STEVE IGNORANT TOUR AND BOOK

This September Southern Records will be publishing Steve’s
autobiography The Rest Is Propaganda and will be selling it on his
tour that is named ‘The Last Supper’ which he translates as “Crass
songs 1977-1982 plus a few shocks, surprises, perhaps some slogans,
but no tantrums and a bit of a laugh”. The once-only tour, never to be
repeated, cross-our-hearts-hope-to-die. Or to put it more simply, not
to be missed.

EXITSTENCIL RELAUNCH

This year will also see the relaunch of Penny Rimbaud and Gee
Vaucher’s imprint Exitstencil, with a whole host of reissues and new
music, book, and film projects to be released. This year Acts Of Love
by Penny Rimbaud & Eve Libertine (their first post-Crass work) and
Penny Rimaud and Louise Elliott’s new work In The Beginning, as well
as Vaucher’s book Much Ado About Something will also see the light of
day.

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