Tag Archives: Crass

Vice: the Crassest of them all?

Penny Rimbaud in Vice Do's and Don'ts
from Vice magazine online

If you’re not familiar with Vice magazine… well, get yourself on over to Wikipedia. Like Marmite, Vice is an instant room divider.  A crowd will gravitate to one corner, decrying their approach as shallow, fashion-fixated, culturally regressive and just plain offensive.  A louder, possibly drunk contingent will hold ground in the middle of the room bellowing at everyone to shutthefuckup because itsjustafuckinglaugh.  Still more will sulk about on the settee, mumbling about cutting-edge journalism. And a few will linger by the door, logging on to Twitter to find out what they’re meant to think about it.

Probably the most widely derided, and of course therefore, most popular feature in Vice is their Do’s And Don’ts column.  The concept is of course as old as criticism itself – take random photographs and use them to illustrate the various triumphant victories and fumbling faux pas of … well, anything … but most entertainingly, fashion.  Vice took this concept and made it as acerbic and acrimonious as possible, while striving hard to maintain the judgemental values of a white suburban teenage boy.  The fact that being a classed as Do is seemingly no more redemptive than being branded a Don’t is a clue to the column’s real intentions.  It’s cruel, vulgar, and hysterical.  Unless of course you take yourself too seriously.

This week Vice published the above entry in their Do’s and Don’ts.  When reposted on the Facebook page for Crass fans, it immediately garnered that predictable room-dividing effect.  Unfortunately, not many of the posters got the joke.  The Winnie The Pooh-faced punter is indeed Penny Rimbaud, founder (along with Steve Ignorant) of Crass.  Christ only knows where he got the jacket, it’s certainly not his, but he clearly participated in the prank.  In fact Penny has collaborated several times in the past with Vice, in particular its UK editor Andy Capper, for whom he is known to have great admiration.  The interviews he did with Ian Svenonius for Vice’s VBS online television series are particularly worth watching.

As was said on Facebook… it’s Monday.  Have a giggle.

Eve Libertine premieres new collaboration with Mark Webber

June 25th sees the world premier of Listen, Little Man!, a new work by legendary punk/jazz chanteuse Eve Libertine and maverick electronic artist Mark Webber. Drawing on the writings and research of Wilhelm Reich this is a semi-improvised performance for voice and signal generators with back-projected, scrolling graphic score.

Libertine was one of the two female vocalists in Crass. Her works with the band include the controversial single “Reality Asylum”, as well as performing most of the vocals on the group’s third album, Penis Envy (1981), the lyrics of which have a heavy feminist content.

After the dissolution of Crass in 1984, Libertine has worked with her guitarist son Nemo Jones, performance artist A-Soma, trained as a classical singer, performed as part of Crass Agenda/Last Amendment with Penny Rimbaud, Matt Black (of Coldcut), Christine Tobin, Julian Siegel, Ingrid Laubrock, Nabil Shaban, Kate Shortt and others. In 2004 Crass Agenda released a recording of Penny Rimbaud’s Savage Utopia, a jazz and breakbeats based composition intended as a critique of consumerism and post-9/11 American culture, on which she performs vocals along with A-Soma and Christine Tobin.

Libertine held her first exhibition of artwork, entitled Head On, at the 96 Gillespie gallery in London in September 2005. She has designed album sleeves for releases by Christine Tobin and Partisans.

Mark Webber (b1965) is an electronic artist who has worked in experimental music, performance and film for the past 25 years. His eclectic back catalogue includes works such as the video portrait Sunayani (Sonic Arts Network), the live tape work Concrète Jungle (Henry Moore Institute) and Four White Walls (Opera North) a chamber opera for five singers and electronics.

Listen, Little Man! is a performance for voice, signal generators and video. Drawing directly on the writings and research of Dr. Wilhelm Reich it represents a new creative partnership between Mark and Eve. The pair are already working on an operatic adaptation of Charlotte Gilman Perkins’ The Yellow Wallpaper for voices, electronics and animation, to be staged late 2011.

25th June at Les Atelier Claus, Brussels, Belgium
Based on “Listen Little Man” a book written by Wilhelm Reich in 1945.
Electronics…….. Mark Webber
Voice…………… Eve Libertine


Penny Rimbaud gigs in Derry, Dublin and Belfast

Penny Rimbaud is a poet, drummer, writer, former member of the performance art group EXIT and co-founder of the anarchist punk band Crass, with Steve Ignorant in 1977. He also set up the anarchist/pacifist Dial House community in 1967 with Gee Vaucher and Phil Russell and helped to instigate the free festival movement.

An ardent, articulate and still angry polemicist, his works include Reality Asylum, Rocky Eyed and Oh America. Says Rimbaud of his own legacy: “our response to things wasn’t a musician or a lyrical response, it was a political response.”

Louise Elliott is an Australian tenor saxophonist and has performed with a wealth of international musicians. Originally known for her appearances with cult rock outfits Laughing Clowns, The Saints, Ed Kuepper and Paul Kelly, Louise has a fiery commitment to inspiring and energetic live performance which has been referred to in the media as “her profoundly diverse smorgasbord of funk, blues and rock” and “an African inspired jazz explosion”. She has played with Penny Rimbaud for nine years.

Accompanied by Louise’ haunting sax, Penny Rimbaud will read a selection of his work. Join us for an unforgettable evening with a truly righteous, independent spirit.

May 6th - Derry: Sandinos Cafe Bar 10pm  http://www.sandinos.com/

May 7th – Dublin: Seomra Spraoi 8pm http://bit.ly/a4WL2 (performance will be followed by a Q & A and DJs)

May 8th – Belfast: McHughs Basement 3pm performance (Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival) http://bit.ly/cwiedI

The Belfast gig will be followed by a round table discussion on the future and relevance of anarchism held at the Warzone Centre, Clarence St, Belfast. This event will feature a panel including Penny and will be filmed. http://www.warzonecollective.com/

Steve Ignorant adds European dates to The Last Supper tour

photo by Matteus Mondini

As previously reported, Steve Ignorant is putting together a tour called The Last Supper, for which he will be performing CRASS songs from the period 1977-1982.  The tour is a one-off which Steve is hoping to take around the UK, Europe, the USA/Canada, Japan and possibly Australia before packing away his CRASS songbook and moving on to other projects.   A new batch of European dates have been added to the existing UK shows.  A finale show will take place in London once all of the other parts of the world have been visited.

Steve also has a Facebook page set up and has been blogging there recently about the forthcoming tour, and what real fear is like.

The Last Supper 2010
24 Sep  UK Bristol – O2 Academy
25 Sep  UK Birmingham – O2 Academy
01 Oct  UK Manchester – Academy
02 Oct  UK Edinburgh – Liquid Room
15 Oct  NL Amsterdam – Melkweg
16 Oct  DE Köln/Cologne – Underground
17 Oct  DE Frankfurt – Exzess
19 Oct  DE München/Munich – Feierwerk
20 Oct  DE Berlin – Festsaal
21 Oct  PL Lodz – Dekompresja
22 Oct  DE Hamburg – Hafenklang
23 Oct  DK  Copenhagen – Loppen