“Five thousand’s a crowd (four thousand nine hundred and ninety nine more than I imagined were going to buy the record), but two’s company (I knew for certain that my Mum would want one), so it was on the plate, ready to serve, The Feeding of the Five Thousand.”
The Crassical Collection is finally here, and the first release is the newly remastered The Feeding of the Five Thousand. After several years of being out of print, this legendary album has been been restored from the original analogue studio tapes, repackaged and bolstered by rare and unreleased tracks, and stunning new artwork from Gee Vaucher, who has lovingly created what could only be considered a real artefact. Included in this package is a 64-page booklet featuring all lyrics along with extensive liner notes from band members Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant, which shed light on the making of the record. Also included is CD-sized recreation of the iconic original fold-out poster sleeve.
“We were setting out as purists: hard, uncompromising and utterly bemused.”
The Feeding of the 5000 is the first album by Crass, released in 1978. The record came to be made when Pete Stennett, owner of Small Wonder Records, heard a demo that the band had recorded. Impressed by all of the material, he decided that rather than release a conventional single by the band, he would put all of their set onto an 18 track 12 inch EP.
In which our guest blogger, Little Annie, regales us with tales from her unpublished biography. In this chapter, the little lady from New York travels far far away across the ocean to take up residence with a gang of British anarchist hippie punks called Crass. They call her “Annie Anxiety”.
TEETERING DOWN the single file country ‘road’ that snaked its way to Crass’ Epping Forest home in my faux Frederick’s of Hollywood stilettos and dragging my equally glitzy chi-chi drag behind me, I may not have been the quintessential ugly American, but I was definitely the quintessential inappropriately dressed one. As the country lane turned into a path through a mud-slicked cow yard, I couldn’t help but wonder where this incredibly hip-and-happening second English Explosion Jammy Wonderland that all the knuckleheads back in New York were always yapping about was. Just as I was figuring that I was the butt of a very expensive and complicated episode of Candid Camera, the smoky-eyed, Jean Seberg-cropped Crass vocalist, Eve Libertine, drove up and rescued my quintessential daft ass. As we pulled up to the sixteenth-century former labourer’s cottage in Eve’s old blue Mini, its soft beauty knocked me out. Some members of Crass had found this once uninhabitable wreck many years ago, seen its potential and rented it from the farmer, who thought they were crazy, hence the ridiculously affordable rent. Hard work had turned this crumbling structure into a House and Garden – worthy Zen dream, and one that was more or less obscured by beautiful lush vegetation. Inside was equally impressive, immaculately clean and lovingly handcrafted. It was paradise, except for one little thing – it was in the country.
I had believed from the conversations with Steve (Ignorant) I had back in New York that they all lived in some sort of English version of the projects. In one of his letters, he had spoken of everyone sitting around in the garden. I just assumed he had meant a vacant lot or basketball court. I mean this was rural with a capital W, and I’m just not down with the country groove. It scares the hell outta me. Country life is all about the natural order: the cyclical process of growth and decay, sowing and harvest, waxing and waning. Children raised in rural areas grow with a firm comprehension of birth and death. City children have no such acceptance. We beat death by aspiring toward immortality by becoming drug addicts, boxers and movie stars. Continue reading →
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