Crass – Various times and various places / Gordon Carr – Angry Brigade and Persons Unknown films

An intimate interview with most members of Crass recorded on super 8 video in 1984 around the impossibly small kitchen table at Dial House. How that many members of Crass all got around that table remains a mystery to me!

Possibly the last ever interview with Crass. Transferred from super 8 video to a DVDR several years ago now for £20 by Stanley Production in Soho. Taken this long to figure out what to do with ‘digital’ version. If you share this video you owe me a £1! I did not film the interview.

There is a twenty three second interruption to this Crass interview. Footage of the M11 motorway. This interruption in the footage comes in at 3.17 and lasts until 3.40.

“Dearest Mickey,

No, I haven’t a clue what paper those guys were from – but it could have been Sounds because there’s a Sounds article of the time where I’m wearing the same green polo shirt that I was in the film – but who knows? It must have been one of the few times in my life when I haven’t had sideboards!!!!!

Loads of love, blessings and joy,”

Penny. X

Semi – Detached is a collection of films made by Gee Vaucher, founding Crass member and the artist behind almost all their graphics (except maybe the logo itself, which was done by Dave King).

These six original videos were created for Crass and used as part of all their shows from 1978-1984.Using a VHS video camera, Vaucher created video collages by recording from black and white television with two video machines linked so that one machine could over-ride the other, specific footage could be dropped into the ‘Background’ tape without a break in the imagery.

It’s weird that more aren’t made of these films, given they were such an integral part of the Crass experience.

Please support Dial House and Exitstencil Press buy purchasing the enhanced ‘Semi-Detached’ released on a DVD with fifty page booklet HERE.

An interesting Radio 1 interview with Steve Ignorant and Penny Rimbaud of Crass aired, and recorded way back in May 1981.

Crass did not do too many interviews with radio stations, so sit back and enjoy what they had to say to the nation that were listening on that Saturday afternoon, when this interview was originally aired.

This cassette recording was originally placed up on the KYPP post below in February 2009 HERE. Download available on that KYPP post.

During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Pete Millen recorded many Crass and Poison Girls performances with the use of several microphones hanging strategically around the halls that the two bands were invited to perform in.

This Crass performance is one of the many recordings that Pete Millen recorded.

Lee Gibson got some the original cassette tapes (and reel to reel tapes) from Pete Millen and then sent three of the cassettes tapes to me here at Penguin Towers.

Crass and Poison Girls at the Mayflower in Manchester October 1980. Zounds also performed.

Please have a look at the original KYPP post below for downloads of the Crass and the Poison Girls performances (cassette tapes remastered by Pete Fender) and to read reams and reams of information from some of the people that were at the gig that night HERE.

The images that accompany this YouTube post are:

1/ A well worn original Crass patch from the Nagasaki Nightmare 7″ single in 1980

2/ My original 1977 Gee Vaucher artwork for the New York magazine (gouache and collage 220 mm x 160 mm) that is framed and up on the wall at Penguin Towers

3/ All the pages of the first issue of the Eklektic fanzine created in 1979 by Seaman Stockton (A.K.A T42) and Andy Palmer of Crass.

We all know the fanzine which we all purchased in thousands.

We all got copies of the Crass flexi-disc that was included in that issue of the fanzine and we all sung along to the ironic Oi! style lyrics.

This much we all know.

What we did not necessary know is some of the background behind this Crass flexi disc and later hard vinyl version.

Mike Diboll, the young punk behind the Toxic Grafity fanzine in the late 70’s and early ’80’s, writes an essay, loosely based around this Crass flexi-disc, that ends up as one of the most important essays that has been placed up on KYPP.

Read the essay HERE.

The images that accompany the audio, the fanzine, original red letter flexi-disc, and the hard vinyl version with picture sleeve are all nicely tucked away in my collection.

Crass – Isle Of Wight 1

Crass – Isle Of Wight 2

Pete Millen during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s recorded many Crass and Poison Girls performances with the use of several microphones hanging strategically around the halls that the two bands were invited to perform in.

This Crass performance is one of the many recordings that Pete Millen recorded.

Lee Gibson got some the original cassette tapes (and reel to reel tapes) from Pete Millen and then sent three of the cassettes tapes to me here at Penguin Towers.

Crass, Annie Anxiety and Poison Girls at Isle Of Wight June 1981.

Sadly ringing around various Crass members there were conflicting memories of the Isle Of Wight. Personally I would have imagined that a performance on an island a few miles off England would have been relatively memorable compared to several performances up Liverpool or Manchester etc, but there you go, it was a long time ago.

Perhaps someone else could help out with a memory or two, and if anyone can I will add any memories to this YouTube post.

Unfortunately the Isle Of Wight Crass performance was recorded halfway along a flip side of a C90, Crass starting their set after a long (recorded on the cassette tape) interlude after Poison Girls came off stage (assuming there was a stage) and a couple of Annie Anxiety songs.

The Crass performance that actually made it onto the cassette tape only lasted four or five tracks so the Crass performance did not make it onto a KYPP post.

Shame.

As I have a YouTube channel now I might as well place the Crass performance on here!

Thanks to Bradley Hall for the scan of the Crass patch still attached to a pair of trousers he found in a box that illustrates the audio.

***

Tracey Dear remembers this about the night:

“I was there, it was at LaBabalu in Ryde. I remember a bible-thumper berating us all whilst waiting for the venue to open!

Everyone was stuck there the night as there were no night ferry’s. A lot of us slept in an abandoned big house, whilst others slept on the beach waiting for the morning ferry.We were getting grief from the cops for burning deckchairs to keep warm.

It was an amazing gig all three were in fine form. Lababalu had really low ceilings and made for a great atmosphere. No aggro, for once. A great night.

Pete very kindly sent me a lot of his tapes from the early shows and I went on to record a lot of the latter Poison Girls and Crass shows 82-84”.

Thanks Tracey.

Uploaded today is a rehearsal cassette tape recorded at Southern Studios in April 1981.

A couple of months later, all the tracks on this rehearsal cassette tape were soon to be recorded properly at Southern Studios for inclusion on the ‘Christ The Album’ album.

The double album, released to the public in the summer of 1982 was wrapped in an expensive box set and included a large poster and a large informative booklet.

This original cassette tape was given to Penny Rimbaud several years ago now for an ongoing Crass web based rare release free download portal. A project which seems to have hit a brick wall!

I had already uploaded the rehearsal cassette tape onto KYPP in 2007 and then re-launched that post on the same blog in 2009. The 2009 KYPP post may be downloaded on the link HERE.

I have another rehearsal cassette tape from the same month and same year to upload onto YouTube along with a host of rare interviews and other bits and bobs.

So look out for those.

The large Crass ‘Falklands’ poster that accompanies the audio on this YouTube post is framed and on my wall at Penguin Towers…

To hear another Crass rehearsal cassette tape recorded at Southern Studios on YouTube link below, you can do so on this KYPP link HERE.

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I had already uploaded these cassette tapes onto KYPP in 2007 and then re-launched that post on the same blog in 2009.

The 2009 KYPP post may be viewed and links downloaded HERE.

These original cassette tapes were given to Penny Rimbaud several years ago now, for an ongoing Crass website based on offering rare material from the band as free downloads. A project which seems to have hit a brick wall!

The ‘Thatchergate’ audio collage was put together by David Tibet from Current 93 and ex of Psychic T.V.

The infamous cut up conversation between Thatcher and Reagan is in full, towards the end of the audio collage. The telephone ringing all the way through that conversation is intentional.

This YouTube post includes the following:

‘Thatchergate’ audio collage – David Tibet

Capital Radio news broadcast

Penny Rimbaud on KSK Honolulu

Penny Rimbaud on U.S National State Radio

B.A Nana on the phone to Russian News Agency

Richard Skinner Radio 1 – ‘Dry Weather’ – July 1981

The images that accompany this YouTube post is the ‘You’re Already Dead’ mini fanzine from my collection .

Two documentaries on anarchist activism (and trials) in the seventies and eighties. Both were made by Gordon Carr, the first was the basis of his book on the Angry Brigade.

Contains archive footage of events varying from Miguel Garcia to snippets of a Crass gig in 1980. With introductions by Stuart Christie.

The Angry Brigade (1974 – Gordon Carr)

Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade used guns and bombs in a series of symbolic attacks against property. A series of communiqués accompanied the actions, explaining the choice of targets and the Angry Brigade philosophy: autonomous organisation and attacks on property alongside other forms of militant working class action.

Targets included the embassies of repressive regimes, police stations and army barracks, boutiques and factories, government departments and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

These attacks on the homes of senior political figures increased the pressure for results and brought an avalanche of police raids. From the start the police were faced with the difficulty of getting to grips with a section of society they found totally alien.

And were they facing an organisation — or an idea? Gordon Carr’s film explores covers the roots of the Angry Brigade in the revolutionary ferment of the 1960’s and the anarchist First of May Group, and follows their campaign and the police investigation to its culmination in the ‘Stoke Newington 8’ conspiracy trial at the Old Bailey — the longest criminal trial in British legal history. It remains the essential study of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group.

Persons Unknown (1980 – Gordon Carr)

Documentary by Gordon Carr on the so-called ‘Persons Unknown’ case in December 1979 in which members of the Anarchist Black Cross were tried at the Old Bailey on a charge of ‘conspiring with persons unknown, at places unknown to cause explosions’.

A concise look at the ‘Persons Unknown’ trial. A fascinating snapshot of history in the making, The Persons Unknown pieces together an intricate web of radicals at a thriller’s pace. Carr crisply relates the correspondences of a Black Cross secretary and imprisoned Irish republican and reaches all the way back to the Paris Commune to discuss the secretive, internationalist elements of radical leftist politics.

Where mainstream media tends to become hysterical where anarchism is concerned, The Persons Unknown remains keenly factual throughout. Among those featured in the film are Stuart Christie, publisher of the “Black Flag” newsletter and former would-be Generalisimo Francisco Franco assassin, and the anarcho-punk group Crass.

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1985 - 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution 1988 - 1991 King Penguin Distribution 1989 - ???? Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

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