Steve Ignorant – The Last Supper

If any browsers feel the urge to get a photograph onto the slideshow at the Steve Ignorant shows coming up in September and October in the U.K. and Europe then send good quality scans whether portraits or half body shots to It is not worth sending in photographs of the subject (you!) halfway up a mountain or something as these photos will not be used. The photographs will need to be clear enough to show all the facial features.

The email of the scanned photograph should be clearly marked with your name that you may want to come up on the slideshow and added to all the above the photograph sent in must be from the time of Crass starting out to when the band performed no longer either live or in the studio. 1977 until 1984 for those who may have forgotten.

  1. Justin
    October 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I interviewed Steve before his recent gig in Birmingham for my fanzine `No One Rules OK`. I will try and copy and paste the transcript below. If anyone wants a recording of the gig & interview (its on 2 x cds) email me at –

    Steve is a decent bloke and those who keep slagging him off should shut the fuck up.

    Love them or hate them, you can not ignore the impact and influence that Crass made upon the global punk movement. The Crass logo can still be seen today on T shirts and old leather jackets, and the very mention of the band`s name can stir up a whole hornets nest of vitriol and passion. Crass formed in 1977 and were based at Dial House, near Epping in Essex. The band`s history has been well documented, and George Bergers book `The Story Of Crass` covers pretty much all you want to know about the band. The band split in 1984 , and main frontman , Steve Ignorant went on to play with Conflict , Schwartzeneggar , and The Stratford Mercenaries. In 2007 Steve performed Crass`s entire `Feeding Of The 5000` record at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London with a backing band, and was slated for selling out by Crass pursists and accused of betraying the ethos of Crass by former band member and close friend Penny Rimbaud. However , at the Blackpool Rebellion Punk Festival 2010 both appeared onstage with interviewer John Robb and all past differences were put aside as Penny gave Steve his blessing to perform Crass material live. Steve then announced The Last Supper Tour , where he would be performing Crass songs from 1977-1982, promising that this would be the last chance to see Crass songs played live with a band. Adding to this Steve has completed his autobiography `The Rest Is Propaganda` which also coincides with the re release of a remastered and repackaged cd `Feeding Of The 5000`. All has not gone smoothly however, as former band members are strongly opposed to the Crass material being released, which rather ironically may see the seminal anarcho punk band in the high court.

    I managed to secure an interview with Steve before the second gig of the tour in Birmingham. We drove up from Bedford earlier in the day, then met up with his girlfriend, Fiona outside the venue. She took us into the dressing room and Steve came in half asleep as he had just been having a nap (even anarachists need their beauty sleep) . I suppose it was one of them surreal moments sitting down and having a cup of tea with Steve Ignorant from Crass , although to be honest at the time I was more interested in the tea. This is the interview that took place -.

    How did it go last night on the first date of the tour (Bristol)?

    Steve – Yeah it went well, really good

    I heard something about a banner getting nicked

    Steve – ahhh yeah some little scumbag, yeah the usual thing, you know the bloke pays how much to get in or whatever in then after the 3rd song nicks the banner and runs out through the fire exit

    Did he come onto the stage and get it?

    Steve – nah where it was, it was originally going to be onstage but it wouldn’t fit there…so it was fixed to some stairs and gaffer taped to the banister. I must admit when I saw it there I thought, well if I was a punk I’d nick that.

    Well that’ll end up on ebay or his bedroom wall then…

    Steve – yeah well all the Bristol punks have said you little shit if you don’t give it back, well….come round and find you….bloody hell….so I don’t think he’ll be flogging it ha ha.

    So this tour, it’ll be going into next year and you’ll be taking it to the USA and Australia?

    Steve – ..Looks like it, er…America is defiantly on but Australia and New Zealand…I’m not sure….there was murmurs about it.

    And then that will take up all of next year?

    Steve – Ideally.. I’d like to finish this in May but that’s impossible so I’m going to have to finish this at the latest in July.

    And after that spoken word performances ?

    Steve – yeah, but I’ll take some time off first, and that’s what I’ll like to do, I’ll take a year off or something first cos I want to write it, get the visuals for it as I want to do it with a kind of stage set so its more like a drama you’d go and see. Not like just standing up there and doing it and I’ve got to get a band together as well…

    So is it going to be an acoustic thing ?

    Steve – erm.. well no, I’m hoping to have double bass and keyboards

    So is that a change of musical direction for you ?

    Steve – well…no, well I just want that instead of music, it’ll be like background music..something to listen to, maybe I’ll do a couple of songs or something

    Is this going to be cocktail hour with Steve Ignorant ?

    Steve – well…it could be like an audience with Steve Ignorant as I am thinking about opening it up and let people ask questions, and I’m thinking of doing it in little venues like book stores ,or whatever

    I saw the interview you did with Penny Rimbaud and John Robb at Blackpool Rebellion. The impression I got was of two mates chatting away but I wanted to ask you what’s your relationship like with the other members of Crass and which one would you punch first ?

    Steve – Pete Wright !

    Really….I thought there was a problem with Andy Palmer ?

    Steve – No, there’s not a problem with Andy. When Crass finished Andy decided he wanted to finish full stop and we said well how do you want to do it….do you what the royalties or what ? He said he’ll have the lump sum. So he brought his Dad down who was a solicitor or something like that, went into see John Loder and they came up with a deal that Andy said he was satisfied with….so….erm whets really annoying me about Pete Wright is that he’s always been saying since John Loder died…that …oh Andy got ripped off by John Loder..I mean kick a dead man why don’t you. ..and Pete has been like `oh Steve are you prepared to give some of your royalties to Andy Palmer ? …like no, cos he made an agreement all those years ago, that he didn’t want anything to do with it. And every time I’ve seen Andy Palmer…he` s said `Steve , I’m quite happy the way I am `.Phil Free and Joy have been donating part of their royalties to Andy Palmer…so….er….I don’t think its on cos Andy made a deal with his Dad who was a solicitor…and well…was a little bit shirty about it as well, and that was the deal he made. 30 years later you can’t` turn round and say oh no I’ve made the wrong decision there, especially as the bloke who made the deal is dead. He’s not around to defend himself..and that’s the little wind up thing there. Pete is just being …so…fucking awkward

    So is this going to end up in court then ?

    Steve – …I don’t know, it wouldn’t surprise me

    So what are his objections, is this just about the re releases ?

    Steve – yeah, you’ll have to ask him . I tried to ask him, we had to have this meeting in London and I said `look Pete, can we do the re releases` and he said `no`. Can we reissue the stuff as it originally was then… `No`…..`Why not`…`cos I don’t want it to go through Southern`

    Why ?

    Steve – that what I said. He said cos Southern isn’t the company it was and Allison isn’t the person she use to be. Well…Ok ..well I’m not prepared for Crass records to go through something like… little Indian…so it came to a complete stale mate, and all the way down its no,…as to why all this has come back you’ll have to ask him. I’ve tried to ask him but I couldn’t work out what the fuck he was on about

    Couldn’t this be resolved by a punch up in a car park ?

    Steve – well…yeah…that crossed my mid once or twice, but I think if it does go to court or carries on like this, he’s just going to make himself look an arsehole…..if he hasn’t done away

    Well, you’ve released The Feeding Of The 5000 anyway, are you waiting for something to come back ?

    Steve – yeah…well I don’t know, maybe he’ll use his cut of royalties from that to take us to court, I don’t know some fucked up thing will go on. I don’t really care to tell you the truth but if it does go that far ….course of all the things I’ve been hearing about this re release has been so positive…

    Well…I’ve got a copy of it, and er…I was a bit sceptical when I found out it was being released…I thought you know, I’ve got remastered cds and they still sound the same…. but having played it, the difference is amazing. It sounds like a powerful, properly produced album, whereas before it was very tinny…

    Steve – absolutely, which is what I wrote in the sleeve notes cos it never sounded proper to me cos that was the technology we had at the time, and I don’t feel that it’s detracted from it, which was my concern when Pen was doing it….

    After you did the speaking at Blackpool, I was wandering about …and saw a big crowd, like maybe Brad Pitt had turned up or something….so I had a little look, and there’s you signing autographs, so I just stood there and watched, and Penny was signing and you looked really uncomfortable, how do you cope with that adulation…as people put you on a pedestal and quote you…like you changed their life

    Steve – well..that I understand , cos its like I met the bloke who wrote Kes…or Alan Shillitoe or one of the great writers, it would mean exactly the same thing cos they changed my life and been an inspiration to me. When it gets difficult is like tonight, I’ve got to go down to the merch` stall and stand around and meet people…but its when they start coming over thick and fast, and photographing and all this and its really hard to deal with

    I spoke to John Robb about this and he said that you didn’t understand why people wanted your autographs as you’re just normal blokes, but if you didn’t sign autograph they’d think…

    Steve – yeah stuck up bastards

    Rock stars

    Steve – yeah, there you go so it’s easier to do the thing than explain why you’re not.

    You’ve got your book out now `The Rest is Propaganda`….have you actually read it ?

    Steve – Yeah, of course I have, I wrote it you sod.

    Yeah but have you actually sat down and read it, now that it’s in print ?

    Steve – ahhhh …yes…I’ve skipped through it as I’ve read it so many times…but yeah I’ve already been through it yeah

    Do you fell this is an honest portrayal of the real Steve Ignorant ?

    Steve – yes

    and do you feel that people’s perception of you will change after reading it ? Will they look at you in a different light ?

    Steve – could do, I don’t know, I think it might strike a few chords with a few people so I don’t know, I really don’t know. I’ve tried to be as honest as possible and not big myself up if you know what I mean.

    I’ve read Penny Rimbauds book `Shibbleth`, have you read that ?

    Steve – yeah….well bits of it

    Can you explain it cos I didn’t understand it

    Steve – no, I don’t understand it at all

    There’s one bit that’s stayed in my mind, when he was in public school and was at church and he use to stick his fingers up his mates’ arses

    Steve – yeah, yeah, that kind of thing

    That’s the only bit I remember, so when you was stage with him I was hoping he’d stick his finger up John Robbs arse.

    Steve – hahaha

    I have only seen the cover of the book yesterday, I think it’s a strange choice for a cover

    Steve – well…do you know where the quote `the rest is propaganda` comes from


    Steve – oh alright, its from a film called `Saturday night, Sunday morning` and the anti hero in it says erm ya know I’d like to see the bastards grind me down, what I’m out for is a good time , all the rest is propaganda…then the film starts . It’s a black and white 1960`s film and the book that the film is made from, the front cover has Albert Finney in bed with a woman, so that arm is actually the arm of Annie Anxiety. The reason I used that picture was, when we brought out `best before 1984` it was decided for the one time, any picture of yourself you want to use you can use, so ok, I set up this photo with Annie Anxiety to represent the photo of Finney and that is it.

    Did Steve Pottinger actually write for you or did you…

    Steve – yeah he did basically, but what he would do is bring a tape recorder down and we’d just talk for hours, he’d ask me questions. Then he’d take it all away and write it out, and send me the stuff through on email. Then I’ll read it and say can we take this bit out and he’d say..well I think it’s better if we have this…erm cos he was never really a Crass fan he was really good to work with cos it’s not all about Crass…

    Is he an author then ?

    Steve – no, the reason I used Steve was cos I met him and he gave me a book of his prose writing and it’s very similar to the way I write, so I thought he’d be a good bloke as he sort of knows what wavelength I’m on.

    Did you find writing a history of your life therapeutic and why didn’t you get Gary Bushell to co write it ?

    Steve – errmm…no I didn’t find it therapeutic, it was harder than I thought, it drags up ghosts and things and ..erm I didn’t get Gary Bushell to write it cos I’ve read the book he did with Stinky Turner..and er..I could see what Jeff was trying to do there..but I think the way Gary Bushell writes is like the Beano meets The Krays…bit like Alf Garnet

    In George Berger`s book `The Story Of Crass` it states that you was seriously considering becoming a priest, is that true and do you believe in God ?

    Steve – that’s true, but that was very young when I still school, not a priest , a missionary….. I don’t believe in god

    Bloody hell it’s a bit of a change now though isn’t it ?

    Steve – I know its one of those things you do, what do you want to do ? well I want to be a missionary and help poor starving black people in hot countries ya know like a fucking mug

    On reflection do you think that Crass have been over intellectuised , and are you sick of explaining yourself about everything you’ve said and done in the past ?

    Steve – I think sometimes they’ve been over intellecutised, I think that people try and read too much into it…er…. Like this picture I’ve been using for The Last Supper with the gun, and there’s been a whole thing about…

    Well, I’ve seen you’ve explained it, how you was in a play…

    Steve – yeah I was in a play, and there was a picture of me doing that and I thought that’s smart, I’ll just stick the crass symbol on like its shooting Crass at you…erm and I was thinking actually of putting love on it, so the Crass symbol was the O in love, but I didn’t bother with it…and erm..all people have read all different sorts of things into that …

    Crass influenced not just punk bands but protest groups such as the anarchist’s movement, class war, ALF etc. Did you think you was ever on the brink of changing anything ?

    Steve – er…at one point I thought we might change something, it was when we were flooding the independent with all the records, and other bands started doing the same thing, and at one time Crass were selling more than AC/DC and they were mainstream and I Thought actually we can fucking do this….all these punk bands, but it didn’t happen and as soon as the Falklands war started, and after that there was the miners strike and I was like….we aint going to do it…we’re fucked, and I was going I don’t know what else I can do now

    What about going more towards direct action ?

    Steve – well..there was talk of that that wasn’t an area I wanted to go into, that aint my scene.

    The Crass logo has become an iconic symbol for companies to profit from how do you feel when millionaires such as David Beckham are spotted wearing the bands logo and do you feel exploited ?

    Steve- er………well…it’s been there to be exploited really…we’ve been lazy

    Well, there’s 100s of Crass T shirts on ebay and the internet

    Steve – yeah I know you cant stop it, that’s why I’m doing my own ones now, where you can official ones and you’re getting good quality or whatever, and really its down to the individual make get on the Southern website or machete cos I do stuff with them as well…erm and all the bootlegs can’t stop it.

    What about the David Beckham one…it’s a bit of a compliment really for someone like that to be seen wearing the logo

    Steve – yeah but I don’t think he really knew what it was, its funny cos his image or his name has been copyrighted…so it would be interesting to get a T shirt… picture of him wearing the Crass T shirt.

    Are you skint and does punk owe you a living ?

    Steve – No, I don’t think that punk owes me a living, I’m not skint at the moment, but I have ran up a tab at my local pub ….which is about £30 at the moment.

    Back in the 1980s punk gigs were a battleground of violence and intimidation. Were you ever frightened to go on stage and did you ever fight back ?

    Steve – yeah loada shit wasn’t it. Sometimes I was scared to go onstage but yeah sometimes we thought back. There was a classic one at Reading when the so called British Movement came in….and we sent them packing.

    On the back sleeve of the Merry Crassmas single there’s a spoof Crass competition which poked fun at The Exploited. Do you feel that Crass encouraged rivalry and helped divide punk into two separate camps ?

    Steve -.maybe I don’t know that wasn’t our intention, it may have been the people that followed us. What turned me off the whole punk thing…cos we called ourselves anarchists , people use to come to our gigs and say ..ohh I’m an anarchists, then you’d have these factions like narco feminists, narco pacifists, all fucking fighting each other then all suddenly having a pop at us, cos I never read any anarchists literature, so what could I know about it.

    It struck me that it got very religious at one stage

    Steve – It really was, maybe it was our own fault cos we were so serious..but in the end we couldn’t move for being wrong. Steve…are you vegetarian….yeah…do you have milk in your tea…yeah…..bastard…..Steve …..are your shoes leather….yeah, I think so…..bastard.

    Where have all the anarchists gone ?

    Steve –I dunno probably to the square mile in London, all doing jolly well.
    Back in 1983 Crass gate crashed a gig by The Exploited at the 100 Club …

    Steve – nah….we didn’t gate crash it , what that was is that Annie Anxiety was going out with Wattie at the time, she comes back to Dial House and says the Exploited are playing the 100 Club next Monday or something and Wattie wants to know if we could go unannounced and just we said yeah alright then.

    You played for about 15 minutes, what was it like playing to a hostile crowd ?

    Steve – well…I was used to once we started, people knew who we were anyway so it was like wahay…but there was like 4 skinheads trying it on but I couldn’t be arseholed.

    How did you get on with Wattie ?

    Steve – yeah alright…but to be honest The Exploited weren’t my cup of tea. I gave them a fair listen and I watched them onstage….not for me. Sex and violence…yeah whatever

    Getting away from the music side , you have done sculptures and you have an interest in the history of music hall. Do you see yourself as a modern day variety performer bearing in mind the singing, punch n judy and future spoken word performances ?

    Steve – I think so yeah ! Cos that’s why when I had the chance to play The Shepherds Bush Empire I was so excited cos all the old musical hall entertainers use to play there.

    So which performers are you into…

    Steve – well..theres a guy called Gus Elen and he’s got a very distinctive voice and the songs that he sings are really cheeky and have all those double entrebres….and there’s famous song called The man who broke the bank of Monte Carlo that we use to sing at school. There’s a line in there that’s `you can kiss the girls to make them cry, and see them wink the other eye` and there was another one a song by a woman called Marie Lloyd. She actually got taken to a tribunal over it …some of her lyrics was singing about a woman who tends her own garden ….she sits amongst her cabbages and leaks….

    You have highlighted the work you do with the lifeboat crew at Sea Palling. It strikes me as something you are proud of and feel quite passionate about. How did you become part of the crew and do you exercise and keep fit ?

    Steve – The way I got into it was when I did the Shepherds Bush Empire
    I like every gig I do to be a benefit…so I thought who should I give this money to, so I thought I’d give it somewhere where I can see where the money goes, So I decided to donate to the local lifeboat, who aren’t with RNLI but are totally independent. I can show you where the money has gone with these new life jackets, which this year we’ve had 17 call outs and we’ve saved about 9 lives this year …so everybody who contributed to that…that’s where its gone…er…then they said `do you want to join, come out with crew` and but I said that I couldn’t really commit myself and they said no…even if you can give 10 minutes that’s fine. So yeah I’ve carried on doing it, and here I am crew member number 9. And yeah I do keep fit , before this I’ve been circuit training with a mate of mine who’s a football coach.

    Sea Palling is small village in Norfolk. Do you think it’s in danger if being invaded by Crass fans eager to meet you ?

    Steve – nah, nah I don’t think so…I don’t think it will, I don’t think that’ll happen….famous last words !

    What was life really like at Dial House ? Gary Bushell viewed Crass as a collective group of miserable middle class hippies …

    Steve – yeah , well he’d know about that being so fucking working class, he started off his career by writing about tractors and Christ knows what.

    Did Crass have a sense of humour ?

    Steve – Yeah of course we did, yeah…it came out in a funny way…Penny Rimbauds jokes are crap…but poor sod, he tries. Dial house was the same as any other house except we all dressed in black…it was just a bunch of people living in the same house and it was cheaper to do that.

    Penny Rimbaud has said that the actual band wasn’t that important it was more about the house …and the people inside the house

    Steve – Oh well, Pen will do loads of things like that, the same way that Pen will say that David Bowie was a load of rubbish and didn’t do anything…

    You’re a big Bowie fan …

    Steve – yeah well Bowie did do something…he enabled blokes to wear bangles on council estates and not get their heads kicked in.

    I am not trying to kill you off here, but what inscription would you like on your gravestone and how would you like people to remember you ?

    Steve – well…I’m not going to be buried, I want to be burnt and thrown in the River Thames….er ..Steve you was alright and that’s ya lot

    I think it was Spike Milligham who has `I told you I was ill`

    Steve – yeah perhaps I should have `of course they fucking did`.

    Well, thanks for that, that’s it and have a great gig tonight

    Steve – pleasure, cheers.

    Hope that does`nt stop you lot from buying the fanzine when its finished/printed. Justin

  2. Justin
    October 14, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Re: The Last Supper – Yummy!. I have uploaded the entire interview (28 minutes) in 7 parts onto Youtube, this forum wont let me add the links, so search by my Youtube user name – ismusicloud to locate the interview. I also trade in punk bootleg cds and dvds , so if anyone would like my lists (about 1000 discs) send me a message. I recorded the Steve Ignorant gig at Birmingham.


    Justin Musicisloud

  3. Trunt
    October 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Nice interview justin, get in touch on here when your fanzine is out, I’ll have one off you. I too have loads of old demos/live stuff from tapes on cdr if you are up for a trade. Always wondered who the girl was on steve’s cover, now we know.

  4. Justin
    October 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Trunt, email me your lists to me at

    Fanzine wont be out for a little while, still putting it together. Although I find a general lack of interest from punters when I try to sell them at gigs. Its like pulling teeth to get them to part with a poxy quid. I would`nt mind but they are usually standing there with a pint of beer that cost them near on £4. I had to laugh at some of the idiots at Blackpool Rebellion – all the gear, no fucking idea.


  5. kalle
    October 29, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    yeah, i was at the 100 club going to see the exploited in 1983. so when crass came on stage a realised it just after their first song who they really were. cause i think they weren’t announced on the bill

  6. Justin
    December 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    My fanzine `NO ONE RULES OK` is now available. This includes a 9 page inteview with Steve Ignorant. Also includes interviews with John Robb , The Warriors, Drongos For Europe. Band features on Fire Exit, Rose Tattoo, Punk in Glasgow, The Alternative Ulster – a 5 page piece written by Brain Young from RUDI, Shame Academy, The Outcasts. A history of punk from an original 1977 punk plus book reviews (two reviews for The Rest Is Propoganda).

    40 x A5 PAGES. Price for uk buyers is £2.00 via paypal to me at

    Buyers from overseas please email first so that I can work out postage rates.


  7. Dan.
    January 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Good man, Pete Wright – he’s no ‘gaffer’s man’!
    It strikes me that Penny, Steve, & Gee are merely on the make these days, content to play ball with the label – record company lackeys one & all.
    I believe Andy Palmer received the £5000 he stumped up back in 1979 (as a means of funding the ‘Asylum’ 7 inch), as his final pay-off in 1984. Inflation, anyone….? LOL!
    Respect to Joy, Eve, Phil, & Pete for having the decency to share their royalties with Andy – true egalitarians, unlike certain others mentioned.

  8. baronvonzubb
    January 28, 2012 at 6:39 am

    dont get me wrong, i liked crass as people and for the sentiment. wankstain and me saw ourselves as ‘political’ but they sounded awful.
    can anyone deny that?
    listen to em now, eg ‘big hands’ and then listen to stranded by the saints. just a seriously tiny racket really
    or is it like one of dadaist inversion of aethetics type of things? 😉

  9. AL Puppy
    AL Puppy
    January 29, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi Baron… I just picked up ‘The Story of Crass’ and skimmed pages 32 to 38 which mentions Gee and Penny and a connection with Fluxus and then found this graphic of a Fluxus manifesto from 1963

    It is midnight here on the edge of civilisation, so not going to go on for long – but future members of Crass in the early seventies were part of the politically engaged avant-garde so Crass were a ‘dadaist inversion of punk aesthetics’ – maybe a deconstruction/ reconstruction of punk.

    The music was just part of the package/assembly and was – I guess- designed not to be ‘musical’, not to sound like The Saints. Music which could not be commodified/ recuperated/ used as the sound track to an advert a few years down the line.

    As the Fluxus manifesto says “FUSE the cadres of political, social and cultural revolution into united front & action”.

  10. baronvonzubb
    February 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    g’day al.
    you mean like metal machine musical or dennis p orrible?
    ok i get the thing but still sounds rubbish.
    did the saints ‘stranded’ really get used in an advert?
    what for petrol? or camping equipment?
    and as far as i know, though i wont swear to it in a court of her majesties law though, joni pistolero has been on tv ads the pistols music has not (or has much if any of the pre summer ’78 punk… am i sticking me neck out here ??)
    and they sound bloody great 🙂
    hope youre doin good brothaman.

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