What I’ve been up to

Right, I know it’s been ages since I last wrote anything but things have been really busy for the last couple of months.

It all kicked off with our first rehearsal which we were all really nervous about, but which went really well. Everyone had been working really bloody hard on the songs and I think it all went easier than we all thought it would be. There’s a lot of pressure riding on this Last Supper, we’re all acutely aware that we’ve got to get it spot on, and that can make you become over – perfectionist, if there’s any such word. (Can’t be arsed to look it up). Any way it all sounded bloody good to me, and contrary to Gizz’s worries, it sounds better with just Lead and Bass guitars. I’m not sure we’ll be doing Nagasaki Nightmare because it’s really sort of avant-gardy jazzy, fine on record but do it live and it sounds really empty, and we don’t want to cheat by using loads of sound effects and that. Also Beki was concerned about doing Eve’s “ying-tong-iddle-i-po” bits and I can’t say I blame her, I mean, couldn’t that be seen as a bit of stereotyping these days? Anyway we’ll give it a go, but don’t be disappointed if we don’t do that one - it won’t be for lack of trying.

It’s always really strange for me when we rehearse at Southern; singing the Crass songs in the room where they were recorded always sends a goose walking over my grave; I always half expect John Loder to pop his head round the door and with that toothy smile of his tell me to do it again. I don’t half miss him. Ah well no point getting all droopyfied about it.

A couple of weeks after that Andy T. came to see me which was really nice, I ain’t seen him for twenty-odd years, so of course we had to go to the pub for a catch-up session. We’d literally just had a couple of mouthfuls when my pager went off and I had to leave him there while I pelted up the boatshed. We had to rescue three blokes who’d gone swimming and couldn’t make it back because of the tide. Luckily a bloke on a kayak went out to them so they had something to hang onto but two of them were suffering from the first stages of hypothermia and when we got them into the boat they were shaking with cold and shock. Anyway we got them back safe, the paramedics came and everything was alright. Then I went back down the pub and carried on talking with Andy. It wasn’t till about half-hour later MY adrenalin kicked in and I got all hyper, and Andy mate, I’m sorry if I went on about it too much, but it was a weird thing to happen. Anyway that incident opened the floodgates and so far this year we’ve had 9 shouts and it’s not even the height of season yet.

So with all this dobby feeling inside me, it was off to London to go to a meeting with all the ex members of Crass (except Andy Palmer) to try and come to some arrangement about these re-releases. I was nervous, but feeling good, a nice sunny day, and looking forward to a good rational discussion of how to come to some agreement of how we can progress. Not a chance.

The same old, same old bullshit and bollocks that gets no-one anywhere but wound up and motherfucker was I wound up looking at a particular supercilious smirk which signified to me that the face concerned saw or sees this whole painful mess as some sort of sick joke or game. I’ve got the trembles as I write this. Fucking wanker pissing all over something really important to me and I’ve just gotta sit and swallow. The End. Result? Stalemate. Three of them don’t want the stuff released, and even if they did they would’nt want it to go through Southern, you know, the studio and label that helped us all the way. You know what, I hate to say it, but I’m ashamed to have had anything to do with certain twats I’ve known. One of them said if downloading was the only way people could get hold of Crass stuff then so be it. Nice, ay?

So you could say it didn’t go too well. I went home thinking fuck’em, I’ve had it with them, don’t want nothing to do with them anymore.

Couple of days later I walk in the pub and order a pint. The young bloke beside me with his back to me says “hello Steve, how are you?” and I’m about to say fucking awful when I see it’s James who’s been blind from birth and who has a photographic memory for voices. So instead I say I’m doing alright and he turns and goes on to tell me how he’s been listening to Crass and been liking some of it but not all because he can’t get all the words, and what was it like being ‘famous’ and it must have been exciting being in Crass and I must be really proud of it, and he’d like to come to one of the gigs and I said of course you fucking can and he got the joke and suddenly he pulled me to him and felt all over my face while he was talking and I suddenly had this brilliant thought which was yeah, Fuck ‘em. I know who I’d rather stand next to having a beer and it ain’t no poncified pillocks. It’s people who, without knowing it, knock you off your self indulgent, self-important perch and inspire you to do something, whatever that may be. Anyway after he’d finished feeling my face - he spent a moment or two feeling my ears as well - James said “I’ve been wondering what you look like” and I said what d’you reckon and he goes “you look like your music sounds”. The little sod. And he didn’t buy me a pint - so much for being ‘famous’ eh?

The last bit of news is I’ve been working on my autobiography with a mate of mine and it’s finished, so hopefully it’ll be out by the tour. Some skeletons being rattled in that little cupboard. Libel court here we come.

On a final note, I can’t reply to all the messages sent to me on Facebook, I’m sorry about that, but if I answered every one I’d be on this bloody keyboard for ever, so don’t think I’m ignoring you. But there are a couple I must mention here:

Steve Power, yes I remember you, didn’t you know Lu Vuckovitch? And Steve have you got any photos from Triptons/Robert Clack? If you have I’d love to see them.

Carol Greene and Cherise. Hello sis, thanks for the photo of the pub mum used to play piano in at Stoke, but I dunno if I can use it in the book due to copyright. I’ll try to get down to Barking for a catch up before the tour starts, but don’t hold your breath, rehearsals and that. All my love to you and yours. I’ll call soon.

I won’t leave it so long before I spill my guts on here again, thanks ever so much for all your messages, please keep them coming, I really enjoy them.
Till next time,

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Comments (15) Trackbacks (0)
  1. a did leave a comment but am desparately trying to overcome technophobia wi this mobile/mini-computer/spaceship-thingy…phone to me & you. So, at the risk o repeating maself…many, many years ago a asked you lot (crass) to play in ma home town (Inverness) & it got to the phone-call/prelim stage (didn’t speak to you)…then you split! Understandable enough. The bizarre thing is a’ve been living in London for past 20+yrs an’ a’ve still no met yous! Been on loads o demos/bookfairs so maybe close. Anyway, will try to catch the Last Supper. Good luck.

    • Hello Peter, sorry for the late reply. Trying to keep up with it all and like you I’m trying to get to grips with all this computer stuff. Luckily people around me are very patient and keep explaining to me what to do.
      Sorry we’ve never met. Hope you’ll be able to make The Last Supper.

  2. I’m a little confused, as Southern just announced the reissue of Feeding yesterday. I would imagine it’s been in the works for some time, given the total redesign and voluminous booklet accompanying it.

  3. You go Steve.For the life of me I cannot understand certain members of the band not wanting to help out with the re-releases,if for nothing else to help out the employees at Southern.Im completely bewildered.Fuck em anyway.Me and the missus saw your interview with Penny at the Rebellion festival really informative and interesting body language between you two.A little father and son me thinks in a nice way.Anyway all the best and we will see you in Manchester.Lots of love Stoke/Punks..xx

  4. hey steve, just missed you guys in 83 and ive never forgiven myself for it.Ive got a ticket for the last supper in bristol , cant wait. Are the crass t shirts you wear available to buy or not? Cheers John in Plymouth

    • Hello John. Good to hear you’re coming to Bristol. We’ve designed shirts specifically for The Last Supper Tour and you can also order Crass shirts from Southern or you can make your own.

  5. I was lucky enough to see Crass play at the night club in Edinburgh and at Lasswade high school in the early 80′s and they were the greatest gigs i have ever experienced! cant wait to see the Last Supper show at the Liquid Room in October. I’m gutted that Steve Whale isnt doing it though. Whats he up to? As for the other members of Crass giving you a hard time…fuck em!! Dont they realise what an influence they had on so many peoples lives!!



    [email protected]

  6. I was 6 in 1977.
    When I was 10, I found my brother’s Crass Albums.
    I listened and read the lyrics. What I didn’t understand, I found out.
    To have my eyes opened to the truth turned my world upside down.
    A curse or a blessing? Well, sometimes, clarity makes it hard to be positive, but, far better to be free inside than just a member of the sleeping masses, they rot just as they breath.
    The point of this? Just to let you know that you’ve changed lives forever, and probably far more than you think, over a wider age span than you think, or maybe you know this?
    My chance to taste what I was too young to miss has arrived, so thank you, I’ll be at Birmingham.

    Whichever band member wanted to stop you, and hinder further distribution of Crass’ work… should realize by his actions he’s helping those we oppose, because the message is as valid now as it was then. Maybe they got him, in the end.

  7. One more thing,

    The timing of all this, the tour, the re releasing, is there a reason it’s now?
    I was thinking it’s a very poignant time to be doing this…
    The current socio economic situation will soon be like dry kindling, waiting to be set on fire. Big wealth divide, lots of unemployed young with little hope…
    Wouldn’t it be nice if your tour and the re releases started a fire, stranger things have happened (before), and it’s at times like these (or very soon) that things easily get interesting.
    Would be a master stroke if it was intentional.
    Pity the tour can’t go on for another year, the kiddies have no one to turn to in these tough times except MTV grey puke.

  8. The Feeding gig at Shepherds Bush was 3 years ago, I started on my autobiography with Steve Pottinger 2 years ago and the work on the re releasings has been going on for a long time. Somehow it all came together as if it was meant to be.
    I agree with you, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

  9. When we buy books written in another language often they are re-translated as translators become
    more aware of the true meaning of the writer. Anybody wanting to improve how their art is presented
    with the hope that the receiver can benefit from this improvement is justified to do so.
    One can also understand wishing not to change something if the feeling that that snapshot is the
    way it was and shouldn’t be changed.
    Usually, the best option is to have both options.
    Steve you deserve to do what your doing and should keep doing it.
    Although its probably uncool to say so crass needs exist because it can provide a valuable
    starting point for people to understand history from another perspective.
    How history was created was a major point of the crass period.
    How the band ,’fans’ and others developed is part of history.
    How often today do we hear any punk on the golden oldies let alone crass.
    After a while our memory fades and the media replaces it with its version.
    Crass was a part of real life and doesn’t deserve to end up covered in dust
    in a museum.
    The world hasn’t come to an end.History will be written. Speak now or be left out.

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