Video interview, the final part.

Steve talks about why some of the gigs on his tour are advertised as Crass, the reissue of Crass albums in an expanded format, and more about his reasons for doing The Last Supper tour. And a special announcement about the final time he will sing Crass songs.


Video Interview part 2

Video Interview part 1

We filmed a little video interview while we were rehearsing recently in Peterborough, to answer some of the questions people ask quite regularly when I do interviews. Thought it might be a change to let you hear it from the horse's mouth.  Feels a bit weird watching myself but thankfully I only had to do that once.

Check back here for a big announcement tomorrow by the way.

Thanks. Steve.

Groningen 24 October 2010

We couldn't have chosen a better venue for the last gig of our set of European dates. One of the few gigs Crass did outside the UK was at the Vera in 1980, and Petr who runs the venue was there! The Vera is really special - they treat you like royalty.  We had a lovely meal of Dutch Chinese food (I know I go on about food a lot, but on tour, it's something you really look forward to - a nice hot meal really makes the day).  They have a lovely "band hotel" upstairs which is just gorgeous, and they served us a huge breakfast at 7am the next morning before we set off.

Now we just have to hope a few people turn up to the gig....

Bob is amused by the "ex-Crass plays Crass" banner at the Vera.

Allison tried to figure out how to get into the venue.

It's a very important part of the tour manager's job, that is.

Check out the hand-screened posters that Vera made for our gig.  Not many venues bother with that sort of stuff anymore, it's lovely to see.

Gizz can play guitar and sing at the same time!

Very skilled that boy.

Me getting shouty.

Bob at work, with Beki looking over his shoulder.

One Allison took from the lighting desk during "Big Man"

We didn't need to worry - look at all the great people who turned up!

The crowd at the Vera were just as lovely as the staff.

Bob, Beki & Gizz during the encore - Shaved Women.

Thanks again to everyone at Vera for looking after us, and everyone who came out to make the last night special.  We were really tired, but as soon as we hit the stage, you woke us up!  We couldn't have asked for a better way to finish off the European leg of The Last Supper.



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,

An attempt at an explanation, with a touch of irony

In 2007 I gathered some friends together and put on two shows at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London called The Feeding of the 5000. The shows were a celebration of the Crass album of the same name, which was performed in its entirety, and were meant to be a one-off.

What I didn’t expect was the amount of interest from around the world in response to it; the desire of people of all ages and all nationalities to see and hear those songs performed live one last time.

Me being me (an obstinate little cowson my mum used to say) I said no, I’d done the Feeding thing and that was it as far as I was concerned, if I did anything again it’d be crass (all puns intended) and I didn’t want to look like a Pistol whipping a Sham dead horse.

And then something happened that helped me to decide to put together this up and coming tour. I say ‘helped’, because I’m not making any excuses or trying to shift any shred of responsibility on my part. Of course I’d been thinking about how to do a final fling, but it would have to be done with professionalism, dignity and sincerity if it wasn’t going to look like I was just cashing in on the London thing. Just a fortnight after the ‘Feeding’ shows I’d been getting offers from the USA and Europe, but it just didn’t seem right to go and churn out that performance over and over, because Shepherd’s Bush was absolutely unique and can never be repeated, as anyone who was there will tell you.

So what happened?

Early last year a row erupted between the Crass members about re-releasing Crass’ albums in a new format, which would hopefully create new interest in the material which had slowly but surely been moving less and less. Without going into detail, the row evolved into a bitter, spiteful war of words which led to a stalemate of no new release going ahead and no Crass albums being repressed.

So far so bad.

Slowly it dawned on me that it was all a load of bollocks, that it comes down to a matter of opinion, that you have to compromise in some way, and that fuck it this ain’t what Crass or the songs or the people in Crass were about. No-one gives a monkey's about the personal differences between the members of Crass; those songs, those words changed peoples’ lives including mine and I’m not about to start remembering those songs and words in a negative way, I’m gonna remember them as the brutal, lovely things they were, and balls to it, I’d celebrate not stagnate or negate them... and give whoever wants to come along the opportunity to celebrate with me. And to let everyone know this is the last time I’ll do it I’ve called it The Last Supper. It’s taken over a year and a half with the fantastic help of various people to get this together, and as you know I’ve been on facebook and that, getting feedback from you lot, so you’ve all helped too.

Now for the ironic bit.

A couple of weeks ago the landlady of the pub I work in now and again had a birthday do, and she’d hired this bloke with a guitar and keyboards, you know the sort of thing, he performed songs from the 60’s and Queen and Abba and stuff. And I just come back from the gents and there he was playing Tubthumping from the Chumbas, everyone in the pub was singing along and I just thought how funny it was, because once upon a time punks weren’t allowed in pubs for the discerning diner.

Cash or Crucifixion, they get you in the end.

Two days later I get a phone call telling me that an ex-member of Crass - I’m not gonna mention names, right - is attempting to get an injunction against Southern Studios in regard to any new releases, and it’s now in the hands of the High Courts of Justice.

And there I was a couple of hours later, up to my elbows in other peoples’ leftovers in the pub kitchen in a daze, thinking, how ironic, the great anti-establishment, all-in- black, two’s up to the straight world, intergalactic anarchists Crass unable to sort out a problem (and let’s have it right here, we’re talking about the look and sound of bloody records for fucks sake) without running to the apron strings of mummy System.

Laugh? I nearly sang Owe Us A Living.

Cash or Crucifixion, they get you in the end.

Anyway, fuck ‘em, The Last Supper will be served. The band is sorted, it’s the band I used in Durham but without Steve Whale, he’s got other commitments. So it’s Spike T. Smith on drums, Gizz Butt on lead guitar, Bob Butler on bass and Beki Straughan on vocals, and me of course. The set is going to range from Feeding up to Christ the Album, taking in Penis Envy and Stations. All the favourites will be in there, Roxy and that, but if any of you have got any particular songs you’d like to hear live for the last time, let us know. Or even a set list of what you’d like, but remember - I’m not that handsome spotty little oik no more, I’m a middle aged, bald, beer drinking fag smoking machine gun who grunts when he leans over to pick something up. And anyway I shouldn’t be surprised if there’s an injunction taken out against me for using certain songs. But look on the bright side - if it does all end up in court we can all have a nice day out in London, and let’s face it: there’d be a double album in there somewhere.

On a parting note, I know there are some questions some of you need answering, sorry I’ve not been able to do that yet, but as you can see I’ve been pretty busy, give me a few days and I promise I’ll get down to it.
See you in the dock.

Who was it wrote ‘Punk’s the Peoples’ music?

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The Last Supper

The Last Supper

Crass Songs 1977 – 1982

(Plus a few shocks, surprises, perhaps some slogans, but no tantrums...and a bit of a laugh)

  • A once-only tour
  • never to be repeated
  • cross-our-hearts-and-hope-to-die
  • Honest, guv.
  • In 2007, Steve Ignorant gathered some friends together and put on two shows at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. Called The Feeding Of 5000, the show was a celebration of the Crass album of the same name, which was performed in its entirety.

    It most certainly was not a Crass reunion, and never sought to be.

    The Last Supper

    This tour will answer the calls that have come from around the globe in response to the Shepherd’s Bush gigs. Steve will be celebrating the period of Crass’ work with which he feels most closely aligned – the period when he feels the band were at their strongest, most productive and most hopeful.

    Steve will be performing with a full band, and as well as featuring Crass songs (plus a few other favourites) there will be some rather special visuals.

    Having started in London in 2007, this new EXPANDED show will now visit other parts of the UK, Europe, Japan and the USA before a FINALE in London in 2011. At which point the door will be firmly closed. (Steve has some other plans, don’t you worry…)

    Thank you very bloody much.