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Steve Ignorant and the Last Supper

Steve Ignorant and the Last Supper: live in San Franciscolive in San Francisco (2011)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Upon taking the stage for the show's encore, Steve Ignorant acknowledged the protest occurring outside Slim's. "There has been some controversy surrounding this show," the former frontman for Crass announced. "Well," he shrugged, "Fuck 'em." The statement was something of an anomaly for the night, w.


Upon taking the stage for the show's encore, Steve Ignorant acknowledged the protest occurring outside Slim's. "There has been some controversy surrounding this show," the former frontman for Crass announced. "Well," he shrugged, "Fuck 'em." The statement was something of an anomaly for the night, where the band choose to let their music do the speaking for them to the packed San Francisco venue on April 27, 2011.

On The Last Supper Tour, in which Steve Ignorant and some friends play a night of songs originally by Crass, the group made it surprisingly clear how much some of Crass' catalogue rocks by ripping through 30-plus of Crass' more well-known tunes. Crass' records were often boiled in a production soup consistently equal of poor recording devices and a layer of guitar buzz white noise. But, at the live show, the band seemed to add a heavier thump to their rhythm section, where at points the music attained an almost heavy metal snap, which both favored Crass' music over their soundscapes and made their more experimental songs seem approachable. This choice of arrangement really brought forth the power off the music's riffs as well as exemplified Crass' skill at writing simple but potent songs (despite their best attempts to hide it).

Additionally, while Crass' records were littered with vocal segues, speeches, and interludes, live, the Last Supper band took a note from the Ramones' handbook and tore through song after song without so much as an eight-note rest. However, at points the band did weave their songs into Crass-like sound collages, which often dealt with nuclear warfare.

Ignorant's voice seems to have deepened since 1984 and become a bit more growly. While it took about three songs for him to warm up, once the band kicked into "They've Got a Bomb", his voice bulked up and seemed to pull the music with it, despite Crass' love-it-or-hate-it verbosity.

Strikingly, the live show added several new elements that aren't perceivable on Crass records. Perhaps Ignorant gained experience in public performance from his time as a Punch and Judy puppeteer. On stage he was highly animated, constantly moving his body to convey the characters of Crass' songs. In "Big Man, Big M.A.N.", his shoulders grew outwards and he clenched his fists while singing the part of an over-controlling government, but then shrunk nearly a third of his normal stature when portraying the part of those who got caught.

Just as interesting was the vocal dynamics of the band. While albums like Stations of the Crass have double- or triple-tracked vocals, due to the circumstances in which those records were recorded, the combination sounds more like a mass of screaming than anything else. But, when Ignorant and his guitarist Gizz Butt (yes, you read that correctly) bounced the separate parts of "Mother Earth" off each other, the call and response of the parts bore through the ether despite the vocal overlap, and also highlighted how performance art strongly played into Crass' music and live show.

When Carol Hodge took the part of Eve Libertine and Joy de Vivre for the five or six tunes played off Penis Envy and some of the other female-fronted tracks, she nearly stole the show. While Ignorant was impressive with his energy, Hodge was constantly shifting her pose and changing facial expressions on nearly every line. It wouldn't be surprising to find out that she's classically trained, because while Crass' female tracks are pierced with a machine gun pace and sudden pitch changes, Hodge seemed to sing the twisting material with...ease. As with Ignorant, she assumed various roles with her positioning, shifting from a repressed housewife to a commanding she-dictator singling out "undesirables" in the audience with firm posture and an icy pointer finger. (Perhaps the decadence of Pink Floyd and bare bones trappings of anarcho-punk aren't that far apart...)

The scene outside the venue was nearly as exciting as the scene inside. Fifteen or so protestors held signs, some of which read "Don't put a price on punk," "Steve needs a better job," and my favorite, which certainly was in line with Crass' message of non-violence, "Nuke Slims." I must admit that I was disappointed that no protesters made the obvious but nonetheless humorous plaques, "You don't owe Steve a living" and "No, sir, I won't." Additionally, some protesters handed out a four-page booklet that on three pages railed against Ignorant's capitalism, and on the fourth, advertised for an unrelated punk show.

Manchester, England's Goldblade opened the show with some early Englishfied street punk. Frontman John Robb, who has been in the punk scene since 1977 with his band the Membranes, was something of a Henry Rollins/Billy Idol cross, at times rocking along with the simply but snappy music like it was dance music and at other times glaring down at the audience like they were his enemy. Midway through their set, the group covered X-Ray Spex's "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" after dedicating it to the recently deceased Poly Styrene, who had recorded with Goldblade on the single "City of Christmas Ghosts". Warmly received, the group closed out their set with a song called "The Power of Rock and Roll" which, similar to AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock", turned the concert hall into a revival for the religion of rock and roll. While that might sound sort of cheesy in the abstract, at the show, while Robb was anointed the heads of those who "believed in the power rock and roll", it was actually pretty fun amid all the frowning and gloom associated with so much anarcho-punk.

While the stakes for the Last Supper band were high due to both the material's legacy and recent boohooing, when the audience tumbled outside, they mostly had smiles on their faces in contrast to the few remaining, frowning protesters. How many punk points do I lose for hoping the band makes a live recording of one of these shows?

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thexjib (May 2, 2011)

Well, I don't know about the show in SF but when Steve came to Pomona it was a great disappointment. I am sadden to report that Steve hired security goons who were searching everybody and going though pockets... I had two joints in my cigarette pack stolen from me at the door... then when I got inside I found out that my ticket that I had paid $20.00 for only allowed me to see the show from a back row in a balcony... I was not permitted near the dance floor. I have no idea how much dance floor tickets cost but surly for $20.00 I ought to be able to dance. I am in my mid 30's and have love crass for nearly 20 years.... so sad that it had to happen like this.

yeesus (May 2, 2011)

Hello whocaresblahblah,
Again I am glad to hear that the venue Steve played in in Chicago was not as oppressive as the one in S.F. OK, the only reason that I mentioned my age is that you did it first, and like I mentioned in my post script many of the fans in line that we had confrontations with brought up "when I got into punk" usually followed by "when did you get into punk?" as if that had something to do with why we were protesting. I could have said "well, when I got into punk at least CRASS was actually around" but not only would that have been stupid, because age has nothing to do with how "punk" you are!
As to my citing of the CRASS lyrics to "Punk is Dead," again, you are reading too literally into my example. I know Southern is not CBS (and who knows how long Southern will exist, now with this dispute between the members of CRASS over these new reissues). My point in citing these lyrics is to show that Steve Ignorant himself held his early heroes accountable for their actions that he considered "selling out". He questioned their motives instead of passively accepting them, which is what everyone should do: "There is no authority but yourself". Just because Steve Ignorant WAS in a legendary band that espoused the ideas of anarchism doesn't mean that he cannot be questioned about his motivations to tour at this time. And what I meant by his timing of the tour is that he (and many others) have been riding the "punk nostalgia" wave. Isn't it just as pathetic if a bunch of young "hippies" go to see the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia, than if a bunch of young punk rockers go to see the Germs without Darby (even worse with an actor playing the part of Darby?). I really think that Steve is walking a fine line, and the reason he doesn't play more shows is that he knows that if he does so he will get alot more flak. He stated in the Maximum Rocknroll interview that he doesn't want to keep coming back like Johnny Rotten or Jimmy Pursey, but isn't this the second time he's done this? The first being his "Feeding of the 5000" shows in England? Finally, the botton line for me is not how much the tickets cost, but the fact of the matter is the songs of CRASS which stood for rebellion, anarchism, and freedom (among other things) should NOT be performed in places that are the antithesis of their meaning. I don't know about where you seen Steve play in Chicago, but Slim's in San Francisco is a lame niteclub/bar which has nothing to do with and what is the exact opposite of what CRASS stood for. Some reading this might still say, "well this isn't CRASS anyway" but as I said a few posts down: "Well, what music and songs was the band playing? CRASS! Thus, by their actions of playing CRASS songs they are representing the views of CRASS. Didn't they flash the CRASS logo on a huge video screen? The covers of the CRASS records? Photos of CRASS? Didn't the polo shirt being sold have the CRASS logo on it? So what was being represented? If the Last Supper Band is singing CRASS songs in place that is the antithesis of what CRASS was about is that OK, just because it isn't really CRASS?"
- Eric

whocaresblahblah (May 2, 2011)

ric -

Thanks for your reply. I can't speak for the show at Slim's all I can speak for was the show in Chicago. No one was frisked, there was no security barricade, etc. The only reason I mentioned my age was to illustrate that I had been around the block a few times and have run into my fair share of assholes. I agree that it doesn't matter how old you are, if something sucks, it sucks. In fact, youth coming into a scene can often times be a great kick in the ass for older people who lose or get set in their ways. However, I don't agree with you in this case. Crass nor Steve are on a major label and Southern set up this tour. Southern are not CBS. Not sure what you mean by the "timing of this tour". From what I understand it is a terrible time to tour for a lot of bands right now. He is getting requests from all over the world to come and play and has turned most of them down. If this was a money grab, wouldn't he be taking all the offers he could get?

As far as driving all that way, my wife and I decided to make a small vacation out of it and hit the show. We hadn't been anywhere in a long time since I got laid off a couple of years ago and we are just now getting back to "normal". Times have been rough and we wanted to get out of town.

Look, if Steve were out there charging $50 a ticket and charging people to sign shit I'd be right there with you. But I doubt even Fugazi could tour today and charge only $6 a ticket. Shit, the Subhumans just came through here and it was $15 a ticket. By the way, sounds like a great first show (MDC, Dicks) and I was not attacking your "punk" status. Just don't agree with you.

yeesus (May 2, 2011)

Hello "whocaresblahblah"
I am glad to hear that Steve was accessible to his fans. I do not know what happened inside the show here in San Francisco, although Steve did not come and talk to us even though in our flyer we invited him (perhaps he was intimidated by our humorous signs). Their huge tour bus was pretty cool though ;) OK, my use of the example of RVIVR playing on the ground was just to draw a comparison between DIY shows and shows in rocknroll nightclubs. Most bands I have seen and most clubs I have been to have had stages. I never even insinuated that CRASS never played on a stage! My point was that this show had all the trappings of a lame rock show. Overpriced, (with service charge, of course), bouncers, security guards, getting frisked (we had a great chant going on outside the show: "getting frisked for CRASS!"), a overpriced bar, backstage, laminates, a huge tour bus, etc. The meaning of all these great songs was lost in place that is the antithesis of what WE should be against.
In regards to hanging out with Steve Ignorant, I've met (and I know a few East Bay) rockstars that are also cool people and will have a drink with you but that doesn't mean that I still don't like the capitalist rock'n'roll machine that they are part of.
CRASS has also inspired me very deeply and that's why the protest and its show came together. Didn't Steve write a song calling out the capitalist sellouts of his time: "CBS promotes the Clash/It ain't for revolution its just for cash...Punk narcissism was a social napalm/Steve Jones started doing real harm/preaching revolution, anarchy and change/As he sucked from the system that gave him his name". I read in interview with Steve that the Clash is what inspired him to start a band (and I'm pretty sure the Sex Pistols too given that he mentions Steve Jones so prominently in the song). It seems though that Mr. Ignorant became very disapointed with his idols and decided to protest them by saying "bullshit!" and "enough is enough!" I don't doubt that Steve Ignorant is a very nice person to talk with I'm just questioning his business practices and the timing of this tour. A great example of the DIY ethic is Fugazi, who have always striven to keep their door prices down and deal with ethical promoters, they do it DIY and can still make enough money to prosper. Finally, I need to ask you with all the fucked up things in the world going on, did you really need to drive 350 miles to see a punk CONCERT?
- Eric
PS - I'm 43 and I also got into punk when I was 15. My first gig was MDC, The Dicks, and Bad Posture at the ON BROADWAY in S.F. Is that punk enough for ya!
It is strange at our protest, many people kept asking me how old I was as if the more "old school" you are more better off you were to able to understand punk, or CRASS, or Steve's predicament, or something. It doesn't matter how old or "old school" you are, if it smells like a rat, than it is a rat, you don't need to be old to figure that out!

whocaresblahblah (May 2, 2011)

Eric -

I went to the Chicago show and Steve Ignorant was walking around talking to people both before and after the show. He had a few drinks with people in the bar. I met him and he couldn't have been a nicer guy. No rock star attitude at all. As far as there being a stage or no stage, in most if not all the photo's and footage I have ever seen of Crass playing back in the day they are always on some kind of stage. Also, there was no security barricade between the band and audience at the Chicago venue.

As far as the tour goes, I think you need to get some perspective. Crass is and has never been on a major label, they have no corporate backing and I doubt he will be rolling in the cash when the tour is done. $20 is not a lot of money for a ticket these days. I drove from Minneapolis to Chicago to go to the show so I spent a lot more than $20 to go to the show and it was totally worth it. Hearing those songs live was incredible and gave a new dimension to the songs.

Crass, along with many other factors, inspired me years ago to get involved and try and make a difference. Whether it has been through anti-war groups, working to free political prisoners, or doing volunteer work, part of that inspiration came from Crass. I was glad I had the chance to tell that to Steve in person. And again, he couldn't have been cooler about it. I have met a lot of people in this scene over the years (I'm 38 now but got into punk when I was 14) and there have been some real assholes over the years. Steve was nothing of the sort.

So I ask you this, with all the fucked up shit going on in the world, is this really the best way to spend your energy? What a waste.

whocaresblahblah (May 2, 2011)

xbat-mitex -

We all have to admit Crass kind of sucks? I have been a Crass fan for well over 20 years and I think they're fuckin' great. Liking a band or not liking a band is kind of subjective, no?

whocaresblahblah (May 2, 2011)

Misanthorpee -

So you have some vague recollection about somebody who used to work at this venue that he heard Conflict demanded $20,000 to play there and we're suppose to take this as fact? Not only that, but then make a connection to Steve Ignorant? Nice try.

xbat-mitex (May 1, 2011)

Eric, I would like to point out that Slim's could honestly care less what the band members do or where they hang out for the evening. (and a side note RVIVR and REIVER are both wicked awful bands, I can say this as I too am in a band no one likes,

A few years ago when Toxic Narcotic played Slim's with Leftover Crap those dudes (minus the drummer who hurt his back) were all hanging out with people. I will say that it was lame that Slims made TN cancel a show I had helped book for them at Haz-Mat the next night (they came and played anyway), plenty of big name punk bans have played there, if I remember correctly I seem to remember Skankin Pickle playin there a few times as well.

I could have cared less about the show as I am only mildly a Crass fan (the cover band I'm in is more to make fun of local band Surrender than any love of Crass) But where else would that show have been? Gilman? Thee Parkside? Burnt Ramen? Cause Im not sure if I get if the protest was about the venue (cause no one picketed when Subhumans play there) or is it about 1 guy doing crass covers? Cause no one protests my band and none of us were in Crass, and we make fun of them, cause lets all admit that they really do kinda suck

Misanthropee (May 1, 2011)

Can't believe this just came to mind, but a friend of mine who worked the (huge) venue they played claimed that, when Conflict came a few years back, they demanded a $20,000 guarantee. I don't think there's any question about what Steve Ignorant's true motivations are.

Avoid this atrocity like the plague.

yeesus (May 1, 2011)

John,
Here is another response to one your criticisms from my earlier posts. First I would like to clarify my claim that the CRASS show was "mindless entertainment". In my view punk music has always sought to break down the barrier between audience and the band. In fact, at many of the shows that I go most of the audience is the bands that are playing, and there is no difference between band and fans. The show I went to last night (featuring RVIVR one of the best bands around today, as well as one of the bands that played on bus--it was packed when they played!) The band played on the floor, no stage or separation from the audience. At a place like Slim's it is just the opposite. Back stages, big tour buses (you must have seen the big CRASS bus outside the club), bouncers, security guards...my question to you since I wasn't in the show, did Steve or any member of the band hang out in the crowd, or were they not to be seen until the big moment on stage? At a big show in a rock club like Slim's the interaction between the band and fans is mediated and controlled by the club. The "fans" can't have any interaction with band or any control of their environment that isn't "allowed" by club. Thus, the fans have no participation outside their defined role of consumer. Just like watching a movie like "Finding Nemo" in theater, the audience is the consumer, and the ultimate goal of the provider of this film (the theater) is money that they recieve from consumer--this is capitalism of course. Slim's and its owner(s) only concern about the Steve Ignorant show is $$$ they would recieve. I don't mean to keep tooting our own horn, but our bus show was done to contrast this. Our show was put on to show that we can put together an event "by the punx for the punx". In other words a show not mediated by outside rules or concerns of money. I would like to think that we are the true fans of CRASS, in that we put what we learned from CRASS' music into actual practice. As I put on my flyer: "...help us celebrate the music and legacy of CRASS". What a better way to do this then to have a free show on bus? We also had free food. Didn't Steve say in his interview in MRR that they (CRASS) used to buy food for the audience with the money they made from their shows? The people in our group not only protested in front of the show, they helped make signs, set up the bus, brought food, played in bands...in other words, they were active participants in our show. Much unlike the Last Supper concert goers who just paid some outrageous amount to be passive consumers. Buy your ticket (and pay a service charge), pay for parking, get frisked at the door, buy some drinks at the bar, buy a t-shirt, and happily sing along to songs about destroying the system and living a life of "anarchy and freedom".
- Eric

PS: Sorry the flyer was hard to read, but wasn't 90% of all the Gee Vaucher CRASS artwork done with white text on a black background? This was done intentionally to emulate the look of the CRASS style. It worked almost too good as many of the concert goers thought it was a flyer FOR the Slim's show (and ironically enough, many of patrons of San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair made the same mistake as I handed out many there a couple weeks earlier).

yeesus (April 30, 2011)

Well, if you start singing songs about Hamburgers a few years down the road, I think I would have to protest. I'll start making the flyer today.

xbat-mitex (April 29, 2011)

I would love to see people protest my Crass cover band Pizza Time! It's like Crass but with songs about pizza

Do they owe us free toppings? Of Course They Fucking Do
Banned From Dominoes
Thick Crust (Big hands)
Thin Slice Thick Slice
Peperoni Envy
Tacos Are Dead
Their Pizza is the bomb

brangelina (April 29, 2011)

Crustieeeessss

johngentile (April 29, 2011)

Hey Cos, it is the same Gizz Butt. Apparently he was in fields of nephilim too.

Cos (April 29, 2011)

is that the same Gizz Butt that used to play with The Prodigy? Inquiring minds want to know.

Also, Steve can play whatever Crass songs he likes I guess--I don't need to buy what he's selling--but getting a girl who isn't Eve Libertine to do covers from "Penis Envy" is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

eatdogs (April 29, 2011)

hmm, i will always wonder, on this site, if it's okay for me to just like everything and not get caught up in the political and emotional debate...

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Hello John
First off, I must apologize. I didn't mean to sound insulting, and if you were offended, again I apologize. I was just caught up in the heat of the moment, and I usually don't post things on the internet. Yes, I would like a dialog, here is my email, because I couldn't find yours on the site erictyee (at) comcast.net. And please anyone else no emails, especially about the Skankin Pickle song! John, one last point: You said regarding my statement that CRASS was about "ethics" to which you replied "...this isn't CRASS." We'll the statement "...this isn't CRASS" has been done to death and was every apologists (and Steve Ignorant's oft repeated claim). Well, what music and songs was the band playing? CRASS! Thus, by their actions of playing CRASS songs they are representing the views of CRASS. Didn't they flash the CRASS logo on a huge video screen? The covers of the CRASS records? Photos of CRASS? Didn't the polo shirt being sold have the CRASS logo on it? So what was being represented? If the Last Supper Band is singing CRASS songs in place that is the antithesis of what CRASS was about is that OK, just because it isn't really CRASS?
- Eric

palpitations101 (April 29, 2011)

Eric!

You had to let someone else try! You already have all the points!

johngentile (April 29, 2011)

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the interest.

First, you state that both live music clubs and movies are "mindless entertainment." Simply because people pay money to see things doesn't make them mindless. Certianly, Taxi diver isn't mindless. Certainly, Werner Herzogg's works aren't mindless. Heck, even finding Nemo isn't mindless. (And it's hella sad!)

Second, it is true that I did not thoroughly read your "manifesto." It was a bit rambling, and the layout made it very hard to decipher where one thought ended and another began. Try not using white font on black background and more paragrpah breaks. Grammar is important!

Third, you state that places like Slim's are destroying DIY shows. Honestly, I think there is ample room for both. It is not privately owned clubs like Slims that are petitioning for more restrictive ordinances. If anything, it's the opposite.

Fourth, if you are trying to get me to concede to your point of view, why would you insult me and call me "oblivious"? You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

Last, you say that Crass was all about ethics. True, but this show wasn't Crass. Certainly, it would be unwieldly to import the individual actions of every group member on a band that broke up 27 years ago.

I must admit, though, that I find your point of view intriguing, if not correct. If you really do want to discuss this issue with me, please send me an e-mail, just lay off the insults. I don't respond to those.

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Skankin Pickle.
- Eric

palpitations101 (April 29, 2011)

My name is Eric Yee and favorite band is Green Day.

10 million points for whoever knows the band that wrote that song.

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Hi John
I guess you didn't read our manifesto which was mostly written by Robert Eggplant and a little bit from me. Yes, your movie analogy is correct, but it is also correct in another way is that both are mindless consumer driven entertainment. You don't want to argue the ethics surrounding the show, but that is the main point that everyone misses. Crass ARE about ethics, DIY and political conciousness. To have written songs that rally against "The System" and capitalism and then play a tour that supports that system of capitalism (niteclubs that commodify music, and thus help destroy the DIY, underground music scene) is a blantant sellout of values that were once held. "Banned from the Roxy/OK, we didn't want to play there anyway/Say they only wanted well-behaved boys/Do they think guitars and microphones are just fucking toys/Fuck em I've chosen to make my stand/Against what I feel is wrong with this land..." I guess if your just out for a rockin' time the show is OK for you. We on the other hand "have chosen to make a stand" and as I stated in my previous paragraph we did not just complain about Steve Ignorant and capitalism, we went out and offered an alternative to the show, and it was right down the street. But you like many other oblivious concert-goers just dismissed it as a "unrelated show" (if they even bothered to read it at all). We ( the people protesting) have had enough of this nostalgia wave and commodification of punk music. I myself lived through the mid-late 80's and saw many band like Youth Brigade, TSOL, CH3, etc. Turn their back on punk and become glam metal, pop, whatever, just to return almost 20 years later claiming they never "sold out" or just forgotting to mention it. To us, punk music (and I hopefully won't sound cheesy here, but I'm sure it will) and what its about have informed our outlook on life and the music of CRASS has been a big influence there. John you seem to know alot about the music of CRASS, but I need to ask you, did it just rock to you or did what they say not affect your worldview? - Eric Yee

johngentile (April 29, 2011)

Hi Eric,

I respect your opinion and can certianly see where you are comming from. But, honestly, I didn't feel cheated. The last supper played for almost two hours and goldblade played for about 45 mintues. A movie, which isn't even live, is like 15 bucks. The $21 for a live performance seemed pretty fair to me.

Plus, Steve Ignorant's band rocked. they really did sound awesome. I'm not really that interested in arguing the "ethics" of the show, but I just don't see why people are so caught up about Steve Ignorant playing songs to which he wrote the lyrics and a few others. Songs were meant to be played, not locked away in a trunk.

Misanthropee (April 29, 2011)

Yeesus is right.

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

John,
One last point: The Last Supper Band according to you, "...choose to let their music do the speaking for them". What? None of those people besides Steve Ignorant had any hand in writing that music. The songs sung by "Carol" are nothing more than CRASS covers! Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Pay no more than $21.00!

- Eric

notfeelingcreative (April 29, 2011)

"Oh and one other point, to the poster "notfeelingcreative" our show was not organized nor attended by any people that you label "crusties". Your blatant stereotyping is revolting. - Eric Yee"

That's nice, but take into account that I attended neither of these shows. My only information was from the above review. Its was not a stereotype so much as an assumption that those who would protest a crass-themed show would be crust kids who were upset about the commercialization of their idols". An ssumption? Yes. Seterotype? Not so much. But be revolted all you want. I wasn't knocking your gathering which seems like a cool idea, I was knocking what I assumed to be crass punks protesting a crass show.

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Not really,
But the band Freedom Club that played the bus has Dave Armstrong, Billie's brother on drums. And to clarify Mike Park has no idea of what my favorite bands are, although in the early 90's Green Day, along with Blatz and Rancid were amoung my favorites to see live. - Eric

Chadreligion (April 29, 2011)

Eric Yee.... Goddammit! Is your favorite band still Green Day?

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Hello John,

I enjoyed reading your review of what went on in the inside of the show, as I was one of the ones outside protesting the show (and I was the one handling out the flyers). As for our motivations about the protest, I will let the inside of the pamphlet explain that. I would like your readers to know however, that the "unrelated show" advertised on the back of the flyer was for a show that was less than one block away on a hollowed out AC transit bus--the John Benson Bus--which has been having free shows on it for a few years now. As the flyer stated at the top: "Hey Punk! On April 27th get on the John Benson Bus and help us celebrate the music and legacy of Crass, who were instrumental in helping shape the DIY ethics and political conciousness embodied in punk music." If your readers need to see the flyer and read our "Manifesto" it is in the latest issue of Maximum Rocknroll, right after the Steve Ignorant interview. Yes, we had a free show literally 1.5 blocks from Slims!!! Thanks to bands the performed: RVIVR. The Smell, Human Baggage, Freedom Club, Surf Shit, and yes, a CRASS cover band! Maybe, the reason you only saw a few "frowning protesters" is because we were all down the street on the bus, watching a FREE show, and enjoying some of the best CONTEMPORARY bands the East Bay, San Francisco, and Olympia, WA have to offer. I think that sounds alot more inline with the message of "Anarchy and Freedom" that CRASS (not Steve Ignorant Last Supper Band) has and will always represent. And that was the message we were celebrating on the bus, 1.5 blocks away from a soul less $21 dollar (plus service charge) nostalgia show were you had to be frisked before you entered. Wow a free show that was organized and policed collectively? Sound like the ideas of anarchism that you heard about on records by this band CRASS, doesn't it? Oh and one other point, to the poster "notfeelingcreative" our show was not organized nor attended by any people that you label "crusties". Your blatant stereotyping is revolting. - Eric Yee

notfeelingcreative (April 29, 2011)

Wasn't aware this was a $21 show, that's a bit insane!

yeesus (April 29, 2011)

Hello John,

I enjoyed reading your review of what on in the inside of the show, as I one of the ones outside protesting the show (and I was the one handling out the flyers). As for our motivations about the protest, I will let the inside of the pamphlet explain that. I would like your readers to know however, that the "unrelated show" advertised on the back of the flyer was for a show that was less than one block away on a hollowed out AC transit bus--the John Benson Bus--which has been having free shows on it for a few years now. As the flyer stated at the top: "Hey Punk! On April 27th get on the John Benson Bus and help us celebrate the music and legacy of Crass, who were instrumental in helping shape the DIY ethics and political conciousness embodied in punk music." If your readers need to see the flyer and read our "Manifesto" it is in the latest issue of Maximum Rocknroll, right after the Steve Ignorant interview. Yes, we had a free show literally 1.5 blocks from Slims!!! Thanks to bands the performed: RVIVR. The Smell, Human Baggage, Freedom Club, Surf Shit, and yes, a CRASS cover band! Maybe, the reason you only saw a few "frowning protesters" is because we were all down the street on the bus, watching a FREE show, and enjoying some of the best CONTEMPORARY bands the East Bay, San Francisco, and Olympia, WA have to offer. I think that sounds alot more inline with the message of "Anarchy and Freedom" that CRASS (not Steve Ignorant Last Supper Band) has and will always represent. And that was the message we were celebrating on the bus, 1.5 blocks away from a soul less $21 dollar ( service charge) nostalgia show were you had to be frisked before you entered. Wow a free show that was organized and policed collectively? Sound like the ideas of anarchism that you heard about this legendary band CRASS talk about on their records, doesn't it? Oh and one other point, to the poster "notfeelingcreative" our show was not organized nor attended by any people that you label "crusties". Your blatant stereotyping is revolting. - Eric Yee

Misanthropee (April 29, 2011)

I still think this tour is a total abortion that, ahem, crassly profanes the intent and ethics of the original band. And I'm really not interested in hearing "cleaned-up" Crass songs; part of their genius was their noisy avant-garde stylings. I've seen videos of this tour online and I'm reasonably certain I'd be angry and depressed afterward, not smiling like the reviewer's fellow attendees.

Half_Idiot (April 29, 2011)

MRR dedicated three full pages in their last issue to the protest outside this show. Seriously. They must have been hard up for contributions last month or something.

I went in Chicago and though I was wondering how much longer it would go on (because honestly I'd lose interest in everything over the course of an hour and forty minutes) I still had a really good time. You're right, it did take a few songs for it to warm up which made the placement of "Do They Owe Us A Living" and "Punk Is Dead" at the start kind of strange.

In related news those Crass re-masters are totally worth picking up/re-buying. The remasters of "Penis Envy" and "Christ The Album" are a revelation.

Heathbar (April 29, 2011)

Great review, John. Wish I could've been there, myself, but this is a close second, and significantly better than the work that forced me to miss this show. No punk points lost in my book.

notfeelingcreative (April 29, 2011)

Good review. See this is why, despite my love for the music, and string desire for social justice, I never got involved with the crusties. Three foreign wars, tea party and an economic nightmare and what are we protesting? A Crass-influenced performance!! "What do we want?!" "Preservation of the sanctity of our heroes!" "When do we want it?!" "Before ending war, freeing political prisoners, abolishing the death penalty, feeding the homeless or any of the other thins we support as long as Steve Ignorant is not in town!".

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