Held over from just before Christmas. It’s just the sort of stuff for dark, depressing Mondays.

It’s really difficult to do justice to the story of Crass in a single blog posting. They were a band for whom music was just one of the ways to express messages about anarchism in the truest sense of the word; they were never your everyday punk band who wanted to write songs, have hits, go on tour and live life to the max. There’s a great few sentences in a very lengthy and detailed wiki entry which sum up how difficult it was to really fall for the band but how impossible it was to ignore them:-

The Crass logo was an amalgam of several “icons of authority” including the Christian cross, the swastika, the Union Jack and a two-headed Ouroboros (symbolising the idea that power will eventually destroy itself). Using such deliberately mixed messages was part of Crass’ strategy of presenting themselves as a “barrage of contradictions”, challenging audiences to “make your own fucking minds up”. This included using loud, aggressive music to promote a pacifist message, a reference to their Dadaist, performance-art backgrounds and situationist ideas.

I found it hard to really like their music other than in small doses as it more often than not was an aural assault on your senses. Nor did I ever go see them although I’m actually hard pushed to recall knowing anyone from Glasgow who actually did. But I did wear one of their badges to school, hidden under the lapel of my blazer, quoting a line from their 1979 single Asylum

crass_5184

It got me into a bit of bother with the teachers at the Roman Catholic secondary school I was attending, especially when I insisted it be used as the quote next to my name in the yearbook that was put together in 1981 to commemorate us all leaving. I’m thinking now that I probably would have been expelled if I wasn’t already a certainty to get to university given that so few pupils from the school at that time gained enough qualifications to achieve that. I certainly must have embarrased my poor mum and dad but at that time I was so typically self-centred and absorbed in my own little world that I didn’t notice or care.

Crass enjoyed five #1 singles in the indie charts:-

mp3 : Crass – Bloody Revolutions (31 May 1980 for 5 weeks)
mp3 : Crass – Nagasaki Nightmare (7 March 1981 for 2 weeks)
mp3 : Crass – How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1000 Dead? (6 November 1982 for 3 weeks)
mp3 : Crass – Sheep Farming In The Falklands (2 July 1984 for 2 weeks)
mp3 : Crass – You’re Already Dead (31 March 1984 for 1 week)

I think you’ll get an idea of what to expect from the song titles alone.  It’s far from easy listening.  Just felt like throwing a curveball today.  I can be like that sometimes.