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Five Easy Pieces - Where To Start With Steve Ignorant
Crass - Owe Us A Living
From the controversial opening attack on religion onwards, Crass' Feeding Of The Five Thousand album is a tough, uncompromising listen. Yet that doesn't mean that the band wasn’t able to hide something oddly catchy amidst the racket - you can hear that on Owe Us A Living, an early example of Steve Ignorant’s tight, hectoring vocal at its best.
Conflict - To A Nation Of Animal Lovers
Ignorant joined fellow anarcho-punk group Conflict on this EP devoted to animal rights and attacking the meat industry, released in 1983. Following the demise of Crass the following year, he appeared onstage with the band before featuring on Crass records released during the late 1980s.
Current 93 - Falling Back In Fields Of Rape
After the end of Crass, Ignorant collaborated with Current 93 on the album Dogs Blood Rising. Led by David Tibet, Current 93 is one of the most unusual bands of the already far-out British esoteric underground, their music sitting in the hinterlands of industrial and folk. On this track, martial, metallic drums and chants back Steve Ignorant's spoken-word lyrics on the horrors of war.
Steve Ignorant's decision to play Crass songs live in the years since Crass split has not been without controversy. Penny Rimbaud was initially skeptical of the decision, though eventually he came round, joining Ignorant onstage at this 2011 gig. Ignorant, meanwhile, had the reasonable retort of: "I don't have to justify what I do...Plus, most of the lyrics are still relevant today. And remember that three-letter word, 'fun'?" The gigs were used as fundraisers for the Sea Palling lifeboat, and the album release comes with a documentary about their work.
Steve Ignorant & Paranoid Visions - Join The Dots
Lifeboatman by stormy day, vocalist by night. Steve Ignorant's 2013 album with his collaborators, Irish punk group Paranoid Visions, shows he's lost none of his ire, vocal ability or belief that the state of things might be changed by song. Difficult times still require angry sounds. Ignorant's work with Paranoid Visions has included two albums and singles, along with live appearances at festivals around the world.
"Books had opened up a whole new world for me. I might have been skipping as many maths lessons as I could but if there was an English lesson in the school day I'd be there, because I knew Mr Stewart would feed my imagination." Steve Ignorant - The Rest Is Propaganda
"I was totally shocked by Brexit, but I sort of knew it was coming really. With all the media stuff we had in England at the time it was all about the migrants and refugees, that they're gonna take our jobs and the usual old bullshit, and that's what the media sold it on and that's why people voted for Brexit. We're in a new millennium and we've still got this fucking skin problem. Look at England, or look at the USA, you've got soup kitchens and food banks. You could pick up a Charles Dickens book written in the 1850s, and it's still like that."
“New technology is making it easier to put material out at a lower cost, I think it’s great. Who knows what Crass would have done if the technology was available in that time? If the techonology is there use it. And I’d rather kids are doing self released stuff recorded on a mobile phone and put on youtube than queuing up to get on X-Factor.”
"The material of CRASS can still tell people to keep asking questions, and to carry on thinking for yourself. Do something with your life; don’t get fooled by this reality TV rubbish that’s going on, because it’s not true, it’s false. Just that really, to keep questioning. Don’t accept what you see."