JUST before we bid a fond farewell to the wacky world of anarcho-punk, I thought you should know about the latest blast from the past over at Kill Your Pet Puppy.
Don’t get too excited – it’s only a download of a recording of one of the Mob’s legendary gigs in Meanwhile Gardens, in Westbourne Park, Londontown during the early Eighties – but for those of us who know the difference, this is solid gold. Truly.
Tune in for live and direct versions of such toe-tapping chart toppers as Youth, No Doves Fly Here, Stay and Witch Hunt, as well as hardcore Tribe favourites like Dance On, Gates Of Hell and I Hear You Laughing. Some great pix and contemporary fanzine material too.
Bridging the gap between all that old anarcho stuff and the world of now is the splendid Crass the Edit by Yintan, which he/she/it describes as “a mash up of Crass riffs with added beats and FX” and “a tribute to what once was Crass”.
All this updating of early Eighties stuff makes you think – and not just because in the UK we seem to be completing our return journey to hardline Thatcherism. Some bloke on the Southern forum was saying he’d heard that my Vice paymasters are supposed to have something to do with the re-release of the three Bullshit Detector compilations Crass put together back in the day.
There was some interesting stuff on them – Metro Youth, XS, Anthrax, the Chumbas and the Passion Killers immediately spring to mind from the volume I played most – but a lot of the music was derivative and a bit dreary. Despite being named in tribute to a line from the DIY anthem Garageland by the Clash, they weren’t what you’d call easy listening the first time around, even for a not-too-discerning teenager who was actually into all that stuff.
While I wouldn’t like to be the person who has to track down the scores of obscuro-anarcho acts who sent in demo tapes from around the country, I think this is a very good thing indeed – if only because the readers of Vice might then form bands which employ buzzsaw guitars and shouty sloganeering instead of the customary Lionel Bart Songbook for Chirpy Cockney Songbirds and/or My First Fisher-Price Analogue Synth.
And of course, it’s good to get this stuff out there again. Maybe what seemed hackneyed and laboured then will seem dangerous and groundbreaking now. Maybe the readers of Vice will be radicalised. Maybe they’re radical enough already. I haven’t got a clue. They’ll probably all start organising anarcho-syndicalist collectives in the student/hipster enclaves of big cities all over the world, just wait and see.
Having said all that, I’m not sure I’d actually want to listen to any of those Bullshit Detector albums myself. But hey, you guys with the harem pants and asymmetrical haircuts, knock yourselves out.
If the slightly rambling musings of spazzed out superstar DJs around the back of nightclubs in the middle of the night is your thing, you should head over to We Love Life immediately. Their perfectly pitched mini-documentaries feature people like Prins Thomas and Ivan Smagghe talking about records, music and food, as well as snatches of live performance from the likes of Carl Craig and the 2020Soundsystem.
This is an invaluable service for those desperados among us – I’ll hold my hand up for a start – who can only watch the fun going on in Ibiza right now from afar, over the fucking internet. It’s about as close to the white island as I’m going to get this side of 2011, let’s put it that way.
Elsewhere in the world of now, we find some classic blog-bloke nerdery from Swiss Adam at the Bagging Area, who recently posted a fabulously dubby Weatherall remix of the Orb’s Perpetual Dawn, followed by a bit of the Misty in Roots live album sampled by the moustachioed musical maverick – although in a rare lapse of taste he cuts out the music which comes in after the spoken word intro. Sort it out!
The ever-dependable King Britt comes correct, impeccably so, with the latest of his Saturn Never Sleeps podcasts, this time with a tribute to David Mancuso’s Loft parties of New York legend – another part of the world I won’t be visiting anytime soon (although I’d also need a time-machine if I wanted to join David and all the lyserigically-enhanced Loft babies in jockey shorts). Either way, this is what you call proper.
A slightly more deranged take on the dancefloor narrative comes from Sheffield photographer Shaun Bloodworth, who was commissioned by Mary Anne Hobbs to make a short film about the city’s party scene for Sonar 2010. Bloodworth has a craftman’s eye for an arresting image but these pictures – of boisterous, rowdy Rodigan gigs, mad after-hours sheebeens and crazy after-parties – these pictures really do move.
Minds Locked Together comes with an absolutely slamming soundtrack provided by Grievous Angel – though I am a little concerned that some of those kids in the film look like they may be a little drunk or a touch fucked up on drugs. They should be VERY drunk and ENORMOUSLY fucked up on drugs. What is wrong with young people these days?
Bloodworth makes Sheffield look like a right laugh. But Sheffield has always been a safe bet for a good night out, hasn’t it?
Attercliffe, holler back!
[Thanks to John Eden for the Minds Locked Together info]