CRASS used to play in Manchester a lot back in their heyday and 30 years later singer Steve Ignorant is back in the city with his Last Supper tour, singing the songs that inspired a disgruntled generation for one last time.
On one occasion in early 1979, Crass played the Russell club in Hulme – five minutes walk from tonight’s gig at the Academy – where Tony Wilson put on bands in the pre-Hacienda days. They were supported by Linda Sterling aka Ludus, who was a big pal of Morrissey – and it’s not unreasonable to assume that he would have been at the gig.
Did Crass exert any influence on Morrissey? It’s an intriguing idea. Either way, he ended up distributing gladioli to his audience, not pamphlets.
Inside tonight’s venue, I’m disappointed that no one is distributing poorly-photocopied fanzines, but there are more Crass T-shirts in one place than I’ve seen in years. Being a student venue soon after the start of term, there are also quite a few young people at the gig, which I for one am extremely happy about – there’d be nothing more depressing than being in a roomful of the converted being ‘preached’ to 30 years down the line. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, but I didn’t sign up for that alone.