March due to visa “issues,” Crass founding member Steve Ignorant’s “Last Supper
Tour” of Crass classics kicks off this week in North
BY JOHN B. MOORE
British anarcho-punks Crass certainly never stressed out over their skinny
jeans and asymmetrical haircuts, nor did they go around comparing ironic
tattoos like many of today’s punk rockers.
Instead they spent the late
70’s up to their inevitable implosion in 1984, creating in-your-face political
rants set to abrasive sound collages and taunting Thatcher and her conservative
minions. The highly influential, but often overlooked punk band created a
template for everyone from The Dead Kennedys to Anti-Flag.
Having vowed to never reunite, band co-founder and front man Steve
Ignorant has decided to give fans in the
U.S. and Canada one last chance to hear the
songs of Crass before he officially nails the coffin shut and encases it in
cement. Just don’t call it a reunion.
The tour was scheduled to begin in March, but as sharp-eyed readers
already know, it was delayed thanks to the ever-diligent U.S.
authorities. (Some things never change.) Eventually things were worked out, and
Ignorant subsequently posted the following message for fans: “At last!! We all got
our visas confirmed yesterday so the tour is back on. We had to go to the
American Embassy at 8 in the morning to be asked such searching questions like
‘what do you do in the band?’ and ‘have you been to the states before?’ But the
best was when I was asked ‘have you seen Leone?’ I said no, who’s Leone – the
question was in fact have you ever been to Sierra Leone. Carol got asked if
she’d ever been to Toga. All this fuss for that. Ah well at least we’ve got the
bloody things now and it looks like we’ll over your side in April. Thanks for
you patience and support, I know a lot of you lost money and stuff over this,
again I’m really sorry about that, I’ll try and make it up by doing the best
fucking sets I can. Bring it on!“
BLURT: Let’s start off with The Last Supper Tour.
Can you tell me a little bit about the concept behind it?
STEVE IGNORANT: It all really started with the Feeding of 5000 shows in 2007 (playing songs from the band’s debut).
I got a lot of phone calls from people wanting me to repeat that show across
the world. I had to explain to them that the whole idea of the Feeding 5000 was just a one-off show,
never to be repeated and I couldn’t go back on that. As time went on it became
apparent that a lot of people couldn’t get to those shows and were desperate to
see them live… When I do the last show (from the Last Super Tour) in England, I will
never every perform these songs live again. That’s a promise I have made to not
only people, but myself.
And why is that?
Do you just want to put them to rest?
Partly that. You see it so many times that someone will say “this is
the last tour,” and of course they come out again. The Sex Pistols have been
guilty of this and so has Jimmy Pursey from Sham 69.
there’s still money left on the table?
Absolutely and I don’t want to be seen like that. I’ve shot myself in
the foot because there’s no way I can do it now. I have to finish. I can’t go
back on my word and I won’t. If it is going to be your last tour, make it your
last tour. You know as well as I do that in three years time I could come out
with “The Last Supper: Second Sitting”. What a sellout that would be on my
part. My conscious just won’t let me.
You’ve started re-releasing some of the Crass albums. Were the rest of the
band members involved in that as well? Does everyone have to sign off on it?
No, no. Some of the ex-members of
Crass didn’t agree to it, so we did it the way we always agreed to do things:
let’s put it to a vote and it was 4-to3, so we released them. I won’t mention
names, but someone threatened us with court proceedings, so we sort of stuck
our two fingers up and went ahead. So, who knows, maybe I’ll see you in the Klink.
Do you still
listen to punk music?
No, I’m afraid I don’t. Once I hit middle age I mellowed out. I
listened to some Reggae, but now I listen to a lot of the classic Soul and
Motown. And I’ve been getting into a lot of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I’m
20 Brooklyn, NY
April 21 Montreal, QC
(Moved by popular demand!)
April 22 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
April 23 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
April 26 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
April 27 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
April 29 Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
April 30 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
May 1 Scottsdale, AZ @ Chaser’s Nightclub
May 3 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
May 5 Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds
May 6 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
May 7 Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
May 8 New York, NY @ Santo’s