What I’ve been up to

Right, I know it’s been ages since I last wrote anything but things have been really busy for the last couple of months.

It all kicked off with our first rehearsal which we were all really nervous about, but which went really well. Everyone had been working really bloody hard on the songs and I think it all went easier than we all thought it would be. There’s a lot of pressure riding on this Last Supper, we’re all acutely aware that we’ve got to get it spot on, and that can make you become over – perfectionist, if there’s any such word. (Can’t be arsed to look it up). Any way it all sounded bloody good to me, and contrary to Gizz’s worries, it sounds better with just Lead and Bass guitars. I’m not sure we’ll be doing Nagasaki Nightmare because it’s really sort of avant-gardy jazzy, fine on record but do it live and it sounds really empty, and we don’t want to cheat by using loads of sound effects and that. Also Beki was concerned about doing Eve’s “ying-tong-iddle-i-po” bits and I can’t say I blame her, I mean, couldn’t that be seen as a bit of stereotyping these days? Anyway we’ll give it a go, but don’t be disappointed if we don’t do that one - it won’t be for lack of trying.

It’s always really strange for me when we rehearse at Southern; singing the Crass songs in the room where they were recorded always sends a goose walking over my grave; I always half expect John Loder to pop his head round the door and with that toothy smile of his tell me to do it again. I don’t half miss him. Ah well no point getting all droopyfied about it.

A couple of weeks after that Andy T. came to see me which was really nice, I ain’t seen him for twenty-odd years, so of course we had to go to the pub for a catch-up session. We’d literally just had a couple of mouthfuls when my pager went off and I had to leave him there while I pelted up the boatshed. We had to rescue three blokes who’d gone swimming and couldn’t make it back because of the tide. Luckily a bloke on a kayak went out to them so they had something to hang onto but two of them were suffering from the first stages of hypothermia and when we got them into the boat they were shaking with cold and shock. Anyway we got them back safe, the paramedics came and everything was alright. Then I went back down the pub and carried on talking with Andy. It wasn’t till about half-hour later MY adrenalin kicked in and I got all hyper, and Andy mate, I’m sorry if I went on about it too much, but it was a weird thing to happen. Anyway that incident opened the floodgates and so far this year we’ve had 9 shouts and it’s not even the height of season yet.

So with all this dobby feeling inside me, it was off to London to go to a meeting with all the ex members of Crass (except Andy Palmer) to try and come to some arrangement about these re-releases. I was nervous, but feeling good, a nice sunny day, and looking forward to a good rational discussion of how to come to some agreement of how we can progress. Not a chance.

The same old, same old bullshit and bollocks that gets no-one anywhere but wound up and motherfucker was I wound up looking at a particular supercilious smirk which signified to me that the face concerned saw or sees this whole painful mess as some sort of sick joke or game. I’ve got the trembles as I write this. Fucking wanker pissing all over something really important to me and I’ve just gotta sit and swallow. The End. Result? Stalemate. Three of them don’t want the stuff released, and even if they did they would’nt want it to go through Southern, you know, the studio and label that helped us all the way. You know what, I hate to say it, but I’m ashamed to have had anything to do with certain twats I’ve known. One of them said if downloading was the only way people could get hold of Crass stuff then so be it. Nice, ay?

So you could say it didn’t go too well. I went home thinking fuck’em, I’ve had it with them, don’t want nothing to do with them anymore.

Couple of days later I walk in the pub and order a pint. The young bloke beside me with his back to me says “hello Steve, how are you?” and I’m about to say fucking awful when I see it’s James who’s been blind from birth and who has a photographic memory for voices. So instead I say I’m doing alright and he turns and goes on to tell me how he’s been listening to Crass and been liking some of it but not all because he can’t get all the words, and what was it like being ‘famous’ and it must have been exciting being in Crass and I must be really proud of it, and he’d like to come to one of the gigs and I said of course you fucking can and he got the joke and suddenly he pulled me to him and felt all over my face while he was talking and I suddenly had this brilliant thought which was yeah, Fuck ‘em. I know who I’d rather stand next to having a beer and it ain’t no poncified pillocks. It’s people who, without knowing it, knock you off your self indulgent, self-important perch and inspire you to do something, whatever that may be. Anyway after he’d finished feeling my face - he spent a moment or two feeling my ears as well - James said “I’ve been wondering what you look like” and I said what d’you reckon and he goes “you look like your music sounds”. The little sod. And he didn’t buy me a pint - so much for being ‘famous’ eh?

The last bit of news is I’ve been working on my autobiography with a mate of mine and it’s finished, so hopefully it’ll be out by the tour. Some skeletons being rattled in that little cupboard. Libel court here we come.

On a final note, I can’t reply to all the messages sent to me on Facebook, I’m sorry about that, but if I answered every one I’d be on this bloody keyboard for ever, so don’t think I’m ignoring you. But there are a couple I must mention here:

Steve Power, yes I remember you, didn’t you know Lu Vuckovitch? And Steve have you got any photos from Triptons/Robert Clack? If you have I’d love to see them.

Carol Greene and Cherise. Hello sis, thanks for the photo of the pub mum used to play piano in at Stoke, but I dunno if I can use it in the book due to copyright. I’ll try to get down to Barking for a catch up before the tour starts, but don’t hold your breath, rehearsals and that. All my love to you and yours. I’ll call soon.

I won’t leave it so long before I spill my guts on here again, thanks ever so much for all your messages, please keep them coming, I really enjoy them.
Till next time,