Topic: CRASS SLF & THINGS
Crass brought a new dimension to things.
I bought the feeding of the 5.000 record which i quite liked
Banned from the Roxy.
There were very political & ideological
In retrospect they were just what punk needed it get it back on track
But a lot of punks were suspicious off their commune based life style & were perceived as hippies jumping on the punk band wagon.
Quite a few of the Bradford punks got into them at every level, which was still appealing to those that wanted something to believe in
They were the band that were probably responsible for the travelers, the punk /hippie crossover [I always thought that these two movements were ideologically compatible
They just tried it in different ways,. Quite similar to Martin Luther King & Malcolm x.
The punks were preferred the Malcolm x way of doing things & the hippies Martin Luther King]
After the Clash signing for CBS & the pistols splitting & later after MaClarens silly ”Swindle” film which seemed to take away the potency of what the pistols were about people had become cynical & weren’t really looking for another band to preach to them. Then sell them down the river.
Punk had become a fragmented movement, which was now consisted of load of bands looking out for their own interests people had gained enough confidence to do it themselves.
It had gotten that bad that people just tended to just watch the bands the knew or had liked from the start.
I met Crass & Poisoned girls once in 79 in Bradford
My mate was in a bit of a mess& in a bit of trouble at the time
Crass & poisoned girls looked after him at the commune
He came back to Bradford with them when they played at The Italian club at the bottom of Leeds Rd.
I had just got back off tour with Adam & the Ants & my mate had the key to our house so i had to go & get it off him.
When i got there i was told we'd been evicted for not paying our rent.
My first thought was for my records & posters.
It was to late do anything at the time so I went round the next day with a car ,broke in & took all my stuff out.
[This as just triggered another memory
We paid rent for an house that initially didn't have a lock on the door.
We had hardly any windows we had no gas or Electricity
We took the house on because the landlord said if we moved in he would send the relevant people that week to sort out everything
We were also impressed with the kitchen & it had a bee day
In the bathroom that none of us had ever seen before & we were intrigued by it.
We used to sit on the toilet with our feet in it wondering what the hell it was for./
This was one mad house
Because we didn't have a lock on the door some days you would wake up with some one you didn't know crashed out in the house
There used to be a centre down the Rd were they used to feed the alcoholics & homeless
One day we went down to the Manneville
[The Manneville in 77 to79 had some wonderfully eccentric characters.
There was the old guy who used to eat live matches then a couple of hours later he would produce them from his mouth.
There was another regular called “pissed up Pete”
Because of the obvious
He was an old hippie ,well about 30 which was retirement age as far as us young punks were concerned.
He would sit in the corner with his grey army coat & his little dog with his long scraggly hair all over the place.
Pete once had to visit his mum in Blackpool but he spent his money down the pub
In a fit of guilt be decided to pinch a horse to travel to Blackpool the next day
Realising he was to drunk it came up with a good idea?
He took the horse home .
When he got home he woke up all the house as he was trying to take the horse upstairs to his bedroom Ian & Harvey ,who he sheared an house with went mental, they told him to get the horse out of the house.
So he decided to set off to Blackpool immediately
About an hour later he came back into the house covered in mud.
He had got as far as Odsal when a car came round the corner scared the horse which threw him off & bolted.
Then the was Granville an alcoholic how earned a degree at Bradford Uni then he hit the booze & never got off it.
He would go round Bradford cleaning people’s drains for enough money for a bottle of Cider .He also sold his medication to the punks for a bit of extra cash.
I feel victim to this once.When I bought some tablets off him thinking they were uppers
I went to see Adam & the Ants in Newport Shropshire.
I rememeber the start of the gig ,then remember all the bouncers stood round me
The next thing I woke up in an empty house with know one in it.
There weren’t even any pictures of anyone in the house.
I walked round the house trying to find any clues as to where I was ?
After about an hour this lad walked in that I recognised from Wolverhampton.
He told me they picked me up unconscious outside the gig just as 2 coppers were going to nick me
My mate Ian & Harvey let him stop at their house one night
& they were woken by the police the next day
They had Granville in the back of the police car with a toilet on his knee
He had only nicked their bogg to cash it in for some beer.]
Were we bumped into Granville he told us the story we all pissed our selves laughing
Later on though we felt sorry for him so we said he could stay for a couple of days.
We put a spare mattress in the bathroom for him to sleep on. The night after we all went out to the Manneville again, the next day I woke up & there was 2 of his alcoholic friends sleeping on my bed.
I got up walked down stairs & there were about another 6 he’d invited his mates to sleep over .
We got rid of his friends & told him never to bring them back again.
The next day I was woken by the feeling of water in my bed
I slept next to the toilet in the attic next to were Granville was sleeping
I woke up & there was water everywhere jumped out of bed & went into the toilet
Granville wasn’t in bed but the airing cupboard was open & there was a gap where the boiler used to be, he’d only nicked the boiler.
He went missing for a while after that & we couldn’t be bothered by the time he surfaced again.
I remember as well that the local Asian population thought we were the devil or something?
They used to leave dead animals ,bones & stuff out side the house I never found out what the significance of these things meant.
One day They left a goats head We were all out of our heads on something?
I used to have this big Samurai sword Dave Wilcox[the Negatives singer who lived with us] grabbed my sword ,stuck it into the goats head then round down the street shouting “Satan come into me” everyone in the street just dispersed in fear.
That put an end to the leaving of dead animals outside our door]
I have gone slightly off track.
I spoke to Steve Ignorant & all the others who were all really nice
I thanked them for looking after Dave
when the gig started
I hadn’t had any sleep for a day I had been hitching it all day.
I had a couple of beers
I was so tired a feel asleep in the bass bin while the band were playing.
Someone woke me up after the gig & we all went & stopped round some ones house?
I did see them a few times after that they didn’t really have much an effect on me musically , but I liked the fact that the seemed to stand by what they believed in
Unfortunately I was one of the cynics who didn’t want to be preached to anymore
I remember when SLF 1st came over to England
There hadn’t been as much hype since the pistols had played
Live over here was certainly bleak for a lot of people in this country at the time .
No Jobs , No future
SLF ‘s however were singing about the possibility of losing your life or your loved ones or seeing them locked up indefinitely with internment.
With the regular bombings & shootings that was part of daily lives over there.
We over here be appeared to come across as a load of wingers by comparison
I don’t know if it was because they were living under sectarianism
& life was generally a lot harder in Ireland that people thought they were more genuine then other bands?
People were starting to view them like the 2nd coming
They also seemed to be a more credible Eire apparent to the punk throne.
For those that still needed one.
I looked At their tour dates & there were quite a few with in quite easy distance from Bradford.
Everyone was looking forward to seeing them.
I had bought their first 2 singles & really liked them.
We all met in the train station, everyone was there
When we got to the gig a few of our lot got in then they announced it was sold out.
We went down to the Fenton for a few beers & to wait for the others to come out.
When they did everyone was really excited
“Oh ,you’ve got to see them there brilliant” everyone was saying
I think it was the 5th gig we went to before i finally got in?
A lot of those SLF gigs is firmly laid in the gigs to forget file
Anyway it was the same at every gig people loved them
I was getting really frustrated with the situation.
When I finally got in [I can’t even remember which place it was,?]
I was really disappointed with them
They were like the Irish version of the Clash
The looked like them ,sounded like them & they even moved around on stage like them
I remember saying to some one that I have been threw all this to see the Irish clash lol
I liked them on record ,but they didn’t sound the same to me live