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Friday, 24 December 2010

~Winter Wassailing~#14: 'Merry Crassmas'

A Selection Of Seasonal Songs In The ~Streetlamp~ Stylee!

If, back on Christmas Eve last year, you had said to me that the one band I would re-connect with to the point of obsession in 2010 would be Crass, I would either have punched you or suggested that you immediately seek psychological assistance.
For, as I have already explained at great length in my original Crass Blog, this was a band that Griff and I not only hated but couldn't even explain why we ever liked them in the first place. Often we would lament the wasted hours we spent listening to Crass when we could have been listening to 'What's Going On', 'After The Goldrush' or 'Nebraska'. You really have to understand just how much we REALLY hated them between 1985 and the beginning of this year....but that hatred only existed because we had once been SO passionate about them....their music, their politics and their stance.
It was back in the early Summer of 2010 that, as Griff and I at the height of our obsession with 'The Flats' by Mariel McCormack and Marie O'Hara/Botched Fairytale, sat trawling their Myspace page for influences etc and were surprised to see that they listed Crass as one of their Top 10. This led to a discussion about how Crass could be a major influence on a lot of new artists who weren't around when Crass released their original records. Griff practically bullied me into considering writing a Blog on Crass but I remained sceptical.
Once I started researching and writing the piece, it all fell into place. It became my favourite piece of my own writing and the one Blog I am most proud of. Yep, even ahead of my Smiths piece.

One of the reasons that Crass has become so important to us again is not just the music, but because the political landscape has changed again. This is probably one of the reasons that Crass had become so archaic in the first place. Cosy, complacent, bland governments(Major, Blair, Brown) failed to spark the wrath that Thatcher's government had.
Suddenly in 2010 we were presented with a government that the British public had NOT voted for, and who proceeded to make a bit of a Gareth Hunt of everything; students rioting because of massively increased tuition fees(which the Lib Dems said wouldn't happen), massive cuts in public spending, family allowances slashed, 12 year old boys arrested for protesting via Facebook against the closure of their Youth Club(Cameron's pre-Election rhetoric claimed that society needed Youth Clubs, but once in power began shutting them down....Yeah, arrest those pesky 12 year olds Dave, they might grow up to be Socialists).
We also face the unacceptable censoring of the Internet(see Griff's Blogs on Wikileaks), as well as Murdoch's biased News corporation indoctrinating the British Public how to vote, plus huge wastes of public money like the London Olympics and TWO Royal weddings coming up.
It really is like 1980 all over again!
Is it any wonder we feel the fire in the belly that Crass gave us all those years ago?
It's not that we tired of them, we just saw them as redundant as the political system in Britain bored itself to death.

So, on this snow covered Christmas Eve, I've chosen Crass(my band of the year) to serenade us into the Festivities. I should point out to anyone unfamiliar with Crass that two tracks below(both sides of their 'Merry Crassmas' single) is totally unlike the rest of their output. It was a bit of a novelty single, released when those awful 'Stars On 45' records were all the rage. This was a medley of Crass's most infamous tracks played in jaunty fashion upon a cheap Casio keyboard. And Santa is on hand too, to bid you 'Seasons Greetings'.

There's very little left for me to say now, but rest assured that here at the ~Streetlamp~, tonight we're gonna party like it's 1981!!
Merry Crassmas Everybody!


PS: If you haven't already done so, please check out our Festive Top Thirty!

It's interesting to read you write in the first paragraph about how our love for Crass turned to hate for a while.I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head when you say that it was precisely because we were so overwhelmingly passionate about them that this was the natural corollary; as best summed up by the famous Elie Wiesel quote "
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference".


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