Monday, October 22, 2007


Nice wee personal reminiscence post from Another Green World, which takes in Ian Bone, early eighties Anarchism in London and the anarcho-punk DIY scene of Crass and the Poison Girls.

The post also pointed me in the direction of this recent article from the Guardian which details the radical reworking of *cough* Crass classics and a storm in a tea stained cup over Crass's legacy that is going on between Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant.

Crass were never my cup of tea - stained or otherwise - so I was more interested in the fact that Derek Wall namechecked The Poison Girls in passing in the post.

Now's not the time and place for me to detail at length why I think that the Poison Girls were a better band than Crass. For two reasons: 1) I know that Crass were more important, influential, seminal and all that hippy-punk-avant/garde jazz but; 2) Vi Subversa and the rest of the band had the tunes. And tunes win out for me everytime.

It's the same reason why I'll take Captain and Tennille over Captain Beefheart any day. Take your seminal and shove it up your jacksie. I'll grab with both hands a catchy tune that creeps in your earhole and takes up squatting rights for the next six months every time.

Anyway, enough self-immolation, you can check out the Poison Girls for yourself:

  • Poison Girls - 'Perfect Crime' mp3
  • Poison Girls - 'Real Woman' mp3
  • Both tracks date from the latter part of their career (82-85), and are both on the Statement boxset, a retrospective of the Poison Girls career that documents their recordings from '77 to '89. The boxset is available from Active Distribution last time I heard.

    Maybe it's only me who can see it but Vi Subversa reminds me of the late Ian Dury in both vocal stylings and in lyrical archness combined with a sly wit. He's considered a national treasure, Vi's a hidden treasure.

    Further Reading:

  • Derek Wall interviewed over at the Socialist Unity Blog
  • Doug Henwood's radio interview with Ian Bone that dates from March 15th of this year.
  • Ian Walker's 1979 New Society, 'Anarchy in the UK'
  • Socialist Standard's review of Derek Wall's 'Babylon and Beyond: the Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements'
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