Friday, April 24, 1981

Crass, Poison Girls

I woke up to heavy, winter like snow. Incredible; it was snowing heavily and the whole garden was blanketed white. Mum woke me up at eight as I wanted to go down to Pilkington’s to try for the job there that Dad told me about yesterday, so I trudged down, cold, wet and pretty miserable, to be greeted with a “sorry, it’s just been filled.” I got my hair cut on the way back, the enormous snow flakes floating thickly down.

I spent the rest of the day in a good mood; I read and made notes and generally messed about. In the afternoon I wrote a letter to the Echo in response to someone criticising the money spent on the space programme v. the starving millions in Africa, etc. . . . I was once again fired up with enthusiasm for Russian revolutionary history and politics.

In the afternoon, Dad gave me a lift on to Grant’s and, after we’d had some sandwiches, we called round for one of his friends and fellow Movable Mutant Consultant artiste Nik, who was dressed all in black with a yellow CND T-shirt underneath his jumper and a red scarf tied round his wrist. I felt conspicuously normal. We got down to Lesser Trade Hall, outside which there were at least fifty Crass fans, predictably attired in green/red/khaki trousers, Doc Marten boots, and various ripped T-shirts / jackets. Several pretty amazing hair-dos on display, especially among the girls, and since it was only 6.30 we had a coffee in The Khyber.

Supposedly the concert started at seven, but at nine we were still there, and a lot of people seemed to have gone home. We were subjected to constant surveillance by the police who had dogs and several cars. Pathetic. We got in a few minutes later. Lesser Trade Hall is just a single large hall with balconies overlooking the stage. I reckon there were several hundred people there; a film showing various interrelated images of war and nuclear weapons was being projected onto the wall above the stage. The first group was Poison Girls, a four piece with a female lead vocalist. lots of pretty heavy drumming and screeching distorted guitars with the singer and the two guitarists screaming; I can't say I liked it but I could at least appreciate some of it. Grant's 'dancing' seemed badly coordinated and he hopped about, shaking his head; I saw several people laughing at him, but he and Nik went on leaping around throughout while I remained statuesque and immovable.

Crass consisted of five members (one woman) and I didn’t like them as much as I had the Poison Girls. They were incredibly loud and their sound consisted for the most part of a billion decibels-worth of fuzzy, indistinct guitar, ear piercing distortions and indecipherable vocals. Everyone at the front went wild, pogo-ing about and leaping up and down frantically; it was amazing to witness, but I was relieved when finally, at about ten past midnight, everything wound up.

My ears were ringing and I was almost deaf as we walked into town to find a taxi.

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