Steve Ignorant

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Steve Ignorant
Crass steve dec1981.jpg
Steve Ignorant with Crass, December 1981
Background information
Birth nameSteven Williams
Also known asSteve Ignorant, Stephen Intelligent, Professor Ignorant
Born1957 (age 6263)
Stoke-on-Trent, England
Genres Anarcho-punk, punk rock
Years active1977–present
Labels Crass Records, Small Wonder Records
Associated acts Crass
Stratford Mercenaries
Current 93
Paranoid Visions
Slice of Life

Steve Ignorant, born Steven Williams [1] in 1957, [2] is a singer and artist.



Ignorant co-founded the anarcho-punk band Crass with Penny Rimbaud in 1977. [3] [4] [5] [6] After Crass stopped performing in 1984, he has worked with other groups including Conflict, Schwartzeneggar, Stratford Mercenaries, and Current 93 as well as being an occasional solo performer.

A stained glass image of Mr Punch by Steve Ignorant displayed at Dial House, Essex Punch.jpeg
A stained glass image of Mr Punch by Steve Ignorant displayed at Dial House, Essex

He is also a sculptor, and has worked as a traditional Punch and Judy performer using the name Professor Ignorant. [7] In recent years he has developed an interest in the history of traditional London music hall performance. Ignorant is vegetarian. [8]

On 24 and 25 November 2007 he performed Crass's entire The Feeding of the 5000 live at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, backed by guest musicians. [9] [10] Other members of Crass were not involved in these concerts. "I acknowledge and respect Steve's right to do this", Rimbaud said, "but I do regard it as a betrayal of the Crass ethos". [11] Ignorant had a different view; "I don't have to justify what I do. (...) Plus, most of the lyrics are still relevant today. And remember that three-letter word, 'fun'?" [11]

In 2010 Ignorant announced plans to do a tour called "The Last Supper", performing Crass songs from the period 1977–1982 with largely the same band that performed with him at Shepherd's Bush, including Gizz Butt, Bob Butler and Spike Smith. [12] In August 2010 Ignorant and Rimbaud took to the stage together to be interviewed by John Robb on the literacy stage at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool where they informed the large crowd that Rimbaud has now given him his blessing to perform Crass material live.

On 19 November 2011, Ignorant performed "The Last Supper" at the Shepherd's Bush Empire where he was joined on stage by Rimbaud and Eve Libertine. This was the last time Crass songs were performed live by him.

In 2010 Southern Records published The Rest Is Propaganda, Ignorant's autobiography co-written with Steve Pottinger. [9]

Ignorant at Cafe ExZess, Frankfurt, 17 October 2010 2010 10 17 STEVE IGNORANT live at Cafe Exzess FFM Germany 196.jpg
Ignorant at Cafe ExZess, Frankfurt, 17 October 2010

He moved to the Norfolk coast in 2007 where he volunteers as a lifeboatman. [13]

In 2019, Ignorant announced plans to tour England in 2020 with a full band performing an all-Crass set. [14]

Slice of Life

While stranded in Sydney, Australia after a tour, Steve Ignorant, Carol Hodge and Pete Wilson came up with an idea for a new band, a more contemplative band backed by acoustic instruments. Thus Slice of Life was born. They performed for the first time at Wellingborough, UK on 25 October 2013. Lucas Martin joined the band on upright bass in 2015. Music publisher Wipeout Music says of the group, "Steve opens both heart and soul when reflecting on life and then reminds us just why we should never give up on this world or on each other with his poems and songs that make us think about the world around us and reminds us just why we should still care." [15] [16]

The band has recorded several albums.

  1. Love and a Lamp Post (2014)
  2. Live at the Forum 2015 (2016)
  3. Don't Turn Away (2019)

They also released an extended single, Just Another, in 2017.

See also

Related Research Articles

Anarcho-punk is punk rock that promotes anarchism. The term "anarcho-punk" is typically exclusively applied to bands that were part of the original anarcho-punk movement in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some use the term more broadly to refer to any punk music with anarchist lyrical content, which may figure in crust punk, hardcore punk, folk punk, and other styles.

<i>The Feeding of the 5000</i> (album) 1978 studio album by Crass

The Feeding of the 5000 is the first album by the anarcho-punk band Crass. The album was recorded on 29 October 1978, by John Loder at Southern Studios and was released the same year. It was considered revolutionary in its time due to what was considered an extreme sound, frequently profane lyrical content and the anarchist political ideals in the lyrics. The album also saw the introduction of Crass's policy of ensuring cheap prices for their records. This album is considered one of the first punk albums to expound serious anarchist philosophies.

<i>Stations of the Crass</i> 1979 studio album by Crass

Stations of the Crass is the second album by Crass, released in 1979. The record, originally released as a double 12", includes live tracks from a gig recorded at the Pied Bull pub in Islington, London, on August 7, 1979. The first three sides contain the studio tracks and play at 45 rpm, while the final side comprises the live material and plays at 33 rpm. The album's title is not only a pun on the Catholic rite of the Stations of the Cross, but is also a reference to the graffiti campaign that the band had been conducting around London's underground railway system, the cover artwork depicting a wall at Bond Street tube station that had allegedly been 'decorated' by them. Although the album met mixed critical reception at first, it managed to sell at least 20,000 copies within two weeks.

Crass Records British record label

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<i>Yes Sir, I Will</i> 1983 studio album by Crass

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Penny Rimbaud writer, poet, philosopher, painter, musician and activist

Jeremy John Ratter, better known as Penny "Lapsang" Rimbaud, is a writer, poet, philosopher, painter, musician and activist. He was a member of the performance art groups EXIT and Ceres Confusion, and in 1972 was co-founder of the Stonehenge Free Festival, together with Phil Russell aka Wally Hope. In 1977, alongside Steve Ignorant, he co-founded and played drums in the seminal anarchist punk band Crass, who disbanded in 1984. Up until 2000 he devoted himself almost entirely to writing, returning to the public platform in 2001 as a performance poet working alongside Australian saxophonist Louise Elliott and a wide variety of jazz musicians under the umbrella of Penny Rimbaud's Last Amendment.

<i>Penis Envy</i> (album) 1981 studio album by Crass

Penis Envy, released in 1981, was the third LP by the anarchist punk band Crass. The album is included as #36 on Rolling Stone's "40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time" list in 2016.

<i>Christ – The Album</i> 1982 studio album by Crass

Christ – The Album is the fourth album by Crass, released in 1982. It was released as a boxed set double vinyl LP package, including one disk of new studio material and another, entitled Well Forked.. But Not Dead, of a live recording of their June 1981 gig at the 100 Club in London along with other studio tracks, demos and tape fragments. The box also included a book, A Series Of Shock Slogans and Mindless Token Tantrums and a large size poster painted by Gee Vaucher. The album was well received and the band considered it their best.

Last Amendment

Last Amendment is the working title of a series of collaborations by ex-members of the anarcho-punk band Crass and others. Although Crass formally split up in 1984, Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher, Eve Libertine, Steve Ignorant, Andy Palmer and Pete Wright came together in November 2002 to put on a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank in opposition to the at that time proposed War on Iraq. Although they did not all appear on the stage at the same time, most of the ex-members of Crass participated in the event under the name of The Crass Collective, along with other performers such as Ian MacKaye, Goldblade, the English Chamber Choir, Fun Da Mental, Nabil Shaban, etc.

<i>Acts of Love</i> (album) 1985 studio album by Penny Rimbaud

Acts of Love is an album of 50 poems by Penny Rimbaud of the anarchist punk band Crass, set to classical music composed and arranged by Penny Rimbaud and Paul Ellis, and performed by Steve Ignorant and Eve Libertine. Released in 1985 on Crass Records, the record was accompanied by a book of 50 paintings by artist Gee Vaucher.

Eve Libertine British singer

Eve Libertine is a British singer.

DIRT were an anarcho-punk band from London, UK. Initially formed in 1980, the band frequently played with fellow anarchists Crass, before releasing their first EP, Object, Refuse, Reject, Abuse on the Crass Records label. Their second release, Never Mind Dirt, Here's the Bollocks, also on the Crass label, was a live LP released in 1983. The band went into a brief hiatus after 1982 when they took to the road again and recorded the Just An Error album, after which they split in 1986.

John F. Loder was an English sound engineer, record producer and founder of Southern Studios, as well as a former member of EXIT and co-founder of the Southern Records distribution company with his wife Sue. He was also the studio engineer of choice for Crass and Crass Records, and was often considered to be the band's "ninth member".

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Wapping Autonomy Centre was a self-managed social centre in the London Docklands from late 1981 to 1982. The project was initially funded by money raised by the benefit single Persons Unknown/Bloody Revolutions, as well as benefit gigs by Crass and The Poison Girls.

Crass British art collective & anarcho-punk rock group

Crass were a British English art collective and punk rock band formed in Epping, Essex, England in 1977 who promoted anarchism as a political ideology, a way of life and a resistance movement. Crass popularised the anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, advocating direct action, animal rights, feminism, anti-fascism, and environmentalism. The band used and advocated a DIY ethic approach to its albums, sound collages, leaflets, and films.

Omega Tribe are an English anarcho-punk band, formed in Barnet, London in 1981. With the roles of Hugh Vivian on guitar and vocals, Daryl Hardcastle on bass, Pete Fender on guitar and Pete Shepherd on drums, their first EP, Angry Songs, was produced by Penny Rimbaud and Pete Fender for Crass Records in 1982.

<i>There Is No Authority But Yourself</i> 2006 film by Alexander Oey

There is No Authority But Yourself is a Dutch film directed by Alexander Oey documenting the history of anarchist punk band Crass. The film features archive footage of the band and interviews with former members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher. As well as reflecting on the band's past the film focusses on their current activities, and includes footage of Rimbaud performing with Last Amendment at the Vortex jazz club in Hackney, a compost toilet building workshop and a permaculture course held at Dial House in the spring of 2006.

The Cravats are an English punk rock band originally from Redditch, England, founded in 1977 by Robin Dallaway and The Shend, with Svor Naan (saxophone) and Dave Bennett on drums. Lead vocal duties in the original incarnation of the band were shared between Dallaway and The Shend. Current members are The Shend (vocals), Svor Naan (sax), Viscount Biscuits (guitar), Joe 91 (bass) and Rampton Garstang (drums).

Stratford Mercenaries were an English punk rock band that was formed in late 1995 by Gary "Gazzer" Buckley from the punk band Dirt and Ed "Eddafed" Addley from the punk band Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys. The band was joined by Steve Ignorant from the punk rock band Crass and Phil Barker from the punk rock band the Buzzcocks in early 1996.


  1. Berger, George The Story of Crass (Omnibus Press, 2006.)
  2. Burrows, Alex (2 November 2010). "Steve Ignorant on Crass & The Angry Young Men of 1950's British Literature". The Quietus. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. Shibboleth – My Revolting Life (Penny Rimbaud, 1999, AK Press, page 69)
  4. Sleeve note to Bullshit Detector volume 1
  5. Berger, George The Story of Crass (Omnibus Press, 2006, page 76.)
  6. Archived 18 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Berger, George The Story of Crass (Omnibus Press, 2006)
  8. Worley, Matthew (2016). "The End Result". The Aesthetic of Our Anger (PDF). Minor Compositions (Autonomedia). p. 295. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. 1 2 "Transmissions from Southern | The Southern Records Weblog". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  10. "Crass frontman plans 'The Feeding of the 5000' live performance". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  11. 1 2 Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Archived 9 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "The punk rocker turned lifeboatman". BBC. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  14. Gentile, John. "Steve Ignorant to play full Crass set on 2020 tour". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  15. "Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life". Wipeout Music. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  16. "Steve Ignorant's Slice Of Life – "Love And A Lamp-post"". Steve Ignorant Official Website. Retrieved 21 August 2019.