Crisis in session for John Peel tonight. Maybe not a familiar name in the States, but in the UK, a different story.
Crisis are a British punk rock band formed in 1977 in Guildford in Surrey.They performed at rallies for Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League, and at Right to Work marches. British music magazine Sounds used the phrase “Music to March To” to describe their distinctly edgy, controversial and far-left form of punk rock.
Formed in 1977 with the lineup of Phrazer (vocals), Lester Jones (lead guitar), Douglas Pearce (guitar), Tony Wakeford (bass) and Insect Robin the Cleaner (drums). Their debut single, “No Town Hall”, was released in 1978 on Action Group Records.
Tonights session, their first, was recorded on November 1, 1978, two of the tracks released as the “UK 79″ 7” single in 1979 on the Ardkor label. The remaining two Peel Session songs were posthumously issued by Ardkor in 1981 as “Alienation”.
In early 1979, the band underwent a major change in personnel when Phrazer and Insect Robin the Cleaner were replaced by Dexter (a longtime fan and roadie) and Luke Rendle. After performing their last show, supporting Magazine and Bauhaus in their hometown of Guildford on 10 May 1980, the band broke up.A recording of the final show was released in 2008 as the Ends! CD.
Pearce and Wakeford went on to form Death in June in 1981. Wakeford later joined The Runners from 84, Above the Ruins and Sol Invictus. Rendle joined the Straps, then The Pack/Theatre of Hate. Jones formed Carcrash International. In 1985, Jones also performed as a touring member of Andi Sex Gang & the Quick Gas Gang.
The Crisis discography has been compiled on CD twice (as We Are All Jews and Germans double CD in 1997 by World Serpent, and as Holocaust Hymns single CD in 2005 by Apop Records), as well as once on vinyl LP Kollectiv in 2014 by La Vida Es un Mus).
In 2015, Wakeford formed the ensemble 188.8.131.52., to perform the songs he had written for both Crisis and Death in June. In 2017, 184.108.40.206., was renamed Crisis, announcing concerts in the UK and Europe in 2017 and 2018. The new Crisis line-up consists of original member Wakeford on bass, Lloyd James (of Naevus) on vocals, Clive Giblin (of Alternative TV) on guitar and Igor Olejar (of Autorotation) on drums. In a November 2017 interview with Louder Than War, Wakeford said, “It became increasingly obvious that there was major interest in Crisis and that the band and songs held a special place in people hearts…There is obviously a growing interest in that period, with a lot of bands reforming. Crisis were an important part of that history, and I think the band sound fresh and the songs are still valid, perhaps even more so today”.
Crank it up.