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Steve Ignorant

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Steve Ignorant
Steve Ignorant with Crass, December 1981
Steve Ignorant with Crass, December 1981
Background information
Birth nameSteven Williams
Also known asStephen Intelligent, Professor Ignorant
Born1957 (age 66–67)
Stoke-on-Trent, England
Years active1977–present
LabelsCrass, Small Wonder

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


Steve Ignorant was born in Stoke-on-Trent but grew up in Dagenham, East London. He later lived at Dial House, which since 1967 has been a self-sustaining anarchist-pacifist intentional community in Epping Forest, Essex; it was here where he met Penny Rimbaud, one of the founders of the Dial House project.[3]

Ignorant and Rimbaud went on to co-found the anarcho-punk band Crass in 1977.[4][5][6][7] After Crass stopped performing in 1984, he 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

He is also a sculptor, and has worked as a traditional Punch and Judy performer using the name Professor Ignorant.[8] In recent years he has developed an interest in the history of traditional London music hall performance. Ignorant is vegetarian.[9]

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.[10][11] 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".[12] 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'?"[12] He moved to the Norfolk coast in 2007 where he volunteers as a lifeboatman.[13]

Ignorant at Cafe ExZess, Frankfurt, 17 October 2010

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.[14] 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. In the same year Southern Records published The Rest Is Propaganda, Ignorant's autobiography co-written with Steve Pottinger.[10] 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 until his 2020 tour. In 2019, Ignorant announced plans to tour England in 2020 with a full band performing an all-Crass set.[15]

Slice of Life[edit]

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."[16][17]

In March 2022 Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life released an EP called The Kids Was Just Crass via the Stay Free Recordings label. It contains David Bowie cover versions.[18]

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)
  4. Live at Ramsgate Music Hall (2020)

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


  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. Archived from the original on 27 April 2022. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ BBC Radio 4 interview 2016 |url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6NkVxuaFP8 Archived 27 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine |date=27 May 2021
  4. ^ Shibboleth – My Revolting Life (Penny Rimbaud, 1999, AK Press, page 69)
  5. ^ Sleeve note to Bullshit Detector volume 1
  6. ^ Berger, George The Story of Crass (Omnibus Press, 2006, page 76.)
  7. ^ [1] Archived 18 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Berger, George The Story of Crass (Omnibus Press, 2006)
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b "Transmissions from Southern | The Southern Records Weblog". Steveignorant.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Crass frontman plans 'The Feeding of the 5000' live performance". Punknews.org. 26 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 April 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b [2] Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "The punk rocker turned lifeboatman". BBC News. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  14. ^ [3] Archived 9 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Gentile, John (15 July 2019). "Steve Ignorant to play full Crass set on 2020 tour". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life". Wipeout Music. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Steve Ignorant's Slice Of Life – "Love And A Lamp-post"". Steve Ignorant Official Website. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Steve Ignorant releases Bowie covers EP". Punknews.org. 18 March 2022. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.

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