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In the Guardian this week they had an article called ‘101 Things We Don’t Miss’, written by a Zoë Williams. Hmm, I thought. Should be interesting coming from The Guardian. Despite having things in the Intro such as Socialism, the pound note & The Beatles [of all things] as examples of things ‘people’ do miss, at No. 99 was ‘People talking about punk, as though it were in any way important. Or nice to listen to…’ as an example of something ‘people’ don’t miss. She obviously hasn’t heard of Conflict then!
If, like me, you were a wee whippersnapper [or bigoted snob] when the ferociously political punk band Conflict were inciting riots & kick-starting a resistance culture then this CD forms an essential guide to one of the most ‘important’ of the UK’s anarcho punk bands.
As hugely influential as they were controversial, Conflict inspired thousands to question where they stood in life, to reject authority & effect a real change in the world around them. This monumental CD brings together 28 bands from around the world and it’s only when you scroll down the list, from Italy’s Kafka to Pittsburgh’s Aus Rotten to French punks Disruptive Element to Poland’s Sunrise that you begin to realise the profound effect that Conflict had on world-wide punk.
Through an exhaustive booklet each band has a chance to have their say on the attitude that Conflict had introduced to their lives. Whether it’s Kismet HC remembering a memorably rowdy gig or Statement’s cover of ‘Meat Is Murder’, a tribute to the undeniable effect Conflict had on the animal rights movements. In fact, to acknowledge their passion in this area all profits made from this release will go to the ALF.
At this point you may still be thinking ‘well I haven’t heard of ‘em so they can’t have been that important’. [Yeah, yeah I know some of you older readers are staring in disbelief!]. But in the 80s their records went straight into the top of the Indie charts, at one time causing DJ Alan Jones to note that this was one band that would “never be stocked in Woolies next to the pick’n’mix.” After preaching intense insurrectionary anarchist politics at their gigs they stirred their audiences into a riotous frenzy. Their sell-out Brixton Academy show made headlines as 52 arrests were made. Leaflets with maps of Brixton showing ‘targets’ such as McDonalds were handed out to the crowd. And they were subsequently banned from the UK. The Sex who?
As for the music here, stand-out tracks are from Freebase (Mark’s vocals are incredible here!) and Medulla Nocte. Conflict are still promoting their radical ideals even today through their new worldwide communication network via their website [see link]. Maybe Zoe Williams should take a look.
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