Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks
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“Life we Make”: The value of music across the life courses of British anarch0-punks. Matt Grimes The Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research The Birmingham School of Media Birmingham City University. lifecourse.

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“Life we Make”: The value of music across the life courses of British anarch0-punks

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Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“Life we Make”: The value of music across the life courses of British anarch0-punks

Matt Grimes

The Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research

The Birmingham School of Media

Birmingham City University


Lifecourse

lifecourse

“a life course perspective considers individuals as being dynamically impacted by a variety of formative proximal and distal contexts, located in particular time and place”(Vitale, 2013:3).

Scenes and Subcultures


British anarcho punk

British anarcho-punk

‘But if punk stops in 1979, then it can be argued that that there is a great deal of the story left out.... (Sabin, 1999:4) and a lack of analysis in the influence of‘......the anarcho-punk movement, with bands such as Crass who took the anarchist message seriously…….”’ (Sabin, 1999:5).


Background to the study

Background to the study

  • Age 45-60

  • 9 participants

  • 3 all in late 40’s

  • In depth ‘life history’ interviews


Identity

identity

“Crass and anarcho-punk helped me be aware of that. Without that, my life wouldn’t have been the same-without sounding clichéd, it made me who I am today” (Respondent A)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

  • “When I first heard Crass it was a revelatory moment because they were actually articulating what I actually felt. Before that moment I knew the world wasn’t fucking right but there wasn’t a political language for me that expressed what I wanted it to change to.”(Respondent B)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“Crass set out the template for me politically and ideologically what was relevant and real in the world…..

First wave punk informed our attitude, anarcho-punk formed our philosophy and politics” (Respondent C)

*Feeding Of The 5000. 1st album released by Crass. 1978


Community

Community

“a set of shared principles, politics, ideologies and philosophies that was working towards an alternative-informed by the politics of the music”.(Respondent C)

“Some of the relationships I formed back then have endured against all the odds. Some of the best people I have ever met I met through anarcho-punk and I still see them at gigs today”. (Respondent B)

“…….there are some beautiful people that I met and still meet at gigs today and it’s nice that people are still interested in what we do as a band. It still feels like a sort of community-though I think Facebook has a lot to do with that”. (Respondent A)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“I remember that first day at this massive comprehensive school absolutely shitting myself with fear of the unknown. I spotted this older kid at lunchtime wearing a Crass badge and went and spoke to him, that anarcho-punk association was like a calling card, a passport into this new school and opened up into a network of other likeminded people” (Respondent C)


Longevity

longevity

Having kids it seemed that I lost myself in family life and I had become disillusioned with the scene. It has helped re-focus me. I listen to the lyrics and they seem as relevant now, in fact the political messages just reinforce my beliefs and I see them from a different perspective- I understand them better through the mind of an adult” (Respondent A)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“For me the musical and lyrical content still resonate, it speaks to me in a very base emotional level and is the most powerful influence on my life of anything, books. film, art. It’s a sort of touchstone for living without having to think about it-it’s a personal politic informed by anarcho-punk.”(Respondent B)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“I lived and breathed that life for quite a long time and then branched out as I collected responsibilities. It informed me of numerous political and ideological positions that I have built on over time that I still embrace now in my career and personal life”. (Respondent C)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

nostalgia

“I miss the music, it’s the music for me….I enjoy the music and its fun (performing) it was always the best buzz, I can’t put a finger on it but it’s just an incredible feeling-its not like getting high or doing some form of stimulant of any kind, it’s just a buzz. (Respondent A)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

“Are you any good? That is my first criteria-it has to be relevant it’s no good doing this because you can, because frankly some people just shouldn’t.”…..“The music and the performance has to be convincing otherwise I am out the door”. (Respondent B)

“I am not big on nostalgia, and for quite a while I resisted seeing bands who had reformed just because if they are shit it will ruin my memories and opinions of them. It is nostalgia; though when people say that, it always seems a bit sad and desperate trying to recapture or recreate something from the past.

(Respondent B)


Life we make the value of music across the life courses of british anarch0 punks

Simply to reform a band and play the set you did 30 years previously for me is not good enough, there needs to be something else, there needs to be a freshness” (Respondent C)

I personally think it’s (the music and performance) about something else it’s about expressing how you live your life and the possibility for others to do the same, that’s what lit my flame early on…There needs to be an acknowledgement that things have moved on and there are other possibilities to explore” (Respondent C)


Conclusion e matt grimes@bcu ac uk twitter matt grimes web www mgrimes co uk

ConclusionE: [email protected]: matt_grimesWeb: www.mgrimes.co.uk

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