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Yes Sir, The Truth Of Revolution


Penny Rimbaud presents a reworking of Crass's album, Yes, Sir, I Will (1982), titled Yes Sir, The Truth Of Revolution. Crass' album, Yes, Sir, I Will, was possibly the most angry and hard hitting attack on the political/military/industrial complex ever consigned to vinyl. Written by Penny Rimbaud in 1982 at the height of the Falklands conflict, it seethes with righteous indignation over what he saw as a pointless but vicious exercise in vote catching by a government whose popularity was severely on the wane. So powerful was this critique that it led to threats of prosecution by that very same government, threats which were typically used by Crass to further their attacks on it and its tyrannical leader, Margaret Thatcher. Over thirty years later, in 2014, Rimbaud was asked to participate in the Rebellion Festival, a yearly punk gathering held in Blackpool, UK. Rimbaud and the festival organizers agreed that as an appropriate response they should open the event with a performance of Yes, Sir, I Will. Rimbaud began to question the relevance of some of the content of Yes, Sir. It seemed to him that much of it was pertinent only to the time in which it was written, a time when a genuine social uprising had appeared to be a very real possibility. But times change and there was, he felt, an element of aggression within the work which veiled its essential message of love and peace. With this in mind, and inspired by John Lennon's "All You Need is Love," he set about rewriting Yes, Sir from what he describes as a more Taoist viewpoint. He was largely able to satisfy his wish to change Yes, Sir into an expression of compassion, that being the hugely demanding realm of love in its unconditional form. For the Rebellion performance of the now retitled Yes, Sir, the Truth of Revolution, Rimbaud was joined by Crass' lead vocalist Eve Libertine plus a group of leading musicians from the London jazz scene. Named L'Académie Des Vanités, the band consisted of: Eve Libertine - vocals; Penny Rimbaud - vocals; Louise Elliott - sax; Kate Shortt - cello; Jennifer Maidman - guitar; Phil Robson - guitar; Thad Kelly - bass; Gene Calderazzo - drums. Equally, through its progressive and colorful imagery, the vibrant packaging designed by Gee Vaucher shows a refusal to harp back to the illusory golden past of punk dreams and conceits.