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Penny Rimbaud, the legendary co-founder of seminal anarchist outfit Crass, has just released his new album ‘Arthur Rimbaud In Verdun’.

In Penny’s alternative reality, the French poet (who died in 1891) witnesses the historic and tragic battle of Verdun in 1916. The concept explores the young vagabond’s perception of such drastic events.

Penny: Truth is, I landed him there because I was fascinated to know just how this greatest of French poets might cope against the enormities of war. I wondered what lessons would be learnt which could then be conveyed to a planet still so obsessed with conflict, grief and suffering.

Taking influence from the sounds of John Coltrane and the visuals of Jackson Pollock, Penny ventured into the unknown with his idol and namesake Arthur Rimbaud to create a gripping tale of death and romance.

Penny: We were lovers. We were friends, sublime in our kinship, but I have a strange feeling that neither of us survived the terror of Verdun. Together we wallowed in the mincemeat scrunch of gore and bone and torn flesh, not knowing which of us was what, and never mind the who that was so cruelly unified as one within the squelch. Yes, we were detritus, and in that, we found ourselves and each other. The void was complete, and another dawn broke above the carnage.

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Cover photo by Maryann Morris

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