Identity Crisis: a post punk band from Colerne comprising
two performance artists who initially produced improvised audio compositions utilising found instruments and later
reengineered the tracks using conventional equipment. Their work explored the themes of found art, audio art, anonymous
art, hidden art, mail / telephone art and their own term 'Art Fuck' (defined as: 'art is not art' (C) Identity
Crisis 1978 -2013).
Planned performances in concert halls were frowned upon as too mainstream. Instead impromptu and intimate live
sets were performed over the telephone network to people who had been dialled at random. This was in a pre internet
era. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. All phone calls were meticulously documented and the transcripts archived
for future reference. Identity Crisis stated that these transcripts, and not the performances, were 'the art'.
In one concession to the conventional band / audience set up Identity Crisis advertised a performance precisely
three hours before the event by erecting a single sign on the village green. The performance was attended by zero
people and the band announced it was 'all the more intense for it'. They performed a full 60 minute set with conventional
instruments; bass guitar, synthesiser, and pre-recorded metal on metal rhythm section. It featured refined versions
of songs that had previously been improvised.
Identity Crisis released two albums on cassette. These
were distributed at random through the postal system and by leaving them in selected locations to become 'found
art' in their own right.
They submitted one four track EP to John Peel who announced it had arrived 'too warped
to be played'. This was considered a major success as the band had successfully featured on commercial media without
compromising integrity or risking appealing to a conventional audience by having their music broadcast.
Bland In The Twilight
- Bland Amongst The Twilight
- Utilising Our Resources
- Don't Blame It On Me
- The Punk Rockers Are Out
- Darling I Love You
- Room Service
- Praying To The Stones
- You Say There's A Man
- White Christmas
- Since You've Been Gone (Rainbow cover recorded for a John Peel competition)
Other projects carried out under the Identity Crisis banner:
Misery Market a band. Or rather adverts to assess whether
a depressingly named band would attract attention from promoters. Identity Crisis were prepared to perform live
under this name even if not their own. Promoters showed interest but could not match the fees that Misery Market
Skitzoid a band based on the premise that band membership
must change on a near daily basis in order to avoid artistic stagnation. Ultimately the members of Identity Crisis
found themselves outside the band and therefore no longer able to influence direction. Despite the high turnover
of musicians the band managed to practise and develop but it was impossible to plan gigs as the musicians who would
be expected to perform would, by definition, not yet have joined the band. This made it difficult to sign a contract
on behalf of persons unknown. It is understood Skitzoid continued for some months after Identity Crisis left.
Scything The band was honoured to be commissioned to
scythe the undergrowth from the The
Dane's Tump where tradition buries a Danish King. This action was carried out in
ceremonial fashion with appropriate reverence and using vintage scythes.
The present day:
Identity Crisis never dissolved. In 2012 they digitised the Bland In The Twilight album stating that 'in a digital age the term Identity Crisis is more
relevant than at any point in history'.
In 2013 they announced that
'The future, as always, is minimalist. For us the future is in art not just music. We are striving to achieve the
ultimate dream of anonymous, minimalist art. Our fear is that to achieve this we must produce, in tangible form,