|Picture of Paco from Conflict facebook page|
Monday, February 23, 2015
Music Monday: RIP Paco (Conflict and Inner Terrestials drummer)
Punk drummer Francisco 'Paco' Carreno died last week, at the age of 49. Paco was a key figure in the 1980s anarcho-punk scene as drummer with Conflict, and later in the New Cross music scene.
Conflict hailed from Eltham, specifically the Coldharbour Estate. Paco started drumming at the age of 12 with a band called Strontium Dog, and was still only 15 when he joined Conflict in 1981, playing his first gig with them at the Red Lion in Gravesend and shortly after going into Crass's Southern Studios to record the band's first 'House that Man Built' EP (see 'The Day the Country Died' by Ian Glasper).
I saw Conflict many times at their mid-1980s peak, including gigs at the Ambulance Station (Old Kent Road), Thames Poly in Woolwich and the Clarendon Ballroom in Hammersmith. After Crass split up they were the biggest band in the anarcho-punk scene - not many other bands were able to translate the sense of urgency/righteous anger in that scene into a convincingly urgent/angry sound. A key part of that was Paco's skilled and powerful drumming. Of course much of this righteous anger was in the service of animal liberation and hunt sabbing, even though Paco himself wasn't vegetarian!
In the 1990s, Paco was very involved with the Goldsmiths Tavern in New Cross (now the New Cross House) in its wild GMT Lager Daleks phase. He helped put on numerous gigs there, and Inner Terrestials (who Paco joined as drummer in 1996), recorded their 'Escape from New Cross' album in the pub.
Colin Jerwood from Conflict is planning to put on a memorial/benefit gig for Paco's family. Get in touch with him via Conflict on facebook.