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.

Picture of Paco from Conflict facebook page
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.




8 comments:

Anonymous said...

R.i.p. Paco. He was a very talented drummer and was , by all accounts, a very decent chap. He will be very much missed by the Punk community, his former band mates and not least of all by his family I'm sure. Thanks for the great music Paco.

Mick H LIBERTY said...

Had a very sad weekend after hearing the news of Paco's passing on Friday. I'd known him on & off for over 30 years, 1st seeing Conflict down The Red Lion, later playing gigs with Conflict and recording with my band LIBERTY on Mortarhate Records. I moved away from London during the 90's but when LIBERTY reformed we played a few gigs with Inner Terrestrials and practiced at Paco's studio in Brixton. Last time I saw him was at a P.I.G gig down the Birds Nest at Deptford a few months back, he always had time for a hug & a chat, a lovely man who will be missed by all who knew him.

Transpontine said...

Hi Mick, good to hear from you. I saw Liberty a few times back in the day too, I used to hang out with Karma Sutra (Luton punk band)

Mick H LIBERTY said...

Hi, Karma Sutra were a good band, we were lucky enough to play with them a few times locally (Woolwich Poly & Old Tigers Head Lee and possibly The Crypt at St Pauls Deptford) my memory fails me. Did you her theres going to be a memorial gig for Paco, were playing it. I don't know when it is yet but it should be a cracker. Its always good to catch up with people from back in the day.Cheers.

Mungo. said...

A gentleman with sticks. Respect!

Gordon Thomson said...

Ha was a lovelyguy and an amazing drummer a sad loss

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe he's gone - top geezer. I can honestly say he never disappointed.

Anonymous said...

D.E.P. Paco will be our favorite druo
mmer of all time. Honor his legacy