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Rebellion 2015 – Day 3

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Rebellion 2015 Day 3

I said it was a marathon and whilst Wonk Unit may have just arived in Blackpool this is the start of my third day. It’s a great start for me though as I get to see a band I’ve been hearing and reading about for a couple of years and have been following their own Wonk Fest for the past couple of years. They have an new member in Jess who adds a keyboards and screams to the ska tinged hardcore sound or joke core if there is such a term

Louise Distras’s acoustic set last night was a highlight and she has beefed out her sound now with a band. My introduction to Louise was at rebellion and was always solo with her guitar. I delighted in the fact that an independent woman would get up on stage and rail against the world, rallying the troops. I wasn’t expecting such a powerful set on offer from the three piece. Almost as good as the acoustic. Almost, still damn good.

AMI are from Brighton and the collective age of the four piece may not be equal to Charlie Harper from the UK subs who was standing in the from row for most of their set. Good power slightly rock sound. Singer had a descendents t-shirt so the future is bright.

Goldblade early on a Saturday afternoon on the first day of the new football season. I could have made my excuses and watched the scores but how can you miss this? Complete with oyston out banner in support of the local football team gold blade are the underdogs band and they will scream at the top of their lungs for that underdog. We will rejoice with them.

Nic Austin on the Literary stage gave us a chance to sit down and take in the stories of his time in Chelsea and his spell with Generation X. Nic is still playing, not only in Chelsea but has a new record out too, church of eon

The Boys played some acoustic versions of their early pop rock sound. Pop punk means so much more than Green Day or other sped up tuneful bands. The original wave saw bands wih basic tunes and an atitude play some great songs. The Boys had these and it is great to hear them stripped down.

999 were a punk band from my youth but I wanted to hear what Barry Cain had to say about his book sulphate street, his time as record mirror journalist and then publisher of flexipop magazine.

A-Heads were part of the anarco wave that showed that not only was diy possible, it was imperative. Say and sing what you like.

MDC certainly said and sang what they wanted. Unfortunately after sitting and waiting 15 mins we were informed they hadn’t arrived. I was hoping for this to be my chance to she’s them as they are due on last tonight. It gave me a chance to listen to monkey from the addicts and his take on performance and punk and being happy to be part of a community. Hard to believe they have recorded and released over 200 songs, must make it hard to think up a set list, I had to leave when I heard they played Israel, hugely disappointing.

Peter and the test tube babies always seemed like a band with interesting tales and it was nice to hear some of them. The literary stage is a hugely imortant facet of rebellion. We get to hear first hand accounts of what was going on with all these bands. It’s great for someone like me who was living in a different country and buying the record but not really expecting to ever be in a position to see them live. It wasn’t Peter on stage but Del from the band had some stories to tell anyway.

Steve Drewett is one such person I wrote to and wondered if I’d ever get to see him live. I have now seen him or his band the newtown neurotics 6 imes and love it every time. I had never seen him on stage with his daughter rosa before as she accompanied him on 6 tracks. It’s such a privilege to be here listening to bands that played such a part in my formative years. It’s 30 years later and life keeps moving on. We realise that but at the same time it’s always good to take stock of where we come from. For many that is the community or area they grew up for me I grew up in the punk community and the neurotics were very much neighbours, along with Ruts DC and so many more this weekend.

Culture Shock I have seen nearly as much as the neurotics and they would have lived around the corner in that community, newcomers though :). Upbeat punk and dick is in great form tonight.

The literary stage was buzzing today, nina antonia spoke of her book about Johnny thunders and her musical upbringing listening to Marc bolan

It then became time for the big guns. Hugh Cornwall from the Stranglers, Peter Perrett from the Only Ones and Steve Lake from Zounds set us up for the Boomtown Rats. I was amazed at the size of the crowd for the rats. Full to capacity but was it in anticipation of the music or was there an ‘intrigue’ factor? The crowd weren’t jumping around or celebrating each song in dance and it was thinner by the end of the set but I had to leave anyway for the neurotics and the mob that’s more my punk rock anyway. The amount of Merch the boomtown rats brought in and out was phenomenal. Signed CDs and DVDs galore. I guess autographs are important to some punks. Me? I prefer memories.

Hard Skin are one of the few bands that get away with verbally abusing the audience. Like an Oi version of Captain Hotknives they don’t take themselves seriously but realise the world is a serious place. They play in the casbah which is outdoor and a realisation for me that so many punks still smoke. We have become so accustomed to smoke free zones entering one for a gig is a real step back in time, not a better time though. Hard skin don’t care, they only care if there are fascists in the building, no room for them in our scene. A belter of a set from everyone’s favourite obnoxious wannabe skinheads

The Mob were one of the best sets a couple of years ago and tonight compete again for it. Steve lake guested and tried to remove the menace but the casbah was rocking and this was another highlight.

Buzzcocks don’t need an introduction and the songs sound like they could have been written yesterday. Such good tunes but maybe it’d be better if Steve Diggle hadn’t turned out to be such a good guitarist. These songs are too easy for him to play so he admonishes them with solos.

Steve Ignorant’s album with Paranoid Visions showed how these stalwarts can still be relevant with their new songs. Tonight’s set was a mixture of that album and some older songs that Steve had written. They also won the prize for biggest self publicists or band that wear the most of their own band tshirt

I was asleep for MDC as it is hard to sustain 14 hour punk rock days, has no-one heard of the working time directive? I did have a wry smile when I saw the line up of stalls in the casbah venue. U.S. Hardcore band with strong links to the UK anarchist punk scene competing with all the madmen records, home of the mob competing with Steve ignorant from Crass competing with hard skin whose musical roots are in that anarcho punk scene. All separate stalls, no chance of one big one in the main area next year????

Dave Cain talks about his book Sulphate Strip

Dave Cain talks about his book Sulphate Strip

MDC no show for acoustic set

MDC no show for acoustic set

Steve Drewett and daughter Rosa

Steve Drewett and daughter Rosa

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TV Smith – Acoustic Sessions Volume 1

TV SMith Acoustic Session Vol 1
TV Smith

Acoustic Sessions Vol 1 cover

Acoustic Sessions Vol 1 cover

And so we have a new TV Smith record, well it slipped through the cracks last year and is new for me. Self released in true DIY Punk rock fashion. When history books are written about UK punk we hear many tales of that first wave of bands like the Clash, Sex Pistols and the Damned. The Adverts are quite often criminally ignored or maybe given some space as a footnote. Their first album, Crossing the red sea with the adverts, is one of the classic albums. It was released in 1978 and featured their hit single whcih was released the previous year, Gary Gilmores Eyes. That debut featured 11 songs all reflections of a Britain not quite burning yet but about to go up in flames.

Like many others they went a bit downhill dealing with the difficult second album. And so Cast of Thousands didn’t quite have the energy and exhuberance of their first offering and the adverts dwindled out. But TV Smith kept going, and kept going and is still travelling on the road to change. He then went to have TV Smiths Explorers and moved on to Cheap before deciding that the best way to travel on this road is as a solo artist. Along the way he picks up passengers and has worked with many artists. Every now and then he joins with Barcelonas Bored Teenagers and they play that first classic album. 36 years later and those songs are still fresh.

He is best known now for his solo gigs. One man and his acoustic guitar. They are celebrations of his life, please for people to take control of their own destiny and reflections on todays society. They are a joy to behold. It has been 3 years sonce his last new recorded solo output but it hasn’t stopped TV writing and including these songs in his set.

The acoustic sessions is TV and his guitar in a studio doing acoustic version of two dozen songs he has recorded over a 30 year period from 1977. From No Time To Be 21 which was on that Crossing the red sea album right through to Not In My Name which asks “Why do i have to show My ID?” before proclaiming “Never Again, Not in My Name”. Not IN My Name was on Misinforation Overload, released in 2006 on Boss Tuneage.

The title would suggest there may be an acoustic session volume 2 which I really hope is gonna happen. The sound neatly captures that live gig feel, the raw acoustic guitar as tv sings with feeling, these are raw stripped down version of punk classics which have certainly stood any time test and show how TV Smith should be a chapter in any punk rock story and the footnotes can be for those who disappeared after their five minutes of fame.

niallhope

T.V.Smith

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Louise Distras – Dreams from The Factory Floor

Dreams from the Factory Floor cover

Dreams from the Factory Floor cover

Louise Distras
Dreams From The Factory Floor
http://www.louisedistras.bigcartel.com/

louise_distras__large

“I don’t view myself as a protest singer, I view myself as a young woman passing on a message for the next generation.”

or so Louise proclaims but this is a record full of what seems like protest songs. But then on further inspection they really are stories or appeals.

It will be impossible to review this record without mentioning the message behind it. That’s what really adds to it. One woman and her guitar is how Louise normally plays it but there’s guests on the recordings here that serve to beef up the songs but at their most bare they are most powerful. The website states that these tracks are twelve clenched fists full of fury aimed squarely at consumer society, sexual discrimination, and the ‘chosen few’ who run society in their own interests. That sums it up remarkably well but within the clenched fists and the anger are well crafted songs that you will wish to return to. Sing along parts will haunt you for days. I’m finding myself cycling along singing parts of this album at all times. The kids are getting tired of me shouting to them “Open Your Eyes What can you see, closing your heart won’t set you free” or “Never let the hand you hold, hold you down”

I have been writing reviews in various formats since my first zine in 1984. Every now and then a record or an artist comes along that I want to believe in. Someone that wants to make this world a better place and is using music as ingredient in this change. Louise is one of these people. Please support her.

niallhope

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