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Rebellion 2016 – Day 3

The ruts take the opera house by storm

Rebellion 2016 – day 3

Nothing like a bit or raucous punk folk to start the day. I didn’t make it to black pitts but will catch them in Dublin soon I hope. Matilda’s Scoundrel were on the introducing stage and judging by the receptive crowd they weren’t being introduced to many. Accordion, mandolin, tin whistle with guitar, bass and drums drumming up some sing along punk anthems

Dunstan bruce has a very interesting story to tell and he is not only doing that on the literary stage he is in thee process of making a movie about it. The first phase of his Kickstarter campaign was successful but more funding is now required to get into the edit stage. Chumbabwamba played a folk set at rebellion just before their hiatus and Dunstan wasn’t around then but he is now back with his new band interrobang. Before their live set though he had a story to tell. Unfortunately johnny wah wah was asking the questions so there was little insight, it kind of feels like the questions are made up on the spot. Maybe the intention is to come across like two friends having a conversation over a drink and we did get to hear that chumbabwamba wanted to be a northern version of Crass whilst listening to the fall and the mekons.

imageDunstan started interrobang as he still feels the need to be part of something that wants to change the world, be part of a movement. Their sound does hark back to that post punk era Complete with loud hauler found at your nearest protest march. We get a brief break during the set when all three start screaming “I’m mad as hell. I’m not gonna take it anymore”. Dunstan even travels through the audience while we politely applaud. Great to see the evolving sound and message of wanting to change the world still being strong 30 years after I got a reply from my first letter to hin

Shot! were on the introducing stage. Rocky punk sound. Again the new band stage is shining, no inhibitions as bands give it everything in this small room. Rooms like this is where the bands playing on the larger stages in the venue all started out. This kind of energy too

One of the bands I was most looking forward to see as part of this festival was the spoilers. They are on new band stage clashing with Carol Hodge, channel 3 and hifi spitfires. But it doesn’t matter. They are nearly worth the admission price alone (it’s a lot of money just for one band). spoilers storm this rebellion introducing stage. They pop us in and punk us out. Catchy tunes that demand you join their gang. Bizarrely enough it was the worst sound that I’ve seen in that venue but still you could reach out and touch the power

Dick Lucas has now added artist to his repertoire as he has an exhibition in the punk art and even had some sold stickers on his paintings. The time culture Shock don’t play rebellion will find the festival with a huge hole to fill. Regular entertainers with their ska tinged punk filling the outdoor tower arena

I keep hearing and reading that there is a rebellion family and it is a great opportunity for people to catch up. I’m usually pretty introverted and love saying hello to people but after that start to struggle a bit. I’ve decided to try and work on this so go up and say hi to a few I see annually but had some connection with since playing in my first band in 1984. Socialising I think you call it :). It was great to catch up with people but meant I missed out on Jfa and the wall. I did get to hear the angelic upstarts as i stood on the road chatting and searching for wifi so I could see how the dubs were progressing in their football match. There was a huge turnout for the upstarts, a larger entrance had to be opened. I first saw the band in Blackpool in 1984 and they played many songs from that night, and played them just as well.

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So the next dilemma of stage time clashes!! Hard skin won out to louise distras, flat back four and the Newtown neurotics. I had to hear the between song banter of the second biggest anti fascist band playing here. I even got to hear some new skinhead anthems that hard skin have written, oh wait hang on – they weren’t new they were just written this decade. I think the north pier theatre in Blackpool are looking to book hard skin for a residency. Comic genius but an undercurrent of reality, the mark Thomas of oi..

Got three neurotic songs which was a real bonus, could have done without the effects on the vocals though

The weird and wonderful world of Spizz / Spizz energi / Spizz athletico 80 waqs next – definitely Spizz energi now and it gave me. chance to sit down, restore some energy and not worry about beer being thrown for a while. I don’t know what it is about gigs that makes people think they can just throw a glass with liquid in it up in the air. One sped past my head at hard skin and the goon that threw it just smiled and said sorry. Lucky for me I’m old and not bothered these days otherwise I probably wouldn’t have seen anything other than a red mist for the rest of the night )and maybe even a+e after an inevitable defeat. Spizz took the stage in full make up, bleached blond hair and lights on his fingers and eyes. I wonder if he looks like that on his bus pass ticket? now that would be a statement. New wave music that only moved enough to make me leave so I could catch some cockney rejects before the last acoustic set of the day.

I stumbled across the end of the hobo jones acoustic set and what a sight. 350 punks singing along to sheena is a punk rocker with the lyrics changed for a little girl who requested last year they play a ramones song. It was the cutest request they ever received so they agreed to learn another one for this year. Of course they forgot until today and then charged it for Sydney. We all sang and clapped. Sydney danced and it was one of those magic rebellion momentsl, of which there are many

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Henry Cluney, acoustic set rebellion

Henry Cluney was the original guitarist in Stiff Little Fingers, a hugely influential band. Slf are playing tomorrow night and their influence can be heard right throughout the weekend. Henry is no longer playing with the band, plying his own wares in xSLF. His acoustic set is a joy to behold as he packs the room to the rafters. Again the respect is just oozing in the room. Henry is part of a huge Irish contingent over for the festival. Not just consumers of what’s on offer, like me, but many artists here this weekend. A long list. Those Slf songs sound as good acoustically and rebellion is a perfect avenue for this but is not its about what was happening in 1976, 79,82 or whatever wave was going on. Yep some bands are still playing this songs the same way but with the songs stripped down to the bare guitar and vocals cluney has the acoustic room in his hands, hundreds singing along dreaming of that other world we all thought was possible

Ruts are another that have evolved. Death has seen to that. But wow have they evolved. We are the flock and the ruts are our pastors. Each year they play an amazing set and throw in a new song or two, The Dub element in their sound is lessening bu us still prevalent. The newer songs hark back to their original day, If Rebellion is one big happy family then the rus are the relatives everyone opes will visit.

My last band for the day are Paranoid Visions playing with Steve Ignorant. WIth Steve on board the visioins play a more straight forward punk set. It’s a packed stage, chaotic and powerful, they even sneak in a cover of a crass song at the end. Do they owe us a living? Well do they? Top class

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Rebellion 2014 – Day 2

Rebellion 2014 day 2

I eased into the second day listening to Peter from paranoid visions talking about punk in Dublin in the 80s and their link with Steve Ignorant

I had a quick listen to the city saints and their brand of Swedish street punk. Nice to hear them singing about people on the streets and the skins in the arena were having a good time

“Punk rock came along and gave me a sense of freedom, of where I belong” sang caf in the acoustic room. Straight from the curragh to the winter gardens

Steve pottinger is the people poet, he writes from the heart and has a way with words, unlike me!! He writes about rebellion and Blackpool and Wilko Johnson like he’s just hooting the breeze with ya. Check him out

The theme for my next fanzine will be around womens participation in punk rock but rebellion has a good representation (but still minority for the majority species) Meg and nog are a female duo in the acoustic room. They are deserving of your attention for that reason alone. Nina and Phil from healthy junkies were up next playing some nice acoustic version of what I think are their songs

The crows are a five piece with dual female vocals complemented by three acoustic guitars with a folky sound. Pretty cool set

Off for some more poetry then. It’s such a great feature of this indoor festival. Venues pop up around each corner and in the corner of the art exhibition Kath reade was sharing her words with us

Alex ogg and russ bestley spoke eloquently on Alex’s new book on dead Kennedys the early years. Alex wants to document one of the most important records ever made, fresh fruit for totting vegetables, and russ made it look great. They collaborated previously on the art of punk and the end product is fantastic. I love the literature room as we get to hear so much about our punk history. I wish these were taped and available online. It’s great to hear people’s stories. There was so many questions I wanted johnny wah wah to ask but he may be having a long day

Guida are Italian skins, oi sounding with a more rocking feel. Good singalong sound

The notsensibles have all that energy and their quirky punk pop sound gets the crowd moving. Bizarrely at5 on a Friday afternoon there’s hundreds of people engaging with the band

I walked in as department s were finishing is vic there! Remember that one?? Still a great sound

Pauline Murray is from that era too. Well know for being the lead singer of penetration but less known for her own releases. It is heartening to see her sill playing. She ran into technical difficulties which only aided her shynes and the packed acoustic room couldn’t assist her in any way

Tv smith certainly isn’t shy. Full of energy, I honestly don’t know how he does it. Backed up by the bored teenagers he bangs out the adverts hits and then some. Full of power and always a highlight on the festival

Dickie Hammond arrived into the venue about 8 hours before going on stage. I saw him come in. He picked a seat in the acoustic room and pretty
much sat there all day. Drinking. The man has pedigree, being guitarist orf leather face and HDQ but its a shame to see him like this. A real shame

The fits are hometown heroes. My guess is many cities have such bands. Played back in the day, recorded a few songs but never really got out of the city Maybe Blackpools defects. Only thing is the singer is the sole remaining member. A lot of bands at rebellion remind me of football teams. They exist with different lineups every season. The fits are no different. Good tunes though.

The dictators paraded their new bass player to the audience. I could go through most bands here and the punk family tree would shine. Anyway I didn’t want to be introduced to the members of dictators from the stage. You are people we are people, that’s punk. Anyway they kind of rocked out but not my punk

Culture shock have amazing songs there’s a reason why they are favourites here and that’s the songs. Ska punk at its best and dik, like Charlie harper just doesn’t age. He looks as he did when subhumans played Dublin in 1984. Amazing

So Blackpool is home to George formby gigs and the pukes have taken his spirit and given it the punk rock treatment. Punk rock ukelele musi, playing all your favourite clash, ramones and dead Kennedys songs and ukeing them up. It looks like an anarchic mess on stage which adds to the atmosphere as 14 people mostly armed with ukelele bring us these classics. Great stuff, get their new album too drunk to pluck, if you can.

Last acoustic troubadour of the night is Patrick Fitzgerald but he didn’t make it. Ah well Attila the stockbroker continues his set to keep us going. Ukelele but not the pukes, poetry but not Steve pottinger. Who else could write the line “you wrote the soundtrack to my life commandante joe” he was hoping to talk to strummer as two 80 year olds someday but joe left us early. We still have his songs and memory and Attila remembered it tonight

I have many fond memories of the men they couldn’t hang gigs in ireland. They seemed to constantly visit at a time that I could travel to gigs. Kieran would drive to drogheda or wherever and we would sing along to political guitar based folk songs. We believed fascists were evil and the miners were righteous. Not a lot has changed in our beliefs but how the world has in the intervening 30 years. Great to see a big crowd happy to see them tonight. I only got 30 minutes though as I had some sightseeing to do

I have been visiting Blackpool since coming over on family holidays as a kid. I have been to pleasure beach, Bloomfield park, all the piers but had never gone up the tower. Until tonight. The membranes decided to play a gig on top of Blackpool tower and despite the allure of Reagan Youth in the empress ballroom I couldn’t turn it down. I have been to gigs on some strange places but none like this. Black pools major tourist attraction. The tower itself is a huge complex with many venues but the membranes went straight to the top. All 150 metres up there. A 2 inch glass floor allows you to see the while way down, not one for those concerned about heights. What a setting though. I arrive as evil blizzard are on stage. Masked and dangerous. The 3 bass players, drummer and occasional synth make some racket. Part public image limited but so much more intense. A small room overlooking the whole of Blackpool suited their sound.

And then the membranes came on, with guitarist Nick Brown, who was in the creation days of the band. It’s an assault on your ears, an aural landscape as I perused, from on high, the attractions I had been to previously. Blackpool is john robbs home town, here he was playing on top of the tower that haunts its landscape. As a teenage punk he would have seen it in the distance each day as he grew up in a place he needed to leave but a place always close to his heart. The small room was enveloped in noise this was death to trad rock at its finest 30 years after they tried to kill it off

What a journey

Niallhope

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