Tag Archives: Steve ignorant

My Favourite Gig – The Shend

This is the ninth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

This week it is the shend from the cravats

Last Supper
London 2011

The Cravats have existed since 1977 but playing live was not a favourite pastime of mine in the early days due to finding it near im-possible to sing and play bass at the same time. Since Svor Naan (Cravats sax behemoth) and I recruited new members and reformed for the Rebellion Punk Festival in 2009, I have loved doing the darned things and playing the final, ‘Last Supper’ Steve Ignorant Crass gig at Shepherds Bush O2 on 19th November 2011 was a particular highlight in the Cravats journey.

When we were asked to appear as special guests I was somewhat surprised. The Cravats, had never really slotted with ease into the Crass roster of bands. We were silly, jazzy, and peculiar but Penny Rimbaud had always been a huge supporter of the band and had, almost, single-handedly mauled our sound into what it had become.

Although well rehearsed, I think it was on the drive up to London from Brighton that the ‘fear’ set in. What if the sold out crowd decided we weren’t suitable entertainment for this final Last Supper show and hurled abuse from our opening chord to the final feed-back racket of ‘I Hate The Universe’? Or worse still, stayed in the bar.

After Andy T and Paranoid Visions had shown how it should be done, we walked out onto the lovely old theatre stage of the O2. It was ruddy packed to the gills and I could see from the smiles that it was unlikely we were going to be machine gunned by indignant punks that night. Never had I witnessed a reaction so glorious to our noise but it was a special night and there was a lot of ‘Crass love’ in the air. Folk were happy and felt a part of the unique channel that Crass had created all those years ago.

Our actual performance passed in a fuzzy, joyous cartoon blast that left us all shattered and chuffed. We went down a storm and still had the pleasure of seeing Penny and Eve do their stuff followed by Steve Ignorant and friends show why those Crass songs had meant so much, to so many, for so long. Top night.

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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 2016 – Day 2

 

imageRebellion 2016 – day 2

Dublins I am a car crash provide the starting point today. Atmospheric rhythmic noise rock and sharing a drummer with paranoid visions which gets my head moving along nicely at this lunchtime.

I had to cut them short to go and see slice of life who certainly aren’t atmospheric noise rock. They have piano, acoustic guitar, bass and Steve ignorants voice. This is punk rock to me. Steve was in Crass, is collaborating with paranoid visions but this is a challenge, for those playing and not listening i may add It has a vaudeville feel (be it s punk version) at times with words that asks questions. This is what the crass war was for. The last time I saw slice of life at rebellion it was at the end of a long day for Steve and the beer had probably for the better of him. The crowd were there out of respect as it was a new enough project. We are now here for the bands songs and Steve puts his heart and soul into this performance as he raps along at times. “This world is full of hate but a bit of love is alright”

Wonk unit have their breed of London diy fun punk which is getting bigger by the year. They blasted the large stage of the Tower Arena and had a great community feel from them. Watching Wonk Unit it just seems like they are your mates on stage and at any moment they could either be dancing alongside you or your could be playing alongside them on stage.

Wolf Bites boy had the new band stage staged packed. Three piece punk oi anthems. Temperature in the room was hot, pavilion wasn’t much better with Loaded 44 on stage. Their sound has a rockier rezillos feel to it, guitar solos and all.

One of the (many) things I love about rebellion festival is that the time of day doesn’t seem to matter. Empress ballroom was packed with anticipation for Reagan youth at 3.20 on a Friday afternoon. Let me say it again Reagan youth!!! Blistering set from the U.S. hardcore band. The songs weren’t really written for ballroom arenas but they still pack some power even if therms have only 25% of their original cohort (only guitarist Paul Bakija remains from the original line up)

Back to the literary stage for a bit of Pauline Murray talking about punk scene of the 70s. Fascinating stuff. Interesting take on the music business “every time I get involved in the music business something horrible happens” artists get treated really badly as it is all about profit motive. Bands are having to work harder for themselves which is difficult but that’s where it is.

Alex brindle was on next talking of punk rock today and his time in the flying medallions. It was an interesting juxtaposition comparing old with the current (can’t really call it new). The enthusiasm of Alex in marked contrast to Pauline’s cynicism. Johnny wah wah was the host but preparation seemed to be minimal

The not sensibles single I’m in love with Margaret thatcher will go down in the punk rock annals as on of the snottiness of a generation. Their rnb brand of punk saw the crowds flocking to the opera house. Vice squad were on in the outdoor setting of the Tower Street Arena at a similar time. Still sounding as good as ever these could well be the last rockers of rebellion as they blasted their tunes with the blackpool tower standing strong in the background.

imageSpeaking of the Tower, I managed to get my hans on a copy of Blackpool Rox 2, complete with cover of the Tower falling into the sea. Interviews with Simon Wells, Ted Diabase, Poly-Esters and Cock sparrer made for great bedtime reading.

The a heads bring it back into more basic punk rock mode. They first appeared on the Wessex 7″ on Bluurg records in 198, alongside Subhumans and it is to see them still screaming for change.

Attila the stockbroker has been demanding change since Joe strummer inspired him to pick up a ukulele 35 years ago. His audience treated him like punk royalty tonight. Technical problems meant it was back to the original rapping poet tonight, no music just one man and his angry words, and some pieces from his excellent Autobiagraphy.

This rebellion introducing stage is great. The x ray eyes were completely new to me. Not quite of the standard of youth man last night (that bar is very high) but this was a set full of energy in a garage pop punk kind of way. Another album I look forward to giving plenty of time to.

Penetration took on a different meaning for me after listening Pauline Murray earlier. They had some great songs on that first album and well worth hearing once more. Now that they are back playing they have a new record out with solid songs and a sound that carries through. Not the energy and excitement of x Ray eyes but still good to listen to.

I’d been told a few times to catch the dictators so it was for other people that I went to see them. Rightly labelled as the “corrective tissue between stooges, mc5 and the punk scene” dictators still have a lot of hair on show. More rock than punk but songs that resonate around the vast expanse of the empress ballroom.

Brix Smith spoke on the literary stage and told us how she changed her name from laura to brix after the clash track Guns of Brixton. Brix liked to speak so I’m sure that made it easier for the conversation with john Robb to flow. And flow it did. Brix read out a chapter from her book, her take on her arrival into manchester. It was some culture shock for the u.s reared woman. With a kitchen the size of her freezer at home in Chicago.

As I was comfy i stayed to hear johns in conversation with Peter Hook. There was a great moment when Peter hook came on stage and took a picture with Brix. The crowd were ignored for a few minutes as what seemed like two old friends catching up. There’s a book coming out on new order that Peter hook has written, all 700+ pages. Sounds like it could be a new order encyclopaedia. Peter tells us about joy division being formed as they were walking out of the pistols first gig in Manchester and how he still can’t play bass. It was the attitude of the pistols that changed these Manchester lads, “knowing that anyone can get up and stage and play a gig. You didn’t care what anyone thought, you just believed and went up there and did it ”

imageA quick run into the acoustic room then for Swill from the men they couldn’t hang. This is a perfect surroundings for swill. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a companion on stage this was country shining through but sing along and inclusive. I feel at home in this room, my reclusive self can smile as there’s a sing song going on

Seeing swill meant that I missed the start of paranoid visions but when I got to the pavilion it was on fire. Perfect surrounding and a great set from my home town boys. The visions are very much part of rebellion, like tv smith but a outburst of energy like a zit being forced off your face. They have a menacing almost haunting feel. The sound has opened out and the killing joke influence seems stronger than ever. Of course for any band that has been playing on and off for thirty years you can’t really take the lazy option and state their influences. They are the influencers now. Paranoid Visions want to challenge you, I’m reminded of the first time I saw them. I was terrified and completely captivated. The fear has now gone as I’ve gotten to know them but the captivation still holds true

imageAs my formative years in the 1980s were spent listening to punk rock, you could call it an education of sorts. The Newtown neurotics were a semester (we call them terms back home) the neurotics and Attila were going to travel to Dublin but then realised the ferry cost was too prohibitive. We nearly had them but had to make do with listening to the brilliant live album instead. Miscalculations on time meant I missed the q*a with Steve Drewetr earlier. A shame to miss it as his band were very important. Now I’ve seen him live a couple of times. I came to rebellion specifically to see the neurotics a few years back (after travelling to Harlow to see them too) so I’m completely biased. Steve is getting more acclimatised to acoustic gigs and has his daughter back up on stage with him but the damn treble is still turned up in the guitar. We sang along to Kick Out The Tories and wondered if the new empowered Labour Party will make the breakthrough they are promising to and what i can achieve.

While the neurotics had a whole semester I most definitely took a few classes on the men they couldn’t hang. They toured ireland and we went to see their folk punk rebel songs songs a few times. It seemed fresher at the time than many of the oi bands that I was listening to. Intelligent lyrics doesn’t just have to come from the spiky or skinhead punks, it’s all about the spirit and the men they couldn’t hangs set was definitely full of punk spirit without a spike to be seen anywhere. As I stood here beside Atilla the stockbroker watching him mouth every word as swill spoke about hanging around afterwards to talk to everyone I’m reminded why I’m indeed part of this community. We are all equals and we are mainly in it for the right reasons. Sentiment along these lines was stated when shirt of blue was dedicated to all those fighting for union or human rights throughout the world. The battle continues

niallhope

Before the men I listened to Dick Manitoba’s talk about the New York scene and his time with the dictators whose album was released a year before the ramones debut. Of course this being rebellion dick had to be asked about the bar he runs in New York, his own place. He has photos all over the walls of New York and uk punk. Sounds like aa aesthetically pleasing place. There was confusion over his next steps when Richie asked about an upcoming book. Turns out it’s a comic book!! Might be a book on the way of money can be got.

I was hanging on for dear life at this stage but was determined to see Naked Aggression. The men they couldn’t hang express their anger through folk music but naked aggression use it through all their power and force with electric guitars. In the smaller arena the songs still sound a s aggressive and relevant as ever. I wonder if Reagan youth had of played in a smaller room on a smaller stage would it have been different. Naked aggression songs Janet lost their anger. Full on assault, just what’ you need at the end of a long day. I2 hours after the first band of the day I didn’t have the stamina for dublins lee Harvey’s. Next time

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Hope Show 112 – the lowdown

Hope Show 112 the lowdown

1. The Specials – Racist Friend
2. The Men They Couldn’t Hang – The Ghosts of cable Street
3. Chumbawamba – The Day The Nazi Died
4. New Model Army – Better Than Them
5. Steve ignorant – If this is the way things are
6. Four Letter Word – Johnny Foriegner
7. Funeral Oration – This Punk Thing
8. Fifteen – Punk Song
9. Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come
10. Francis Black – Legal Illegal
11. Mike Park – Korea is so far away
12. The Hanson Brothers – Brad
13. Toxic Waste – Burn Your Flags
14. The Restarts – Jihad

Starting off tonights show with a few songs around racism and the feeling that somehow some people are more superior to another depending on where they are born. I was born on the North side of Dublin and grew up playing football. I still go to games and have friendly rivalry with people from other areas. There is no way that can and should be confused with any feeling of superiority. We are all here by virtue of birth and pure luck as to what land you land on

The Specials sang “If you have a racist friend, now is the time for that friendship to end” while the men they couldn’t hang sang about the time Fascists took the streets in the UK. There was a battle of Cable Street with people willing to stand up to those spreading hate.

Hate was trying to spread itself in the capital of Ireland today and hundreds of people were out to show that we wouldn’t blindly accept prejudice. At times it was a bit intimidating as Garda Special Riot squad drew their batons in an effort to prevent those standing up to hate mongerers from getting near those peddling racism. I thought of this song as it seemed like us, with our families, were going to be attacked and then thought of Chumbawamba’s the day the Nazi Died and wondered why those who look at history don’t see that hate is wrong.

“We’re taught that after the war
The Nazis vanished without a trace
But battalions of fascists
Still dream of a master race

The history books
They tell of their defeat in 45
They all come out of the woodwork
On the day the Nazi died

They say the prisoner of Spandau
Was a symbol of defeat
Whilst Hess remained imprisoned
Then the fascists they were beat

So the promise of an Aryan world
Would never materialize
So why did they all come out of the woodwork
On the day the Nazi died

The world is ridden by maggots
The maggots are getting fat
They’re making a tasty meal
Of all the bosses and bureaucrats

They’re taking over the board rooms
And they’re fat and full of pride
And they all came out of the woodwork
On the day the Nazi died

So if you meet with these historians
I’ll tell you what to say
Tell them that the Nazis
Never really went away

They’re out there burning houses down
And they’re peddling racist lies
And we’ll never rest again
Until every Nazi dies”

“Truth is only what we need it to be” Said Justin Sullivan when he was writing Better Than Them for New Model Army, at times we may feel that way but truth be know we are not. We all have doubt but we need to show humanity

“We are not like them” and “I know where I stand”. I stand with people who are trying their best, people looking to make the world better for all, people willing to work together regardless of colour or creed. Thankfully we outnumbered those who opposed us today.

Four Letter Word were from Wales and were singing abot “Johnny Foreigner at the turn of the Century, trying to highlight peoples ignorance.

I moved on to a set of songs with Punk in the title, just to make sure you are under no illusions where this shows heart is.

Funeral Oration were from the Netherlands, Fifteen were from the Bay Area in San Francisco who say the “only thing that matters if you’re in a band, can you successfully divert the next generation from accepting racism”. Exactly.

Refused were from Sweden, their “Shape Of Punk to come” album was hugley influential at the time. Their gig in Dublin on a Saturday afternoon was the shape of memories to come, for sure

I mentioned last week about the new Songs Of Solidarity and Resistance compilation which proclaims that “Written history is nothing more than the propaganda of the victors. If you want the real history you’ll have to go to the folksong” Ewan McColl has written his version of modern history and here Frances Black takes on his Legal illegal, “Don’t upset the oul’ apple cart”

Mike Park has upset many in his day. His Asian Man record label has highlighted many freat us hardcore and ska core bands. Indeed Mike was in and has toured the world many times. His acoustic warblings always make me smile.

Nomeansno were another seminal Canadian band and are held in huge regard in punk circles. I’ve seen them many times and have always been astounded at their sound. Their offshoot, Hanson Brothers, were the ramones playing ice hockey arenas. Brad is the hanson brothers covering nomeanso, Confused? You will be.

Toxic Waste were from Belfast, never interested in borders or hate. Burn your flags exactly.

Finishing off tonight with the Restarts and Jihad. Don’t forget evil is evil, bad things happen in many countries.

Peace

niallhope

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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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Slice Of Life – Love and a Lampost

Slice of Life
Love and a Lampost
Overground Records
slice of life

Steve Ignorant finally gets to sing, under the studio microscope. I’ve listened to him in various formats over the years, Crass and Schwarzennegar being the main two. Steve’s vocals have always been covered by the racous noise of Crass or the electric sound of Schwarzennegar. It is now stripped bare with acoustic accompaniment.

I have seen Slice of life live a couple of times and Steves anger and passion is to the fore (and sometimes an alcohol abetted voice and attitude), however there’s nothing to hide behind here. No Deko to counteract or PA’s guitar cutting in like when he did the album with Paranoid Visions.

And it is still spoken in many parts, prose poetry and art. There’s piano, acoustic guitar, upright bass and even a trumpet.

History has put many people up on pedestals, usually with an alternative version ready to knock them down again. Since the dawn of time many garden paths have been well worn with peoples footsteps being brought up them, and left. Abandoned. Thinking, “we were nearly there”, wondering “If only”. Music and culture changed the lives of many of those troubadors. We are the vegans, vegetarians and souls that were changed. Meat Is Murder, Coal Not Dole, Red Wedge or There is No Authority But Yourself are all clarion calls from the 70’s/80’s. It is a period in history that may be remembered for revolutionary statements on vinyl. Today our cassettes are on mp3, our fanzines digitised by blogs and some people on the edges are running ethical businesses.

Many of the venues that remain open are still driven by profit and alcohol, many of the promoters are using music as a means to pay their bills and few paths are being laid. We looked to bands like Crass and Fugazi to bring us on a different route which some of us took. Slice of Life have taken that musical route. The message is strong and the sound is pleasant. Ideally this band wouldn’t be looking to the mainstream venues and we would have an alternative built over the past 30 years. That doesn’t exist as we co-exist with those we rally against.

If only eh?

Time has moved on and it is good to hear Slice of Life bringing a sound forward. Long may that wheel move forward, open your mind and give this a chance punk.

niallhope

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Rebellion 2014 Day 4

Rebellion 2014 day 4

Steve Ignorant

It’s always good to talk and listen so Ian glasper told us his story around his punk books. Great to hear the tales behind the book and its reason for existence

joey shithead is with terry chimes and Patrik Fitzgerald so missed his interview but I got to see 16 guns blast out their punk rock. Not sure of their history but they had a good crowd in the arena

One of the few bands I have watched a full set by is epic problem. The light show nearly prevented it as flashing lights on a Sunday afternoon don’t do a lot for me. Epic problem are worth it. Leather face with a street punk sound. Frenetic tunes from the north east of England. It made me think of all those good new bands like bear trade, Stay clean jolene, dauntless elite and holiday who are missing from the festival

Maid of ace are 4 women blasting out a rocky punk sound and a full on sound it is too.

The literary sage saw Seggs and ruffy from the ruts talking about everything they do is a tribute to malcom and foxey. They had to make light if the tragedy that befell the band but it is a story that needs to be documented

Garry bushell has a lot to say but needed better questions

It’s amazing how the ageing process takes us. Every day we change ever so slightly. I ventured into the empress ballroom and had a double take when I saw snfu on stage. La hardcore legends with that tuneful speed sound, visions of young skateboarders come to my mind when I think of snfu it’s all grey beards and long hair now, exactly how I would look if i grew my locks but to see it on a big stage, kind of like wizard

I love my Hagar the womb records. Played them to death as a kid. Its great to see them on stage having a ball and sounding as good as ever

Rhoda Dakar was in the body snatchers and did some guest vocals with the specials. She was a punk in 77 but you wouldn’t know by listening to back to the stage. 12 bar blues riffs, thankfully I didn’t need to stay

Old form casuals are just that, new signing for the day on drums. Popular street punk from Boston, not England but USA. They must get prize for biggest crew in the side of the stage tooy6

Walking into captain hot knives I’m the pavilion was like staking across a secret party. A packed room for one man and his guitar playing quirky songs about safety or whatever (usually drug related) Like a comedic Patrik Fitzgerald

Joey shithead from doa was backed up with 2 fellow band members. Stripped down doa songs still had the melodies and suited the ambience

A quick run to the pavilion then for the defects from Belfast. Every yearn I do this thing in my mind to see who has the most popular t-shirt the defects are up there this time. Their songs are about life growing up in Belfast during a warzome which most of snob the west will never comprehend. Strong Belfast punk

Sandwiched between 2 Belfast bands was Steve ignorant. He had already done a set with paranoid visions but his slice of life stuff is far more interesting to me It’s a step away from crass and is just are with some guitar, double bass and keyboards. Still singing about relevant topics but taking it to a different dimension. I only wish he would play non mainstream venues all the time. That would make it so more relevant. Unfortunately it had been a long day for Steve and we didn’t catch him on one of his great nights. Great songs though

I’ve been really looking forward to Louise distras all weekend. A young tv smith with a great sound and songs that mean something. all acoustic bar some rants. Good enough for the first encore of the four days. New album out too

I didn’t catch doa electric as something had to give but caught some of original sex pistol glen Matlock with his philistines. It was said earlier this week that the pistols lost it as a band when glen Matlock left. He was the musician to sids comedian and he can sure play. Their set is a mx of original and covers with a rockabilly slant

Nofx played Dublin in 1990. We put them on twice and I always enjoyed their sets. I was unsure of their onstage antics and nothing has changed. Plenty of banter, lots of innuendo but the music is catchy and fast as hell

It is totally apt that the last band for me to see is ruts dc, mixing absolute classic ruts songs with their dub inspired sound. It is often said that we renewed our more recent memories best well thankfully this was a send off rebellion deserved. Poignant in the ruts dc remembering rebellion friend sharkey who passed away earlier this year. As I left the pavilion the empty spaces were the stalls were heaving over the past four days greeted me. It was a poignant moment, rebellion i will be back next year, if only our dear departed could be with us

niallhope

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Rebellion 2014 – Day 3

tv smith acoustic room at rebellion 2014

Jello at rebellion

Rebellion 2014 day 3

There’s just so much to get through at this festival even as I arrive today

For instance Hannah rickard and the relatives playing their doo wop rockabilly or Louise Distras discussing here career to date

The literary stage had a great lineup his afternoon. The clashes first drummer Tory crimes (better known I suppose for his real name as terry chimes) was to regale us with some stories and got stuck in traffic (maybe he drove up with Patrik Fitzgerald) . No matter where you turn in this beautiful old building the clash are never far away, be that in spirit or on posters!!! Before terry came was due on mark perry from atv and, more importantly sniffin glue fanzine, spoke to rhoda dakar about punk scene in early days and had a great style of chat.

It’s great to hear stories of fanzines and photocopied montages. Mark didn’t really want to write but e wanted to be involved. As bear trade still sing “Let’s get involved”

Terry was still in the “traffic jam” so jello Biafra gave us tales of occupy and some straight talk. I mosied off to see vice squad playing to a decent crowd at the empress. Always enjoyed these punk tunes with that slight metal edge.

Loaded 44 aren’t too disimilar, less metal but still rocky female fronted punk rock.

The argies are, as their name suggests, from Argentina. Spirited fast punks oi sound. Great tight powerful set

Hard skin are another rebellion institution where we stand back and get absurd and laugh and sing along. They are serious when speaking about being anti fascist but all else is a wonderful story of sing along punk rock I love hard skin and shout along to beat the band

The requiem of the acoustic room is next somewhere to sit and enjoy proceedings. But it doesn’t stay peaceful for long as goldblade bash cardboard boxes and acoustic guitars for their set. There is no barrier between band and audience as brother john invites us all up on stage. If things don’t work they can be improvised. We were host to a legion Of camera phones as lead singer john Robb led us around the winter gardens singing at the top of our voices. Pure punk rock

The cravats were in in the pavilion so I had a listen to their quirky full sound for a few songs. Tight and off the wall

Ruts dc are incredible. No need to say more, words don’t do them justice. I love them. The standing ovation of a completely packed out acoustic room is a sign of the respect the ruts dC peers have for them. As I said, incredible

Tv smith sums it all up during his set “the rich don’t have even 1%of the community we have here” the audience is eating out of his hand. A big night for the acoustic room
He plays for 90 minutes and finishes with guests coming on stage for three adverts songs. A privilege to be in their presence. The second standing ovation of the night too

Paranoid visions are another institution at rebellion. This is the best live set I’ve seen them play here. Songs Full of anger, they have released an album with Steve ignorant sharing vocal duties. It’s hard for the anger to still rise to the surface after all this time but the visions pull it off

And so I troop off to bed, knowing I leave sets by jaya the cat, killing joke, spizz energi and king kurt behind. It’s after midnight, I’ve been here 12 hours is that not enough?

Niall hope

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Hope Show 38 – the lowdown

Hope show 38 – the lowdown

1. The Descendents – Silly Girl
2. Black Flag – 6 Pack
3. Shitty Limits – Smarty Guys
4. BL’AST – Your Eyes
5. Schwartzeneggar – The Way Things Are
6. Annabel – You COuld Be Living Better
7. HDQ – IF Only
8. Mueran Humanos – Give A Party
9. Fawn Spots – Spanish Glass
10. No Age – I WOn’t Be Your Generator
11. No Age – Everybodys Down
12. Superchunk – FOH
13. Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
14. Membranes – In The Graveyard
15. Flatliners – Young Professionals
16. American Steel – Love and Logic
17. The Pukes – GLC
18. The UNdertones – Get Over You
19. The Middle Ones – Young Explorer

I love the Descendents . My friend Alan Sherry put me on to them when MIlo went to College. I Don’t Want to Grow Up has great tunes, Silly Girl is one of them

Speaking of Silly People this week saw that marketers dream, Arthurs Day. Thankfully this nation got it into its consciousness that we can speak out against things and Arthurs Day wasn’t quite the national holiday Guiness wanted it to be. I don’t have Too Drunk to Fuck on digital so Six Pack it has to be

I wanted to play Straight Edge by Minor Threat but again couldn’t find the digital version. Instead I played Shitty Limits . Ive been meaning to play these for weeks. Their ‘Beware the limits’ album is criminally ignored – not by me though

BL’AST’s new album is getting a bit of attention, Your EYES is testament to it.

I saw Steve Ignorant do a nice acoustic gig earlier this year and he played this Schwartzeneggar song. “If this is the Way Things Are, it’s the way it’s meant to be” or is it?

Annabel are from OHIO. Their Youth is Youth lp is out now and worth investigating.

HDQ are from Sunderland and have a new record out on Boss Tunegage – In the absence of that record I’ve played If Only from their John Peel session, it was on their Sinking lp also

No doubt you have come across Louder Than War website. It is also a sporadic label and 2 7″s that came out last year on it are Mueran Humanos and Fawn Spots. Good stuff to keep you bopping

No Age are coming to Dublin next week to try and get you to hear their new lp, an object . It’s a great album but then again so was Weirdo Rippers so I’ve played a track from each

Superchunk have a new album out. This kind of stuff gets me excited. I saw them in toronto in 1995 and have been following them with great interest ever since, hoping they will come to Dublin one day. One day eh?

The Membranes played Dublin in the 80’s. Twice. Well they visited twice but played 5 times. Their gigs were a shambolic collection of noise and excitment and great great fun. This is their newest song. it’s nearly as long as some of their sets were in the 80’s but they were such an important band. They really were.

I’ve been talking about the Flatliners over the last few shows. I’ve finally got the new album and haven’t been disappointed. Much more punk rock that Superchunk but just as exciting. it’s been a good week for me for music for sure.

Destroy the Future before it kills us is what American Steel advised. Love and Logic is all we need eh.

All the Pukes need are their Ukeleles, must be nearly 19 on this record.

I can’t believe I’m doing this show over a year and haven’t played The Undertones. The Undertones. Enough Said. Time to change that.

I have played The Middle Ones. They have been doing some interesting gis lately. Young Explorer is from their live tape released this year

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Rebellion 2013 day 2

Rebellion 2013 -day 2

As i said yesterday theres 8 venues in the one building here at rebellion. one of the venues is used as a literary / poet forum. the literary events are always fascinating. John robb documents our movement by asking people who were involved some searching questions. We the hear first hand events of life at the start of punk rock. today steve ignorant spoke of the Crass days, peter jones spoke of paranoid visions and the dublin scene and hazel o connor spoke of the movie breaking glass and her subsequent work. We also had Greg Cowan from the outcasts letting us know about belfast. Belfast is getting a resurgence if interest thankfully, due mainly to good vibrations the movie. Petesy burns was there to say it didn’t start and end with good vibes in belfast though. Many other good people were fling the punk flag in the north while all other flags were being burned.

image

This is an area where DIY is still blooming. A huge number of people are bringing out their own books and if I wasn’t subject to weight restrictions on baggage coming home I’d be laden down with titles, that and the fact you’d have to pay for them!!

I stayed at this venue for longer than expected as it was compelling listening to people’s stories. I ventured downstairs for a little while to see Splodgenesabounds. Splodge are a bit of a parody, still going strong though.

I also caught a bit of the bizarrely named Smokey bastard. They had a pogues twinge but rocked the pavilion and they were an introduction to me, a good one.

The skints added to the diversity of playing by being on stage with their reggae beat. Maybe it’s the punk in me but when a singer tells me to make some noise my reaction is to close my mouth. Skint wanted us to make noise and keep moving.
I moved out to listen to the poets.

Joolz Denby gripped us with some stories and Steve Potinger was the discovery of the day. Some great hard hitting poetry from the angry poet. Spot on sentiments and clever structures. “It’s what u do with your time here that matters”. Exactly Steve.

I have been looking forward to the flatliners. Seeing them on the bill was one if the highlights in my pre planning for the festival. After technical difficulties they got going with their acoustic set and then the smoke started. We were shouting in the crowd and pointing to the speaker on the vocal pa. band and sound engineer were oblivious to the smoke emanating. Eventually it was unplugged and this gave true meaning to unplugged. Unfortunately the room was too big and we couldn’t hear them

Steve ignorant and paranoid visions it was to be so. If new model army were a soundtrack to a few months of my teenage years, crass were the foundation. Don’t get me wrong i love the clash but the world of music for a young Dublin boy like me was completely opened up and blown apart by crass and subsequently flux of pink Indians. They were the starting point. So to see Steve on stage is a pretty big thing. To see him not doing those crass songs is even better as they were of their time. This time round he is doing paranoid visions songs, written by the visions for the purpose of this project. The Olympia venue is a huge warehouse, very hard to get a good sound in it. The chaotic noise of paranoid visions was a bit lost in it as it seemed at times the 9 of them were each battling to be heard. Looking forward to the new album coming out in November.

Also with 9 members on stage were the beatlessoms. A wider selxtion of instruments than the visions. These Germans ( mainly) were playing ukulele, banjo, accordion as well as the more conventional guitar bass drums. I walked in with the most bizarre version of motorheads ace of spades since that samba band who covered cass songs (what were they called again?, oh yeah, Bloco Vomit) Fun for sure. Another example of the diversity Of this magic festival

Subhumans played in the youth expression centre in Dublin in 1984. It was 4 nights spread over 2 weeks if memory serves me right. Other bands over the fortnight included shrapnel , from Wales, the Golden Horde and paranoid visions were also there and vicarious living (my band at the time) also played 1 night at least. I have a memory of cactus world news being on the bill but many have contradicted me. I do remember the feeling of excitement at those gigs. The venue was upstairs in a run down building in temple bar and it seemed like the stairs weren’t going to last the gig. The energy on stage from subhumans and all the bands (maybe not including vicarious living) was powerful. If only you could bottle that energy up, it would have fuelled many protests over the years. Well the subhumans still have that energy and could well be playing be same set. Brilliant

The flatliners have got a fair bit of airing on my radio show. And for good reason. Whenever I listen to them I wanna scream loud, top of my voice. But in celebration. Thankfully this set wasnt dogged with technical difficulties and burning speakers. Last time I saw a band this good in this room was 7 seconds, flatliners topped it tonight. Fantastic.

One of the problems of the festival is the cross billing. Inevitably with 8 stages there will be conflicts if interest. This was the case tonight on more than one occasion but noticeably for me when the flatliners were due on at the same time as Justin Sullivan. Thankfully the acoustic stage was running late as the new model army front man celebrated punk as an attitude and enthralled the 300 people hanging on his every word.

I don’t have the stamina of the punks and decided as we’re only half way through I would retire for the night. Because of that I missed out on the damned, buzzcocks, vibrators, defects, neck, the exploited and the addicts. Impressive list to know are playing as you sleep dreaming of punk rock!!!

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