Tag Archives: The men they couldn’t hang

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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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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Hope Show 37 – The lowdown

Hope SHow 37 the Lowdown
Pre-All Ireland Football final nerves

1. Brier – Fields of Athenry
2. Luke Kelly – Dublin IN The Rare Oul Times
3. Jinx Lennon – Big Protest Day
4. The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Ghosts of Cable Street
5. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
6. Minor Threat – Salad Days
7. Great Western Squares – Ace Of Spades
8. Chumbawamba – Bankrobber
9. Tommy McCook – Heatwave
10. Operation Ivy – Take Warning
11. Snuff – Do Nothing
12. The Damned – Neat Neat Neat
13. Damien Dempsey – Patience

It’s the night before the all-ireland football final, i have to mention it. Football plays a huge part in my life. On New years Day this year my dad, my 2 sons and I went to see Dublin play in their annual blue stars game. We have been at every one since and tomorrow is the last of the season.

I’m so emotional I could play Aslan. There has been some grerat times along the way but none of them avoided the reality that the system stinks. It didn’t take away the hurt of what is happening but it helped bring a smile to our face.

Jinx Lennon has some great protest songs, he has been kicking against the pricks for a number of years now.

I played the roughneck riot 2 weeks ago and said they remind me of the men they couldn’t hang. Well I’ve finally got one of their songs in digitla format. Punk it up and you’ve got the roughneck riot (well not really but they are two great intellignet bands). Wonder if they would get caught up with a football game??

I wouldn’t say the Beastie Boys would, but I’m happy damnit. Sabotage makes me even happier. So do Minor Threat, indulge me will you.

Great Western Square is a lovely place in Phibsoboro’ Dublin, maybe that place will be hopping tomorrow night. For now I will play a song from the band of the same name. Their cover of Motorheads Minor Threat

I can’t play Joe Strummer or the Clash every show so I’ve gone a step away, a small one in Chumbawambas cover of the classic bankrobber.

I was at a game earlier today and man it was warm. End of September and all anyone wanted to do was get water into them when the game brokedown. Will it be that warm in Croke Park?

Take Warning say Operation Ivey, but who shall heed that?

Do Nothing say Snuff, but who and why

The Damned are Neat Neat Neat but is there a reason

And finally Damo, he’s Northsides favourite son. It was either him or Aslan!!!!!!

Up the Dubs

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