Rebellion 2017 Youth Man

Youth Man

They were promoted, quite rightly, from new band stage last year. Youth Man are a Birmingham three-piece who play fast and furious rock with a mighty girl guitarist who trades vocals with a male vocalist who played bass and wore a Smiths t-shirt…how cool is that!

An absolute highlight of the festival for me. This is what punk rock is all about, unexpected, surprising, energetic and inspiring. They don’t fit neatly into any of the punk rock tribes, and personally that’s one of the reasons they are a favourite new band of mine. They are harder to categorise because they are original.

Their songs were full of tight tension and coruscating release, a bit reminiscent of moments of Sonic Youth but are genuinely genre-defying. Maybe that’s why they feeling like something new stirring in the punk universe…

One of the best bands at the festival.


Rebellion 2017 Matilda’s Scoundrels

Matilda’s Scoundrels

Celtic punk is alive and well and full of energy…..that makes me realise just long ago I first saw the Pogues opening for the Shillelagh Sisters in Camden’s Irish Centre.
I am old, and that’s OK… the t-shirt says: ‘I’m Old But I Got to See All The Good Bands’ well almost most of them.

Matilda’s Scoundrels are a six-piece including mandolin, banjo and accordion. I still think that Celtic Punk brings a great sense of colour and diversity to the punk scene. The singer had a gravelly maritime voice; think Slade’s Noddy Holder after spending a decade on a pirate ship.
The band played sea shanties for the Blackpool rockers and announced a new album coming out on September 8.

If you like the idea of a more grizzled The Men They Couldn’t Hang high on the high seas or shipwrecked off the coast of Newfoundland, the Scoundrels are the band for you.


Rebellion 2017 Brain’s All Gone

Brain’s All Gone

Sometimes you come across a band that stop you in your tracks and make you go: “how come I didn’t know about them before?’
That’s what I felt watching Brian’s All Gone a rockin’ female three piece. I think they are from Poland…but I could be wrong.

They had great changes in tempo and rhythm, and we’re certainly not indentikit punk. They could appeal to the rockers just as much. They reminded me of Babes in Toyland and L7, and how much those bands brought to the punk scene by injecting a dose of female energy.

Brain’s All Gone have a really solid musical foundation with a strong front-woman who was also a fine bass-player.

Their CDs were sold out, no surprise there, they’ll impress music fans anywhere.
They even took a bow towards the end of their set…..and it was well deserved.
Their lyric, You Seem to Love your Enemies, made me think.

Despite their name these are serious young women, confident and capable despite their singer saying ‘we don’t have anything to say’..that’s ok they let the music do the talking for them.


Rebellion 2017 Poly-esters


Another new band to me, a female 4 piece, who reminded me of the Runaways, and that is high praise indeed. They are a hard rocking group with the magic 1960s Motown/soul oooh ooh oohs.
The front woman has a gravelly voice and the classic skinhead style. These are Not just women who can play,these are women who can play really well.
Their songs had great changes of tempo, and they are more hard rock than punk rock, and that demonstrates why punk provided such a boost for rock and roll.
Great stuff.


Rebellion 2017 Kenneths


Kenneths were new to me but they had a great backdrop…their name in blocks, that also made for a great patch.
They are a young 3 piece, with a female drummer/co-vocalist and a singer with the classic low slung guitar. The bass player would have fit right in with early Corrosion of Conformity. So there’s lots to like there.

Their songs veered towards the Ramones-y heartbreak pop lyrics, one outstanding example is their song, I don’t want to go out with you, which might be my favourite Kenneths’ song. With lyrics and sentiments like All Cried Out they proved that introspective, even plaintiff lyrics, can be paired with a grinding sound to make a great impact. Viva the punk contrast.


Rebellion 2017 The punk and the seagull

I promise this really happened, although it sounds like I am making it up.

This was an actual conversation I overheard as I was walking by a punk hunched over a plastic bin eating his takeaway chips.

Punk: You’re a cheeky little fucker aren’t ya.
Seagull: *embarrassed but dignified silence*



Rebellion 2017 Andrew Czezowski and Susan Carrington

Talk with Andrew Czezowski and Susan Carrington


This was one of the most interesting and illuminating chats about entrepreneurship I have heard in a long time.

Two young people who loved music, style, culture and having fun opened a club, The Roxy, that four 100 days provided an outlet for the emerging London punk movement.

Both Andrew and Susan had fascinating stories to tell, about managing/nurturing/being around the Damned, Chelsea and Generation X.

The club itself sounded like a typical toilet venue that most people would avoid, yet in this case it hosted the likes of the Clash and the Heartbreakers and launched thousands, perhaps millions, of dreams.

I had a brief chat with both Andrew and Susan afterward and they were incredibly nice. They stressed the idea that you should follow your heart in your early career, do things you enjoy, work with people you find interesting, and always be open to opportunities.

They have recently published a couple of books about those 100 gigs, one is a collection of evocative photos and one provides details (and for me, inspiration) of the early DIY spirit that launched punk into the public consciousness.

It was also a good reminder of the Irish presence in that early punk movement…..the band Chelsea’s lead singer Gene October was originally one Gene O’Hara….and one of their early gigs was billed as ‘The O’Haras’.

Rebellion 2017 Barstool Preachers

Barstool Preachers

These raucous Londoners remind me a little bit in places of Yellowcard, one of the best of the Warped post-2000 acts.

They play an audience-pleasing blend of Pulverising anthemic punk rock. The So Cal punk sound repurposed for English singalongs.

I really like the ska bursts in their set with the organ giving the tunes that authentic ring.

A dynamic six-piece who seem to attract bigger crowds every time they play here…and with those ‘Hey hey hey’ choruses, what’s not to like?

Time to down tools and party.

Rebellion 2017 Soap Girls


Soap Girls

The most under-dressed act. Not surprisingly many of the older punters seemed to like that.

Some members of the audience felt compelled to walk up and slap them on the bottoms…the price you pay for art these days?

The type of act most people would rather see than listen to.

Enough said.

Rebellion 2017 The Pukes

The Pukes

The Pukes always make me smile. They are the perfect band for a good time.
And the acoustic stage can be a great venue to appreciate bands who can make a point, raise a laugh and even inspire a good old fashioned pub singalong.
They played ‘Johnny got himself a wife’ ‘Down by the Pier’ and had some funny banter about how we were missing Peter and the Test Tube Babies by watching them.
They joked how they had written a song for the new Test Tube Babies album but it was too good ‘so we stole it back’.
How cool would that be?

They are such a buoyant dose of fun, flowers, stripes, ukuleles, sublime harmonies, and punk rock.
A highlight was their cover of one of the best and most under-appreciated punk songs, I’v Got a Safety Pin Stuck in my Heart by Patrick Fitzgerald.