New song from the Mekons

With one on the recent referendum vote by UK to depart from the EU the mekons have produced a new video.  It has an old sing along drinking style feel as they ponder the future of their homeland

 

My Favourite Gig – Scott McLauchlan, Brassneck Records

This is the tenth 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 Scott McLauchlan from the excellent Brassneck Records who have a full roster of great tuneful hardcore bands


All + China Drum
London 1994
My favourite gig? That’s not an easy one. Lots of gigs stick out as memorable for different reasons. I’ve been going to gigs since about 1990 and even though I’ve been to hundreds of gigs over the years, it’s some of the earlier ones that have stayed with me the most. On that basis, if I had to narrow it down, it was probably seeing ALL on their Breaking Things tour @ The London Powerhaus in 93 or 94 with support from China Drum. ALL (and the Descendents) were pretty much my favourite band in the world in the early to mid 90s and I made the trip down from the North to see them.
I grew up in a little Northern town where punk gigs simply didn’t happen. I only had a small number of friends who shared similar musical interests and getting into Manchester for gigs (the nearest city with any kind of notable punk activity that I was aware of at the time) was difficult. Getting to London was even harder. So this was a big deal for me even before I got there.
With memories affected by the passage of time and the beer consumed on the evening, some of my recollections are slightly blurred. I don’t remember all the songs that were played, I don’t recall any specific onstage banter or quite what happened in the latter stages of the night but I remember it as the first time I really felt part of a “scene” in any definite way. Aside from my few local friends, I just assumed there were only a handful of people in the UK who gave a damn about the bands I loved. But here there were hundreds of them all singing along and running into each other as ALL ripped into their opening song. I spoke to loads of peo-ple that night. All strangers who loved the music I loved. I stayed in touch with some of them for a while and often saw them when I went back to London over the following years. It all sounds bit cheesy now, but I was young(ish) and naive to how big the scene was in the UK at the time. As such, it was a defining moment for me and my love of punk outside of just listening to records in my bedroom.
Additional high points included having a pre-gig coffee with Stephen Egerton and talking to Karl about our shared love of cartoons and bands like The Chemical People and The Hard-Ons. Also the inclusion of some of my favourite Descendents songs in the set and meeting a young and slightly nervous Chad Price. This was the first time they’d played the UK with Chad on vocals and, apart from the songs on the (at the time) new LP I’d ever heard him sing before so I didn’t know how well he’d handle the songs Scott and Dave sung on record. Clearly, I needn’t have worried. Chad & the band took it all in their stride and blew me away. I saw ALL play London again in 2014 and, while that show was also great fun, the first time I saw them always sticks out as one of my fondest gig memories.
Scott McLauchlan – Brassneck Records – http://brassneckrecords.bigcartel.com/

Our punk commuity rocks

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/julie-tweddle

Two weeks ago as I was travelling to Blackpool for Rebellion festival I read the sad story of Lawrence Graham Leigh.  Lawrence is battling cancer and required stg£16,000 to go towards treatment.  I’ve never met Lawrence but feel like I know him well.  That’s because when I was involved in putting on bands in Dublin he was putting those same bands on in London.  He had a record label, Fluffy Bunny and by all accounts seemed to be one of the good guys.  Of course he was, he’s one of our good guys.

 

Well a quick fortnight later and the target has been reached.  stg£16,000 and counting raised, not just by the punks but certainly pushed by many who Lawrence helped through the years.  Of course he deserves every penny but it is great to see that his treatment can go ahead.

As for cancer…………………… We will just have to keep fighting eh?

 

 

 

Poison Idea Release new video

POISON IDEA RESURRECT AMERICAN LEATHER IMPRINT AND RELEASE NEW VIDEO
Hardcore punk legends Poison Idea have recently resurrected the American Leather Records. the band’s own DIY label that initially released the hardcore punk essential Feel The  Darkness, along with BlankBl ackoutVacant and a slew of singles throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s. 
The label presents the latest bulletin of classic punk shredding from the band, following their full length comeback record, 2015’s Confuse & Conquer for Southern Lord  One of the first records to see light of day on the imprint is a 5-song limited edition 12” EP of new material, which is available at the band’s official online merch store.
The band are also bringing out a new live LP, the limited edition Company Party, which comes out on Portland’s finest independent doughnut shop/record label, Voodoo Doughnut Recordings, and is pressed on hot pink wax. This jam-packed live set, recorded at the Star Theater on February 2nd, 2015, will satiate your cravings for high-energy Poison Idea antics, and comes with extensive and insightful liner notes from Jerry. A sweet treat for those who devoured the live sets included in the recent reissues of PI classics.
Poison Idea have also released this video for one of their brand new songs ‘Calling All Ghosts’ (shot and cut by Brett Roberts and Colin Jarrell, G+E- Jake Lyon)

 

 

 

KOHTI TUHOA – RUTIININ ORJA (SOUTHERN LORD)

KOHTI TUHOA

RUTIININ ORJA

SOUTHERN LORD

 

 

Southern Lord have released the blazing debut album Rutiinin Orja from incendiary Helsinki hardcore punk band Kohti Tuhoa.  There’s no time wasted on this record as it speeds past in under twenty minutes. Irresistible pogo beats and pit parts pile on top of each other with reckless abandon, and thick waves of drum rolls provide a dangerous velocity over which Discharge influenced guitars chug and wail.
Helena’s wide ranging vocals delivered in the band’s native language are unmistakeable and intimidating even to non-Finnish natives, layered up an intense degree and teetering between fearsome and fascinating. Recognisable traits of other bands, such as the Japanese masters of noise dbeat attack Framtid and Hispanic kings of the fast ‘n’ angry Los Crudos, find their way in to the Kohti Tuhoa sound, and fans of Oakland’s RAD and Chile/Austria’s Ruidosa Immundicia will have an instant infatuation with the sheer might of Rutiinin Orja. Punk bible Maximum Rocknroll are already shouting their name, and you are well advised to hear the furious sounds of Finnish hardcore punk at its current best – barbed, destructive and viciously catchy.
niallhope

The Fleas – Heartbreaker

 

The Fleas
Heartbreaker
5 Track EP
Grow Your Own Records

The Fleas spread out a sound reminiscent of the likes of the dual Hagar The Womb vocals of the 80’s. it’s snotty and brash. Musically it is 4:4 punk rock of various speeds that will have you humming along in no time.

There’s 5 songs on this Grow Your Own records debut EP from the band. Starting off with Heartbreaker – “I’m a heatrbreaker and I don’t give a shit” they repeat before introducing some sax with ‘Selling Out’ which wonders about hypocricy of bands lyrics and “selling out is not what it’s all about”. We then move on to Riot which tells the tail of ‘there’s gonna be a riot tonight’ not unlike gold blade but more telling it as it is rather than Goldblade’s proclamation. “Watts your problem” is a bit slower tempo but still that staright forward punk rock beat with cockney fuelled anger vocals. it all ends with the straight forward punk rock of Nothing you Can Do – less than 10 minutes later it’s done, lovely stuff

niallhope

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.

Rebellion 2016 – Day 4

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Rebellion 2016 – Day 4

There’s always a certain nostalgia to the last day. Like the last day of a Christmas holiday as you prepare to return to work or revert to a life you had escaped for the week. The stalls that had been a hive of activity for four days are, in some cases selling off their wares, packing up after another years business done. This day also coincides with blackpools annual air show. To me it’s just war planes making a racket but for many who are camped out for the day waiting it is a highlight – maybe it’s their rebellion. There’s a huge breeze on the prom today, wonder how that will affect plane flight tracks

Anyway if speed of music could power electricity the same way as wind does then revenge of the psychotronic man could generate enough power to run this festival. Possibly Manchester’s fastest band this threesome whizz through their each song before you can say psychotronic.

Captain Sensible from the damned always seemed like an interesting fella so I ambled along to the opera house to hear his irreverent talk. Most entertaining talk of the weekend. Captain leaves no holds barred as he gives his forthright opinion of people and the damned’s career to date. is manner means he can get away with saying things the rest of us would be lynched over. I then rushed to the new band stage to get a few songs from head sticks before heading back to see a piece of Omixlh from Greece Head sticks have a lovely blyth powere esque feel to them without a drummer saying 1-2-3-4 in a quaint Cornish accent before each song. Fast folk that veers toward punk with a harmonica

I know little about the punk scene in Greece but I was expecting a more d-beat sound. OMIXLH had more punk than crust feel at home in 1982 uk scene. Pretty good

Demob, from Gloucester, started in 1978 and yet still have a song about Charlie Harper being great. Their first two 7″s weren’t about punk rock legends but more about the situation with disaffected kids growing up in south west England and then finding a voice through punk rock. Sing along anthems

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Andy Higgins -rebellion

Andy Higgins is a man on a mission, his mission is to rid Blackpool Fc of its chairman Owen oyston before the club becomes a footnote in footballing history. Andy feels that Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortenson and more recently people like Brett Ormeroyd would be horrified at the way the club has gone downhill in recent years. It’s not like he wishes for the capitalist nightmare of the premiership but, like john Robb, Blackpool people are passionate about their home town. They feel the club should belong to the people and run not solely for profit regardless of what happens on the pitch. Andy will say Oyston out at any given opportunity and ran for election the the uk general election. He also plays in litterbug, runs a label and is doing a solo set today.

More clashes meant I had to miss goldblade, cress and Louise Distras but I wanted to hear Dave dictors story. Mdc have been on the go for many years and dave has just released a book on his experiences in it. Fast politically charged punk rock Johnny wah wah did a great job with this one as Dave spoke of the different scenes and dynamics in each one

After i had a quick chat with dave about the time Mdc played barnstormers in Dublin the nightingales took to the stagwe. Quirky sounds from this quartet. Certainly a band that continue to challenge the listener which is what punk does. No screams of ” n war, no kkk, no fascist USA ” which is what Mdc declared but this is a declaration of intent and rhythm, always rhythm with the nightingales, john Robb summed up rebellion perfectly when he said the festival is like one big John Peeel show, a huge divergence of music but a common ethos. Well the nightingales were peel favourites and belong here.

Ireland or more specifically Northern Ireland took over the empress ballroom for a little while as Belfast punks the defects and outcasts played. Punk rock bands that were very much on the edge and in a dangerous place when they started in 1979. That fear has since changed but both bands will never forget those days. the defects are the more political of the two and the title track of the new album 45 minutes is about bombs instigated by Tony Blair

For me the roughneck riot are a modern day men they couldn’t hang, maybe if the flatliners added some traditional instrument and covered the men. Banjo, mandolin, accordion and punk spirit shining through. Plenty of songs for you to scream along to. There was some power and passion on show. Class

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Hagar the womb – rebellion

There was a brief return to the anarcho punk scene of the 80s with anthrax (uk) and Hagar the womb. Both had those circle a’s on their records as I unfolded out every crease in their fold out sleeve to read what they had to say. Anthrax always seemed slightly more serious and little has changed. They use their songs as statements where as Hagar the womb are more stories with plenty of humour thrown in I must admit I find it confusing when bands who have so much to say with their lyrics say nothing between songs as Anthrax did. The stage is their soapbox and some slip off it.

With a collective age of 310 Hagar have plenty of between song banter. Karen does her best to be the host on stage as she opens cans for all the band which led to the inevitable spills and makes sure they are ok. Bassist Mitch joined the crowd and it was all good fun.

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Dag Nasty – Rebellion

I had to catch the adolescents. Another institution much like dag nasty. Two great u.s hardcore bands. The adolescents are from south California so it was fast skate core but dag nasty, well that’s a different story altogether. Melodic hardcore songs, the only problem is they were being played in a car park…in the rain!!!! It started raining which was good as there was less people around to smoke but then there was less absorption for the sound which at the start was awful. Like playing a record at home on low volume in case the people on the other side of the room hear you. What a shame. I moved down to stand in front of the pa, that helped a bit bar for the bass drum beating against my heart. I managed to find a spot with decent sound and got lost in the greatness. Where was I?

Ruts DC, as I mentioned, are royalty. The part they play in rebellion is of a people that were the establishment when people had faith in an establishment. People to be respected and listened to. Before it all went sour

I heard three other bands doing ruts covers this weekend. Bands that otherwise played originals. Tonight it is just their songs stripped down and sounding as good as ever. A few newer songs tonight but still it was a special moment when we all stood up at the end and gave an ovation of sheer respect and appreciation.

When the last day is complete I’m reminded of how much rebellion suits this “tatty seaside town”. Remnants of the 70s are rife. The amusement arcades will have their 2p falls and 10p bingo. It seems, almost frozen in time as they look back to the days when Britain used to holiday here and reminisce about then”good oil days”. Amongst this is glimpses of modernity trying to break through, some new buildings, some redecorate old landmarks but underneath it all a people proud of where they come from and not ready for anyone to tell them otherwise.

Up the punks

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

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