Rebellion 2017 – Day 1

Rebellion 2017 day 1

Simon and Carol captivate the acoustic room

And so we return. A little greyer, mostly a little bigger but no less enthusiastic. Blackpool 2017 for this first weekend of August is less kiss me quick and donkey rides and more punk rock nostalgia as the home of the 80s political conferences is taken over by the punks. 7 stages kicking off with bingo from max splodge of splodgenessanounds. Max regaled us all on top of the pops with two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please and now he is in the bar calling out numbers for bingo and that very same order over and over again.

Today’s festival began with a race against time. Four full days of live music ahead and my 10.35 plane looks like it won’t get there on time. I will mix Max’s bingo and Geoffrey Oicott. But I wait in hope that I can catch Epic Problem, the spoilers and the tuts.

One issue of having 7 stages is there are bound to be clashes. They usually work out as 4 songs from a band you want to check out is far better than never being in the same room as them but this three being on different stages at the same time was always going to prove problematic. It was a problem I didn’t need to give thought to as trains and planes conspired against me and time was the winner, or lack of it.

Bratakus were the first band I caught. Two piece abrasiveness from Scotland. Some racket for two people, excellent stuff. In evil hour were on in the empress and played to a large crowd. Strong solid rocking punk tunes

Simon Wells and Carol Hodge came over to Ireland last year to play our We Shall Overcome festival and delighted the crowd. They were back today in the acoustic room as simon played tracks from his new album, songs that are usually played with a fuller sound and lots of noise. It’s great to hear them stripped down bare and raw. Heartfelt music that is very special. Simon greeted nearly everyone personally from stage and we welcomed him and Carol from our seats. The set as mixed with some of Carols haunting yet soulful songs which added spice to the mix.

Carol played again later with Slice of Life.

Slice of Life. Rebellion 2017

There are a few people who can do no wrong with the vast majority of the rebellion crowd and Steve ignorant is one of these. Steve will be singing some songs with paranoid visions later in the festival, a selection of songs that influenced so many. For tonight he is living in the now and it’s a good place to be. Steve can’t avoid the fact that he was in one of the most influential punk bands. A band that could easily be described as one that maybe not led a generation but guided a community. It was an accident and he is humbled by it all he wasn’t trying to lead anyone he was just being one of us. And still is.

The pukes were a trimmed down version of their usual selves. 4 ukuleles and some washboard rhythms playing punk classics. They had a huge crowd in the acoustic room singing along and wondering when would they learn. There was something missing from the band on stage and when i did that head count I realised that Lorna was missing. Her infectious enthusiasm is a beacon on stage but the colourful tunes still brought a smile to us all

This was my first time to see Bar stool preachers despite them being perennial visitors. Sing along punk ska anthems that had the crowd singing along and me wondering what the words were so I could join in

Reletics were the only and I saw on the introducing stage. Powerful punky rocky sound. They proudly sang about being an anti fascist band which is worth proclaiming time and again.

MDC are one of those bands that just keep going but in reality it is just singer Dave Dictor. Dave, like many others here this weekend, pretty much acts the same as he did in the late 80’s early 90’s. There’s been hospital visits and scares along the way but he is still screaming, even at the acoustic show tonight. The acoustic shows leave singers with no place to hide and dave coped very well stripped down to a bass and an acoustic and those songs about Reagan and the crazy state of the world growing up in the 80s seems as relevant as ever, maybe more so.

Zillah minx from Rubella ballet is like the offspring of Toyah Wilcox with attitude and politics thrown in. Toyah flew a flag for women in a time when women were solely objectified in music. Rubella Ballet brought colour to an anarchist punk scene full of black with some red for good measure. Both played this evening in the seated arena. Rubella ballet competed with the Puke’s for most colourful band. Maybe an anarcho spizz energy complete with illuminious dancers. I never really listened to Toyah before and couldn’t tonight as there were no seats in the house spare for her performance.

I also never really listened to good riddance. Not sure why but alongside Strike Anywhere they are on my list of “must find out more”. That list is increasing al the time but after tonight’s energetic explosion of hardcore I can strike them off.

Roddy radiation had everyone skanking as if the specials never stopped. Ska and reggae in an original Style. While roddy was skanking tv smith was punking. Tim is in the same mould as Steve ignorant. A legend of a musician and still playing those adverts songs as if it was his first time. Only two words to describe this set. Tv smith. That first album is a classic. I defy you to say otherwise. Tv smith is the boss.

Leftover Crack are in Dublin on Saturday. This may not be a warm up for that show but if it was, then the gypsy rose will he on fire. Hard hitting political us hardcore punk band. They were on top form tonight.

sem futuro showed you don’t have to be North American to have that punky hardcore sound. These Brazilians sure did create a racket, can’t say if the words were politically motivated as my Spanish is pretty nonexistent

Penny wise and bad religion brought the tunes back in. It’s amazing to see Bad Religiin still filling out halls and better again to see over 2,500 people singing along. Flying end to the first day, despite my disappointing start of clashes and ultimately missed sets.

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

Rebellion 2014 Day 1

rebellion20141

Rebellion 2014 – Day 1

Living in ireland means there has to be an annual journey to Blackpool for rebellion. There are many ways to get there including a direct flight but finances directed me to fly to Manchester from Dublin and then get the train north west.

bitchin bajas
I Started the day listening to bitchin bajas, most definitely punk rock. I don’t think they will ever get to play rebellion but their take on Eastern instruments  belongs more in a punks mind than the Indian pop charts of which it will never reach. Drone music is a descriptor often used for repetitive sound and this is most definitely repetitive.  It’s not for the dance floor but can embrace you with a trance like sound. I never heard them before this self title release but wish this was the sound in Indian restaurants when sitting down to my authentic experience.

It flows for 76 minutes taking  you aurally on a dreamscape, I’m walking through manchesters bustling strets and am lost in the soundscape of bitchin bajas. I can think of few better ways of avoiding the crowds. It reminds me of a raw food diet. It is something I have no intention of participating in but the idea of it makes perfect sense.

Speaking of raw food, v revolution is not raw but it is 100% vegan like its relatives in Birmingham and London. Vegan junk food that’s not really junk but is processed. I love it here, veg burgers and hot dogs to beat the doom hardcore band. They sell zines and records too. What more do you want.

My soundtrack whilst in here was amistad. Had I had roughneck riot to hand they would have been given a blast as their next album is out on manchesters tns records.  Kept under by a generation of ghosts is amistads wordy album title. passionate hardcore is their sound, not quite up there with bear trade and dauntless elite but that’s a pretty hard standard to meet. I love the tunes and it helped my train journey too.

And so rebellion starts. Blackpools annual homage to punk rock  and all it’s glory. Earlier this year i put out a fanzine and asked 20 people one  question, what does punk rock mean to you?  The answers are as broad as the music on offer at rebellion. Punk rock covers such a diverse range of people and sounds. We have a common bond of a small number of bands from different eras and for many that is the clash, sham 69 or crass. Of course there’s tons more but crass politicised  punk in a way that joe strummer may have wished for but wasnt in a position to implement. They were fully independent with no reliance on a music business that had more than music in its heart. Penny and eve from Crass  opened up the largest venue in the winter gardens as part if this eclectic festival. The empress wasnt at its maximum 3000 people but there was a great crowd for 4 pm on a Thursday afternoon. For penny and eve this was not a chance to appease the crowd looking for their crass classics they grew up on but was a performance, a challenging one that would have been better suited to a smaller venue but the respect the crowd have for this band is immense. They could have done 45 Minutes of silence and we would have been happy.

After Yes Sir I will the manic explosion of noise continued as I raced around trying to soak as much of it in as I could.

4130s have no stylists as their invisible band member. Musically the style is more us than uk hardcore and they graced the new band stage with aplomb.

Billy liar was rocking the acoustic stage with singalong and all. Full of energy, slightly erratic and edgy which keeps you hanging on

Jona Lewie was an interesting addition this year. He made three different appearances. I got the end of his spoken word / interview where he spoke of Levi’s. this was a world away from the Yes Sir i will performance I had just witnessed. I the saw some of his acoustic set. In a word, awful. Not even quirky just bland.

Artur Kitchener. Blues based foot tapping acoustic.  Nothing objectionable.

Back to the empress so, where Infa riot had 1000 people singing along. I have the in for a riot album since its releases nearly 30 years ago and those basic three chord songs haven’t dated as well as I’d hoped. Still that 1000 seemed to enjoy themselves.

Goldblade had us singing along screaming we re gonna riot tonight. Great energy from brother john who hasn’t lost any of the enthusiasm that endeared him to me in 1997 when our paths first crossed. Great singalong songs with a stage show to boot these days!!’

Cyanide pills played garage speed fuelled songs. Tunes with an attitude. Damaged goods always seem to unearth gems and they’ve done so here. 35 mins on and off. Brilliant

I only got a glimpse of the duel due to scheduling but enough to see two tracks of rock and roll punk with a synth

Speaking of synths which are in short supply here i had a quick ging at autopsy boys, 4 men clad in white t-shirts playing horror hardcore that suddenly bounced into electro pop. Synth and hardcore, a new mix

I know this isn’t gonna be too accurate but sometimes you’ve got to say things as you see them. Street dogs remind me of 7 seconds but an oi version. It’s got something to do with the tuneful vocals and crowd interaction of lead singer mike McColgan. Where infa riot seemed to leave their songs on stage despite the best efforts of the band street dogs sound fills the empress. Street punk, heartfelt and meaningful.

Rory McLeod finished off the acoustic stage with a bit of calypso beat to his acoustic along with harmonica. Upbeat way to finish off

I just didn’t have the stamina for more so have to apologise to selector, the dickies, demented are go and tragedy. I missed you, but it’s gonna be a long 4 days