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.

Another Epic Record

Epic Problem

’11-’14

Boss Tuneage

EPICPROBLEM_pshot

http://bosstuneage.bigcartel.com/product/epic-problem-11-14-digipack-cd

 

I have raved about Epic Problem many times in the past and hope to be able to do in the future. They mark this 2015 with a compilation of releases from the previous 4 years. 17 songs from varioius ep’s since 2011

All tracks have that gruff vocal over fast guitar riff. All belters, coming at you fast paced and joyful. Right from the off we have the blistering guitar of Petrol Blue with Jake McCullogh proclaiming that “it’s a long way down” but then Blindside would have to move even those busking statues on many busy town streets. If they didn’t move during Blindside then Lines would have them jumping up and “whoaaaaaaaa-ing” as musch as any 7 seconds fan.

How can you say this is a classic in a way that doesn’t feature those words. Short, sharp, snappy anthems that are top top class.

niallhope

Blackpool Rox II – Issue 10

Blackpool Rox II

Issue 10

The original Blackpool Rox was a mix of the bizarre, wild and infectious. Each page was lieterally crammed with in formation and art, you would need to viedw the page in all directions just to take it all in.  Like a good painting you could find something new every time you read it.  Of course though it was all about pushing new music of the day, of the era.  Death to Trad Rock was its rallying cry.

It died off after a few years and Blackpool Rox II sprang from its grave.  Andy Higgins of Just Say No To Government Music fame took over the mantle and he has pushed the Seaside Town and all it has to offer ever since.  It’s not just about Blackpool and the bands that avoid eating the rock that the area is so famous for.  Andy interviews some of the best UK bands at the moment.  Epic Problem, Stay Clean Jolene are in here.  There’s bits on local people doing things on a national scale- Journalist Steve Rowland, Video editor John Bentham and publisher Pete Walsh.  Of course Blackpool is home to Rebellion Festival so Johnny Wah Wah who curates the new band stage and Jenni Russell Smith who along with her husband Darren are the brains behind the festival.  Original Rox editor, John Robb, has a piece and then there’s the bit abou Andy running for election in the UK on an Oyston Out ticket (Owen Oyston being Blackpool Football Club’s Chair – who has overseen the clubs recent rise and fall on a shoestring budget but still a very profitable experience, for him).

Great Read

andy@jsntgm.com

Blackpool Rox Towers, c/o 16 Windmill Close, Blackpool, FY3 OEB, UK

niallhope

Epic Problem – Lines EP

Epic Problem
Lines EP

epic problem lines ep

So how do you like your music? It’s a pretty hard question to answer isn’t it? Me, I like it all ways. Depends on the mood I suppose. I can take redneck manifesto or god is an astronaut and their post rock instrumental offerings. I can take flies on you and their electronic take on post punk. I can take post punk and the stripped down bare wail of a guitar riff over lofi guitars and drums. I love when bands mix this all up but deep down I love an anthem.

My anthems aren’t Bon Jovi or soft rock. They are short sharp fast songs that you can scream along to. Screaming is important. Top of your lungs shouting til your hoarse. Maybe even a few woooooo-oohs in there too for good measure

Epic problem provide that in abundance. 4 songs of single word titles with sing along loud vocals and speedy tunes. This is great, another record of the year

niallhope