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 2015 day 2 from the wildhearted outsider

Rebellion Day 2

Here’s the thing…a few thousand punks gathered together in a Northeastern English Seaside town in August 2015…why would that matter? Is it all nostalgia? An attempt to recapture, relive, or even reimagine youth?

The Q&A conversations provide an opportunity to hear first-hand reflections from some of the people who were there. Pioneers.

Jules Denby has lots to say. Se is also fantastically articulate about what it was like to try to break into the music industry in the post-punk era. To get New Model Army gigs she pretended to have he own agency…yet as she reflected on how hard it was to break into the inner circle of culture…she concluded that it is harder now. To her freedom of expression has become more difficult for young artists…it has become a declining circle of opportunities….now parents pay thousands of pounds to get their kids’ bands started. Never mind DIY.

Today’s highlights included a number of female-fronted bands. And the most positive thing is that the female musicians and singers didn’t appear to be pandering to some cliched idea of what ‘rock stars’ or ‘girls in bands’ should look like. These were young women worthy of respect…commanding respect.

In Evil Hour showed another way that punk had reinvigorated and inventing itself:by getting a blood infusion from heavy metal. The female singer had a great tuneful voice and wasn’t afraid to screech when the music called for it. A band with a kick and a punch….and looking comfortable on the main stage.

Brassick were also impressive….powerful, packing a blast of energy and exciting to watch. I know I am using the language of fighting to describe these bands and that seems appropriate when there are so few women being taken seriously by the music industry…or taking the brave decision to bypass it.

The Ruts DC in conversation with Alex Ogg was another highlight. I feel that punk’s history and legacy is in good hands with people like Alex around to research and champion it.

The Ruts DC were fantastic in conversation and just as impressive on both the acoustic stage and during their full electric set. They took the essentials of that early punk movement and made songs that were pared down to their essentials yet had room to breathe and have a deep rhythmic resonance. They always bring to mind Fugazi…that no-nonsense economical approach…nothing wasted…everything in the perfect place. It sounds easy but is meticulous. They both make music that stands the test of time.

The Gang of Four’s debut, Entertainment, was one of the great albums of the era. So different….so exciting….funk rhythm….dance music with considered lyrics…words that made us think about our consumption…how we lived…how we received our information…..isn’t that a fine legacy?

To sum up Jules Denby and to quote Segs from Ruts DC: this is about “people unite”! It is about a caring community. And what could be more inspiring than that?

Honourable mentions to the energy of Cynadie Pills, Arthur Brown who pioneered the theatre of heavy metal in the 1960s, and the Damned whose Neat Neat Neat and Smash It Up were still joyous after all these years.

Rebellion 2015 – day 2. Phew

Ruts DC acoustic
Ruts DC acoustic

Rebellion 2015 day 2

And so it continues, the streets around the Winter Gardens have been magically cleaned and the seagulls had some treats for breakfast, It all kicks off just after midday with Max Splodge the MC for a game of bingo, when in rome and all that.

First bit of music for me is the Uk based but US influenced sound of 4130;s. I’ve played them a few times on my radio show. Speedy and tuneful just like bad religion only with less words.

Johnny wah wah curates the new band stage which takes place on day 1, he also is one of the main interviewers on the literary stage as well as singing in on trial UK. Distorted Buzzcocks tuneful songs.

I felt like I’d gatecrashed a secret party gathering when going into see in evil hour. Fairly packed empress ballroom with hundreds of people sing along to the power punk on offer. It was a good secret and a good surprise however I still can’t get into guitar solos, any chance rebellion could ban them?

The Crows are regular features at rebellion but this was my first time to se them, tuneful punk that started with an accapella version of homophobia. What more could you ask for?

Every year I run a competition in my head for most popular band t-shirt. I will be amazed if gimp fist don’t win it for 2015. Biggest queue at a March stall for over an hour before they even played. Don’t quite get it myself

Paul Haslam on the Literary stage told us of his time getting into publishing books. I can’t think of many better ways to spend a Friday aftrnoon than listening to tales of punk rock by people who were involved, Paul co-edits street sounds magazine with Gary Bushell and owns countdown books. His upbringing was soul and mod and he dj’d at 100 club. He has a big connection with the oi scene but this talk ended up being rushed through due to him arriving late. Rebellion runs on a very tight timescale and its timekeeping is usually immense.

Cathi Unsworth reminisced on her days and her 5 books. Her journalistic career started with articles for sounds. And as I sat listening the lightbulb appeared above my head. I have read many reviews from Cathi down through the years. Sounds helped me discover some great bands in the 80s and Cathi (along with John Robb and Gary Bushell) helped with that soundtrack. Joolz then spoke of tattoos, writing, art her background, New Model Army and pretty much everything in between. Some sad tales of the removal of artistic freedom for people in bands. Both Joolz and her interviewee Rhona Dakar asked that people off all ages need to support diy and that is the way forward for all artists. Joolz had a tough upbringing and if she had of dropped a pin during her explanation of her youth it would have created a thunderclap noise. We sat motionless and stunned whilst we hear of the agony that men inflicted on her as an adolescent

One thing that strikes me so far is that there are so few all male bands or events. Striking in that it shouldn’t matter but with so much make aggression in punk rock it is heartening that women are involved and rebellion is not behind in pushing that forward.

Seggs and Ruffy from Ruts DC go into more detail about their new book. A book they introduced to us last year but has been five years in the making. It is now published. The band that don’t want to complain any more they want to provide answers. The message they want to send out is “people unite” How refreshing is that?

Paranoid Visions are gathering huge momentum and respect. Part of the furniture here, their accommodation becomes home to Irish Punk for the weekend. The flag literally flying in the front window of their, what Blackpool can only get away with calling a,hotel. The current line up is their tightest for years and songs new and old go down a treat. They are getting better with age and it was a dilemma that they clashed with the chat with ruts chat.

Cyanide pills are on damaged goods who always seem to pick out good tuneful catchy pop punk rock bands straight from the garage. I got their album after seeing the last year, well worth a listen.

We were treated to more stalwarts in the guise of Subhumans then. I’m never disappointed listening to their set even if Bruce doesn’t seem to be playing guitar. .

TV Smith played his own songs tonight rather than the Adverts classics of last night. It’s positive that so many people don’t just attend rebellion for nostalgia purpose. Sure the majority of people are here because of their affinity to a genre they lived and loved in a different century but they are still willing to open up to new songs, which is what Billy Liar and Louise Distras do in their seperate well attended acoustic sets

Ruts DC however are a different story. I think the best band I’ve seen here, the songs are incredible and the respect people have for them is immense. For many bands it can be a case of seeing a few songs and good and all as they may be you move on. Their is always someone else to see. For the Ruts DC my feet while not firmly planted on the ground (how can you fail not to move and be moved by In A Rut?) weren’t going too far. They played 2 sets tonight, electronic and acoustic and they made the trip worthwhile regardless of what other wonders the weekend might bring. They even do something the subhumans would never dare, play a new song. The respect the crowd have for the ruts is unequalled anywhere else. If Rebellion was a football team the ruts DC would be its star player. The one that can do now wrong and kisses the crest with meaning.

Back to reality and some comedic relief from Captain Hotknives before another nostalgic trip with the Rezillos. I spoke yesterday of that cassette I had in work, Crossing the red Sea wih the Adverts and I can;t Stand The Rezillos. Well the original pop punk band were bashing them out here.

More old scholl tunes from the Damned but to be honest that was just keeing me awake for another highlight. However the packed out Empress Ballroom were on a different wavelength as they jumped and sang and very nearly did as as It Up. Gang Of Four, I don’t know how i did it but i stayed awake over 13 hours after max kicked it all of with his bingo, caught the entire set and smiled my whole way home, not so much at Gang of Four and their incredible rhythmic angular songs. They could easily be Gang of one seeing as Andy is the only original member left but I am marvelling at the excellence and humility of ruts DC

Ruts DC acoustic
Ruts DC acoustic

Rebellion 2014 Day 4

Rebellion 2014 day 4

Steve Ignorant

It’s always good to talk and listen so Ian glasper told us his story around his punk books. Great to hear the tales behind the book and its reason for existence

joey shithead is with terry chimes and Patrik Fitzgerald so missed his interview but I got to see 16 guns blast out their punk rock. Not sure of their history but they had a good crowd in the arena

One of the few bands I have watched a full set by is epic problem. The light show nearly prevented it as flashing lights on a Sunday afternoon don’t do a lot for me. Epic problem are worth it. Leather face with a street punk sound. Frenetic tunes from the north east of England. It made me think of all those good new bands like bear trade, Stay clean jolene, dauntless elite and holiday who are missing from the festival

Maid of ace are 4 women blasting out a rocky punk sound and a full on sound it is too.

The literary sage saw Seggs and ruffy from the ruts talking about everything they do is a tribute to malcom and foxey. They had to make light if the tragedy that befell the band but it is a story that needs to be documented

Garry bushell has a lot to say but needed better questions

It’s amazing how the ageing process takes us. Every day we change ever so slightly. I ventured into the empress ballroom and had a double take when I saw snfu on stage. La hardcore legends with that tuneful speed sound, visions of young skateboarders come to my mind when I think of snfu it’s all grey beards and long hair now, exactly how I would look if i grew my locks but to see it on a big stage, kind of like wizard

I love my Hagar the womb records. Played them to death as a kid. Its great to see them on stage having a ball and sounding as good as ever

Rhoda Dakar was in the body snatchers and did some guest vocals with the specials. She was a punk in 77 but you wouldn’t know by listening to back to the stage. 12 bar blues riffs, thankfully I didn’t need to stay

Old form casuals are just that, new signing for the day on drums. Popular street punk from Boston, not England but USA. They must get prize for biggest crew in the side of the stage tooy6

Walking into captain hot knives I’m the pavilion was like staking across a secret party. A packed room for one man and his guitar playing quirky songs about safety or whatever (usually drug related) Like a comedic Patrik Fitzgerald

Joey shithead from doa was backed up with 2 fellow band members. Stripped down doa songs still had the melodies and suited the ambience

A quick run to the pavilion then for the defects from Belfast. Every yearn I do this thing in my mind to see who has the most popular t-shirt the defects are up there this time. Their songs are about life growing up in Belfast during a warzome which most of snob the west will never comprehend. Strong Belfast punk

Sandwiched between 2 Belfast bands was Steve ignorant. He had already done a set with paranoid visions but his slice of life stuff is far more interesting to me It’s a step away from crass and is just are with some guitar, double bass and keyboards. Still singing about relevant topics but taking it to a different dimension. I only wish he would play non mainstream venues all the time. That would make it so more relevant. Unfortunately it had been a long day for Steve and we didn’t catch him on one of his great nights. Great songs though

I’ve been really looking forward to Louise distras all weekend. A young tv smith with a great sound and songs that mean something. all acoustic bar some rants. Good enough for the first encore of the four days. New album out too

I didn’t catch doa electric as something had to give but caught some of original sex pistol glen Matlock with his philistines. It was said earlier this week that the pistols lost it as a band when glen Matlock left. He was the musician to sids comedian and he can sure play. Their set is a mx of original and covers with a rockabilly slant

Nofx played Dublin in 1990. We put them on twice and I always enjoyed their sets. I was unsure of their onstage antics and nothing has changed. Plenty of banter, lots of innuendo but the music is catchy and fast as hell

It is totally apt that the last band for me to see is ruts dc, mixing absolute classic ruts songs with their dub inspired sound. It is often said that we renewed our more recent memories best well thankfully this was a send off rebellion deserved. Poignant in the ruts dc remembering rebellion friend sharkey who passed away earlier this year. As I left the pavilion the empty spaces were the stalls were heaving over the past four days greeted me. It was a poignant moment, rebellion i will be back next year, if only our dear departed could be with us

niallhope

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

Hope show 32 – the lowdown

Hope Show 32

1 Torche – Walk It Off
2 Torche – Sky Trials
3 No Age – Defactor/ed
4 Goldblade – We’re All in it together
5 Rudimentary Peni – The Curse
6 Rudimentary Peni – The Crime OF The Century
7 Hunx and his punx – You think You’re Tough
8 Hooligan – Callin Joe STrummer
9 Dauntless Elite – We are our own legends
10 Southport – The Plasterers Song
11 Grant Hart – Morning Start
12 TV Smith – You Save My Life then ruined it
13 Hard Skin – Police Car Chasing You
14 Roughneck Riot – Do Not Feed The Animals
15 Leftover Crack – Life Causes Cancer
16 Zounds – Follow The Money
17 Flatliners – THis Respirator
18 Ruts DC – Smiling Culture
19 The Membranes – In the graveyard

We start off tonights show with two songs by Torche who are playing in Dublin this week in the Grand Social . They have been on the go sonce 2004 but this is the first I heard of them. I’m enjoying their Harmonicraft album in the same way as I ejoyed listening to Seaweed many years ago.

I’ve seen No Age twice before and am glad to hear they are returning next month. Their new album, “an object??” is out now on Sub Pop , which ironically is the same label Seaweed were on.

Goldblade were magic last week at the rebellion festival. I saw them twice, once acoustically at a HMV and the other in the Winter Gardens where the darts world championships were held recently. Both times I was part of the singalong screaming “We’re all in it together”

Rudimentary Peni didn’t play rebellion but many of their compatriots from Crass, subsequently Corpus Christ records, played. Southern have re released Rudimentary Peni’s collection so I’ve played a song from Cacophony and Archaic

Hunx and his Punx have a new album on Hardly Art called Street Punk, must be good so.

Hooligan are from Dublin and have released a new ep, No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs. This track from it is Callin Joe Strummer and sure with a title like that you’d have to play it eh

We move to UK and have the Dauntless ELite . Their Graft lp is a much ignored album but really deserves more attention. It’s on Bombed Out records and comes with a big recommendation

Southport, I can’t sing their praises any higher. Southern Soul is their third album, their best to date and album of the year so far. Can I convince you to go and buy? Please

Grant Hart used to be in a band Called Husker DU. Maybe you’ve heard of them. He hasn’t done much in recent years but has come up with a concept album. A brave thing to do in todays throwaway times. It is a double album and really needs to be played in one sitting from start to end as it is a life tale. I don’t have 74 minutes to spare for you so Morning Star will have to for now

Like Grant Hart, TV Smith was in a famous band – the Adverts. Tim has kept going all through the years and his energy is infectious. His last album, Misinformation Overload contains a songs I’ve played a couple of times – the good times are back, so in the interest of diversity I’m playing a different one tonight.

I’m going on a bit of Rebellion set now. I’ve already played GOldblade and TV Smith but the next few songs are from bands that played great sets last week

Wrecks feature two people from Steve Ignorants new band, Slice OF life. They have a new ep out Hey! Murder, Arms is from this

Hard Skin, again, had a thousand people, proclaiming at the top of our voices “We are the Wankers” which is a sight to behold I can tell you. THis song is from their new album (of which there is two versions, one sung by the band and the other with guesat female vocalists

One great thing about Rebellion every year is that there are always new bands to discover and remember. THe Roughneck Riot are one such band – awful sound but a great performance.

Leftover Crack are the opposite. I never really like them live but love the records.

Zounds are an old favourite of mine. I wasn’t sure what their set was going to be like and was a bit concerned that it would seem stale. No need for such concerns as they played like they were 20 again.

The Flatliners put in a great performance, their acoustic set was beset with sound issues but no such issues were to be found with their full set. Hopefully they will be back next year. They do have a new album coming out next month

Ruts DC stole the show again. PLaying a mix of their own dub inspired tracks and their own classic Ruts songs. We were dancing, we were smiling, we were crying for lost ones and were enthralled by Ruts DC

The Membranes didn’t play but feature members of Goldblade. I was in town earlier at the Dublin fanzine Fair which was on in he Exchange building in Temple Bar. I passed by the New Theatre which was where the Membranes played on their second crazy visit to Dublin

Rebellion 2013 day 3

Rebellion 2013 – day 3

The day started with Goldblade acoustic. This was a rebellious affair in hmv as the brothers spread their gospel to the assembled believers gathered in the record store. An entertaining and uplifting performance. We all believe in the power of rock and roll and now know we are in it together.

I took a break to catch my other fave culture, football in the guise of Blackpool v Barnsley. A surprising number of rebellion wristbands were in the crowd and saw such drama at bloomfield road. Both teams look like they are players short of taking the championship by storm but Blackpool waited til the 93rd minute before having their first attempt on target. The fact that it was a knock on by a Barnsley player from a pool throw in hardly seemed to matter. 1-0 Blackpool, top of the league 🙂

Anarcho night in rebellion then on the stage with Jaegermeister backdrops. Lost cherrees are a strange bunch. I’m not sure what to make of it all. I have all their records which are urging equality for all and respect for animals but when they are onstage they may as well be singing about Blackpool result. Actually maybe not as that would require feeling. There is no connection or attempt to connect with the audience. We are certainly not in it together or so it seems when lost cherrees are on stage. Which is a real shame as they have some great songs

Hagar the womb are a band I well remember. Their funnerry in a nunnery 12′ was on high rotation for a while in Donnycarney. The female vocalists still shine through, although it is kind of funny watching them read the lyrics on stage

Steve ignorant will forever be associated with anger. No escaping it, he was the lead singer of crass. The ultimate in anger and channelling it positively. His new venture is him with a keyboard and guitarist and stories in between It is great to see Steve evolving. Paranoid visions have have assisted in that process but to see him here with a his own songs and singing like he means it is empowering. “Scream, I’m alive, I’m alive”

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Charlie harper is most definitely still alive and singing with the uk subs. They are a keen annual favourite at rebellion and won’t disappoint the thousands of people watching them tonight. Other perennial players, paranoid visions are on at the same time. this effects their crowd but not their performance. Deko, ever the showman, is at home on stage here. Still doesn’t care

Funny that the 3 regular bands are all clashing, citizen fish were nearly over but I caught a couple of their ska fuelled tracks and the crowd were happily singing along “let’s get angry, lets get mad”

Zounds were on next. 3 piece with songs as fresh as when they were released in the 80s and just as relevant now.

Hard skin are the ultimate anti fascist band. If you know them you will know the irony and hopefully you get it. If you buy into them it’s great, the best oi band in the world!

The mob were the best band for me at last years festival. They are close contenders again. The surprise of last years excellence wasnt there but they didn’t disappoint one bit. It’s that haunting sound which takes you in.

Out of a sense of loyalty I chose the outcasts above cockney rejects. I know their guitarist quite well (he wasnt an original member) and so I wanted to see petesy in action. I was too young when the outcasts were leaving a trail of destruction (or more to the point punks who went to see them in the magnet) at their gigs in Dublin in 1980 but have listened to them plenty. Always better live than on record the songs are strong and still have it, great reaction for them here tonight.

To me the rezillos were fortunate in their timing. They had snappy so gs and a good image with Faye on vocals. I love that first album. I’m not sure of their relevance within punk, I’ve never heard em say anything of substance. Is that harsh? Maybe but compared to the Ruts who were on next?

Ruts DC know adversity. Malcolm Owen the singer for the ruts died of a heroin overdose in tragic circumstances. The band continued as ruts Dc for a while but fizzled our as the pain of their lead singers demise was too much. They got back together when another member, Paul Fox contracted cancer and there was a benefit for foxy. He lost that battle so the band got together in memory of their departed ones. Their dub inspired punk will always live on. Again a highlight for me. It was over 12 hours since gold blade kicked off proceedings but I was still bopping along to Babylons burning and staring at the rude boys. Remarkable band

Niallhope

Day 3 of Rebellion provides lots of topics for further discussion.

40 Shades of Green, 50 Shades of Grey.

The Q and A session with Viv Albertine and John Robb illustrates why the personal stories and histories have to be recorded. Sometimes we assume that good bands get heard just because they stand out or have something special about then. Yet the real story is how people met, how they got one, how the learnt from each other and how they were organised, or organised themselves. Bands don’t form. They are formed. And that is a crucial difference. It is an incredibly difficult task, which is why I admire people who can get up on stage in the first place.

I learnt so much from the conversation that I am going to put some of it in bullet points. I really hope someone recorded the conversation though. She is an interesting woman: determined, strong, a straight shooter and a survivor with great wisdom to impart. To her punk was about honesty. Could a popular music movement have a better legacy?

That is a long winded way of saying that I learnt more from Viv Albertine than I have from most people I have met in 2012. A few ‘take aways’:

She went out with Mick Jones from the Clash when the band was forming. But she wouldn’t let him hold her hand in public, which really annoyed him, because she was embarrassed by his clothes. John Robb diplomatically tried to defend Jones’ mid-70s rocker look. “He carried it off” he protested. No he didn’t: replied Viv.

She learned from Jones how to run a band. She talked about seeing Jones constantly on the pay phone at Art College. She was a year below him. It was Jones’s energy and commitment that underpinned The Clash. That gave them their gang mentality. In essence he organised them.

Albertine, after witnessing this, became the organising force in the Slits.

That reminds me of the great lesson of punk. Patti Smith told the early London bands that she admired them. She urged them to work harder. They would have to work harder than other bands if they were to succeed.

While going out with Mick, she was close friends with Sid Vicious. She described him as a really smart young man. Not the one-dimensional, cartoon character that his legacy has presented to the world. He could hold two opposing viewpoints at the same time. He took things to extremes. Violence included. He pushed her to leave her comfort zone. To do things she didn’t feel comfortable doing.

One anecdote was particularly poignant. Sid decided that they should spend a day handcuffed together. In those days handcuffs were difficult to find. So off they trooped to some out-of-the-way gay sex shop. ‘They hated us’ because they felt we were invading their private world. Naturally being handcuffed means sharing private moments. Sid had no problem with this. The idea of going to the loo handcuffed to Sid made Valentine uncomfortable so she didn’t eat or drink anything for the day. Human bondage indeed.

She admired both Patti Smith and John Lydon for their androgynous look and vulnerably.

Despite going out with Mick, it was Keith Levine who taught her how to express herself with the guitar. If you sleep with a guy he will never teach you anything; that was her lesson.

Recently when she took up the guitar again she ended up getting divorced. You can play the role and compromise, but if you are true to yourself it can terminate marriages and relationships. She asked Robb if his partner was an uncompromising woman who did what she wanted and expressed herself. Robb replied that she was and that was one of the reasons he admired her. Albertine recounted he she confronted her husband with a truth when he objected to her resuming her musical expression: ‘What did you expect, you married a Slit’. She used a rude word in that last sentence.
The Slits were treated with contempt on the early tour. The bus driver threatened to kick them off the bus. Their manager Don Letts (Robb described managing the Slits as the hardest job in the world) had to bribe the driver every morning to allow them to travel.

She described the early punk audiences were incredibly receptive. Albertine attributed this to the fact that they had never seen anything like this before.

Ari Up was difficult to deal with. She was only fourteen when the band started. Onstage she was one of the true originals. The equal of John Lydon, James Brown or Tina Turner.

In the 70s media images of women were not as damaging as they are now. Robb asked whether things have improved. She replied very strongly that they are worse. There were no manicures in the 70s. Girls in art school had dirty paint-splattered hands and that was OK. Her feet had a hard layer, presumably from walking barefoot, and ‘boys liked my feet’. That would be unthinkable in the age of the pedicure.

The Olympian women are really positive role models. The dedication, the focus, a woman in disciplined pursuit of achievement is very admirable.

The survivors of the punk scene were the ones who had some form of family support. I’ve not come across the early movement being analysed like this before. Especially from the inside. Yet it made a lot of sense. Her mum was a role model and positive influence.

Lydon was her inspiration for getting onstage. He was also from North London and educated in a comprehensive school. She felt empowered by his ability to perform and say something. She described seeing him as a huge factor in making her feel that she could be onstage.
Bernie Rhodes was a ‘pig’. He would just walk past them in the squat while going to the early Clash band meetings. Those meetings took place in the kitchen. Very inconvenient for the other residents.

Paul Simenon moved into the squat. They quickly kicked him out because his feet were too smelly.

Her new album is due out in October.

Her memoirs is due out next Spring.

Both sound like excellent prospects. Expect raw, insightful, uncomfortable and vital material.

PiL

I can’t really adequately describe PiL. I had never seen them before. It felt miraculous to be in the same room as songs like Albatross, This is not a Love Song, Memories, Disappointed and Rise. Live he is a compelling character and the music is powerful, compelling, rhythmic and never constrained. In a way it made me think about the twin icons of punk.

To paraphrase John Robb, Strummer seemed to passionately believe in the power of rock and roll. His genius was in combining the best elements of rock, stripping away the excesses and wielding the song for something worthwhile. He used rock to make his point. Lydon seemed to believe in the power of rock and roll and equally in his own determination to pick it apart. To tinker with it, to toy with it and push it to extremes. Lydon seemed to challenge rock to make his point. Tonight the ‘Irishness’ of Lydon was in evidence. From his description of the devoted readers of the Irish Post in Religion to the banjo picking and looping what sounded like an Irish tune he was every bit as much a member of that distinctive ‘London-Irish’ tribe as Leeson from Neck who had them reeling in the ballroom earlier.

Lydon dedicated the next song to Pussy Riot and as it began shouted “We miss you Arianna”. It is funny how both Pussy Riot and the Slits found creative ways of pushing the boundaries. By expressing themselves, the establishment was forced to reveal their hand and to express themselves.

The songs had the intensity on the best of rock. This combined with the way Lydon deploys the elasticity of reggae to stretch them. To coax them into new forms. Add to the mix the experimentation of Kraut Rock and a touch of Irish tendency to want to pick at scabs, to question.

Ruts DC

The Ruts DC were a revelation. The new line-up really celebrated the reggae tendencies of the band. The first Ruts album was filled with so many mighty songs. Hearing them played and received with such passion was spine-tingling and life-affirming. I loved those songs at the time. They helped shape my view of the world. It was an epic feeling being in a room with some of the men who crafted those songs. Who carried the songs with them from room to room and then recorded them and shared them with the rest of us. It was a good moment to remember absent friends.

Punk needed infusions and inspirations to innovate. Reggae was the first port of call. Tonight was a good reminder of what reggae brought to the musical table.
Hard Skin

Hard Skin – you can only get away with what they do if you are damn good. And they are. I saw a guy with a teardrop tattoo smiling when he realised that band and audience were united in the mighty chant of ‘we are, we are the wankers’. Sean urged one of the security guards to: ‘Get those headphones off, you might get an education. We’re better than the darts and I’m fatter’.

 

The Wild Hearted Outsider

Here we go, three in a row. Rebellion day 3

The stamina of some of the punks is unreal, either that or they are sleeping outside the winter gardens. Statics were on at 2.30 so that was my starting time but rebellion had already a big crowd in attendance. Los fastidios, from Italy were on in the empress Ballroom at 2.25 and they brought their usual large crowd. I love watching these Italian skins singing about anti fascism and animal rights. We can all sing along for animal liberation and how the workers of the world must unite. But unfortunately I owed it to the statics to watch them so missed a bulk of Los fastidios.

That’s the great (and sometimes bad as I completely missed Geoffrey oicott due to scheduling) thing about a festival like this. You can easily dip your toe in and out of bands. So I got to see a bit of penetration, Spizz energi, monochrome set, vice squad, blood or whiskey, neck, the only ones and choking victim in between the fuller sets.

Also on was John robbs excellent series of interviews. I caught the ones with mick and Wayne from slaughter and the dogs and also viv albertine formerly of the slits. It would be great if these were recorded as they provide a fascinating insight into the history of punk rock. Slaughter gave a great account of the manchester scene and growing up in that time. Viv spoke of squatting in London in the 70s and hanging out with mick jones, sid vicious and the start of the punk scene. She also spoke of her time with the slits and the eccentricities of people. Fascinating.

I left to hear the now englands biggest anti fascist gay oi band. Hard skin announced themselves on stage and blew us away with their ironic oi anthems. Im in on the joke so I can gladly sing along to “we’ve still got beer” as I raise my glass of water. A great laugh and in many ways summing up rebellion. Decent people not to be taken seriously.

Next full set was paranoid visions in the Olympia. It’s a long way from fibber magees that’s for sure. you could probably fit 10 fibbers into this place. It’s massive and must have been daunting for the 8 visions on stage. Tv smith even joined in for a song.

I vaguely remember Patrik Fitzgerald from way back. He had a guitar a unique voice and some quirky songs. These were all in fine fettle tonight. For some bizarre reason I thought of frank side bottom as i closed my eyes listening to Patrik. Frank, without the paper mâché head and the keyboards and the cover version, maybe you get my drift!!! Let’s just say he could be a relative with THAT voice.

I was completely blown away by ruts dc preceding patrik. They played to a huge crowd and it was a blistering set. The ruts hold a special place in my heart. I remember Malcolm Owen dying. As a young kid I could almost feel the pain that Malcolm was going through. His songs in the ruts were stories about his life. His experiences of trying to give up drugs and subsequently loosing that battle in the bath in his parents home exude sadness to me. I wrote about him in my first zine in 1983 and still have that sadness over me when thinking about how his life was wasted. I loved the ruts so excitement was pretty high for me. They kept going for a while under this moniker after Malcolm’s death but their records never captured the same excitement as the ruts. Tonight started off slow enough. I was enjoying their white reggae / dub sound but was hoping for a bit more. This I certainly got in spades. They reworked some of their classic songs and still seemed heartfelt. Staring at the rude boys and jah war were the standout moments of the festival for me. It wasn’t just the songs on the night, it was the history. Brilliant.

P.I.L. finished the night for me, considering I didn’t go see them in Dublin recently I wasn’t expecting too much. I got what I expected and I had to queue in for the pleasure as the ballroom was so packed, it hadn’t seen a crowd like this since the darts!!