Rebellion 2019 – day 3

This is my final day and the penultimate for most. I could only journey for three days of punk this year. The life and world many bands sing about changing still goes on and family life calls me this year.

I decide to go for something different this year. When I first went to blackpool in 1981 or 82 with my parents my dad brought me to a blackpool fc game. Every year, when they could, subsequent I would be brought home something from the club shop. I flirted with the team for a few years when I started going to rebellion but when the oystons seemed like they were bringing the club down I was happy to join into a boycott. As Menstrual Cramps sing “boycott a lot” I added blackpool fc to my list. That official boycott has now lifted and as the season started today I went to Bloomfield road and watched the team. It’s funny when someone dies that you can tie almost everything you do to that person. My dad who brought me to Bloomfield Road as a kid is no longer here so i went in dedication to him. Blackpool got a win and everyone was happy. I’m still not sure of that football supporting culture but I do like the sport.

I chased back to the winter gardens to catch the end of Dundalk band the gakk Their explosive punk sound went down very well as they made room on the pavilion stage for spoilers.

I love spoilers. They have a catchy heartfelt punk sound that bounces off the walls. They are a band from the diy community that this festival should champion. Great to see them here and hear those songs.

Fat Bob before falling off stage

The pavilion is the venue tonight and hardskin were up next. There was little air in the room but whatever was there was sucked up when fat bob fell off stage. For a short moment we weren’t sure to laugh or cry but when the band didn’t seem too bothered it felt ok. The lyrics may have an ironic feel but theres nothing wrong in a downtrodden people having fun, being kind to each other and screaming at the top of their voice “we are the wankers”. I’ve never leave a hardskin gig without a huge smile on my sweaty face and although the smile dropped for a minute when fat bob got back on stage it erupted again.

Hr from bad brains was in the packed arena playing dub songs from his career. I found myself pinching myself saying “it’s hr from bad brains. Bad brains”. It didn’t matter what he played. It was hr from bad brains.

There’s so many people over for rebellion from ireland that this feels like a home gig for paranoid visions. The sound was awful in the arena while Jay was bashing the drums as if he was remembering a teacher from his youth that gave him detention every day. It’s hard to describe the sound tonight as it was a jumbled mess. A real shame for the ‘hometown heroes’ but most of the crowd cared not as the noise filled the room.

A quick sprint back to the pavilion to see Hagar the womb. Hagar were singing abut inequality back in the early days of the anarcho punk scene. There was always an element of fun above a deep lying seriousness. Women need to be listened to as equals, no more no less. They reformed for rebellion a few years back and have been going from strength to strength with a new record now out. Chances are if this festival want happening these along with many others wouldn’t be playing. I for one am glad they are as their playful on stage antics shows a band with good songs not afraid to to take things lightly.

We were nearly swimming for wonk unit it was that warm. Complete with a(nother) new drummer which I’m sure is temporary their punk rock ditties went down a sweaty storm. They managed to bring the intimate atmosphere from the acoustic room last night into the vast Casbah and yet again they were in top form.

I ran to catch Henry cluney playing solo and those early stiff little fingers songs sound as good as ever. Standing ovation at the end shows the respect people had for him in the room as every word was sung along to.

I pop in to see cock sparrer and leave just as quick. So warm but the 12 bar singalong blues were flying. I watch the Ramona’s playing original songs which was great to see. Better than their cover set they show they are not just good musicians but excellent songwriters too.

At this stage I was spent. I leave the winter gardens with a secret. I’m leaving tomorrow and most here tonight will be back. There is a sadness in leaving and a fear of missing out, especially on DOA but as I walk down the dark streets of blackpool away from all the football fans and stags or hens parties on the pier I hear the exploited belting out “i still believe in anarchy”. I remember when that song came out, I remember their top of the pops appearance and I wonder where have we come in those 30 years. Does it matter? Does punk matter? It certainly means a lot to me, it’s dictated my life and I’m part of a bizarre tribe of misfits, outsiders, recrents and lovely progressive people that do want to have fun but mostly want to take care of each other.

See ya next year

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