Rebellion festival 2022 Day 2
I know it may or may not be climate change but it’s great to see the amount of cafes offering vegan items really on the rise in Blackpool. Thanks to Zowie Dischord and the ever expanding vegan list that they post up for travellers. I ventured into Compass Cafe to sample their vegan menus. Greeting customers with a friendly smile and a “you’ve been here before haven’t you” could be par for the course but it made me feel good this morning. In my niaivety I presume as a starting point everyone is vegetarian. Of course I’m way wrong and even this morning in Compass with its veggie menu and clientele pretty much 100% people with rebellion wristbands it’s very much an egg and sausage day. I guess we are all individuals after all.
Suitably fed with tofu scramble and avocadao I was ready to take the day on with a quick walk down the pier.
And so it all kicks off on the introducing stage with locals P45s. A slightly slower Dead Kennedy’s vibe from the openers. At times they reminded me of Dublins Lee Harvey’s too.
Don’t give up, don’t give in.
Because todays the day you might just win
On the huh play some street punk rock tunes. Cock Sparrer and a cockney rejects fans would love them. Sloss paced up and down the stage for the whole set, he must be looking to get his steps in while singing some singalong punk songs. You wouldn’t think it was just their seventh gig. As tight as the door on my B&B last night.
Litterbug played in the tache last night. This time the sound was so much better for their power punk pop songs. The stage was nearly the size of last nights venue but it mattered little to this three piece- tight and sharp. Watching litterbug made me wonder how many people in bands over the weekend will have ran for election and tried to challenge things from within. Very few I’m sure. Litterbugs bass player, Andy Higgins, is one such candidate.
Vulpynes were another victim of the small room poor sound last night and today showed the band in much clearer form. Still a two piece and still well able to rock the place while being supported by the Irish posse, now increasing in numbers.
Pizzatramp in the main empress next. The band treat song ideas like coffee beans. They put the notes in a grinder and blend. And blend. What a racket. It fills the huge empress. Speed and precision. Your left gasping for breath at the end of every number. They get the call for 10 mins to go. No problem only 15 songs to go! And they did it.
MDM (mere dead men) are from Liverpool. They have been gracing stages for many years with their punk tunes. I remember writing to the band decades ago so it’s great to see them still on the go and rocking the punk sound, haunting at times with Mandy’s voice.
Suzi Moon is back again with a fuller punk rock’n’roll sound than last night. A packed Pavillion watched the band
I love the literary stage. This on its own would a great festival make.
TV Smith has so many great stories and John Robb has a great way of bringing them out. John always has great knowledge as an interviewer. TV smith believes the “song is the art” and wants people to think about the words. Fascinating chat and Tv played some excerpts from his vast repertoire and great to hear a new record is on the way.
Mick Rossi was in Slaughter and the Dogs. Gigging with the band until Covid sent Mick home to his house and he took out his guitar to write some songs. He has a new solo record and was talking about this and his time in Slaughter and the Dogs. He has a band in Rebellion to play their second album in full. Bite back is the record and it’s a record he’s very proud of. It was rarely played it live due to issues with vocalists so Mick is delighted to be back playing it. He also has a new band on the go, so this fella is busy
Steve Ignorant has so many tales to tell. Just when you think you’ve heard them all he comes on to regale us once more. Now that, like so many of us, he has the glasses to go with the history of his stories. He has a new book out now talking about the regeneration of his life
Wonk Unit are something special. I saw them in a dublin recently and they were as good as ever. It was great to see them light up the empress with their meaningful hardcore.
Bouncing Souls carry wonk units energy in a different way. They are not the community of the previous band but their sound and songs capture all the enthusiasm of the crowd. Poppy hardcore nice clean and tuneful, just what the crowd ordered. Some serious dad dancing going on on stage and plenty of jumping in the crowd
Anti Flag are next up in the massive cavern that is the empress. The band rock more than bouncing souls but it’s still tuneful fast scream along heartfelt hardcore. The crowd lap it up. Have to say I did too even the punk medley halfway through. They encourage crowd participation and at times it’s a bit much but what a show. The sound was a mass of guitars but it didn’t matter. We sang along we held our hands in the air and we dreamt.
Slice of Life come on stage like a punk rock Bert Bacharach. Acting out the songs on stage as the band plug away seated. It is that distinctive voice that is so recognisable but great to see Steve continuing with Slice of Life. Sounding nothing like his previous bands which is what you need to keep your relevance. So we all scream today “I’m alive, I’m alive I’m alive” as we celebrate Steve’s return to the rebellion stage.
For the first time today the empress reached its capacity. We had to wait patiently to get in and willed people to leave. After a short wait we got through. Sometimes writing words isn’t enough when describing a bands set. One such band is Circle Jerks – it shouldn’t matter what they were like tonight it’s the damn Circle Jerks. There are thousands of people in attendance this weekend and many of the bands on show view Circle jerks as part of a us hardcore wave that took punk to a different level. They were trailblazers. They aren’t a singalong get the crowd moving and participating band. They don’t need to be. These songs are amazing and the crowd sure moved. We lap it up and wish it was 40 years ago and we were in the dangers of LA watching the band at their prime. This is an amazing second best. My first favourite movie after Willie winks and the chocolate factory was Repo Man. I loved the eccentricity of it all. And the soundtrack. What great songs to hear at the cinema. Circle Jerks were on that complete with bass player Zander Schloss having a starring role as Kevin. And now he’s on stage, playing his songs off that soundtrack.
The beauty of the acoustic room in rebellion is it offers a chance to sit down while listening to some quality sounds. Billy Liar is my first singer to see in the newly moved venue, upstairs to Spanish Hall but still plenty of seats. It was here I saw a memorable men they couldn’t hang and chumbawamba set many years ago. It’s great to be back and to be listening to the Scottish speed folkster. Complete with tribute to Joe Strummer sandwiched between the replacements.
It’s probably unfair on any band to play an acoustic set so soon after their magic full on electric show but for Anti Flag that’s what had to happen. I shouldn’t compare but just over an hour ago they were blowing the roof off the empress ballroom. They have now moved into the celubrious Spanish Hall and the high room and ornate walls must be one of the stranger locations for a high octane punk band. Justin and Chris 2 manage to fill the room with their sing along songs and acoustic guitars. It’s no empress but if that hadn’t happened the huge crowd here would have been talking about how good this was.
My quick sprint down to casbah was halted by another queue to get in as Bar Stool Preachers attracted a huge crowd. All 7 bar stools were preaching from the stage in another high octane sing along. There’s a small bit of skanking but don’t be put off by that. This is not a ska punk band. This is a band fuelled by energy and excitement and come from that sense of community rebellion exudes. Plenty of smiles here The band have been hanging around their stall all day chatting and meeting people. They have just signed a 2 album deal with Pure Noise records but it seems that they still are on good terms with their current label Pirates Press. They certainly haven’t lost their admiration for the label.
The hardcore was flying on the late night introducing stage with Last Hounds. Not quite NYHC but in that style
“when you look at me like that,
I don’t really like it”
Panic shack are almost the anthesis of Last Hounds. 3 women singing strong songs. Driving drums and discordant rhythms make for one of the most interesting sets of the day. Such a shame the sound was bad as each microphone competed with the other for attention.
Bad Nerves on the other hand had great sound. 14 hours after the music started today and these were blasting out the power garage punk songs. Downward strokes on the guitar with such speed and precision as the drummer played at some pace. Bassist as cool as a breeze and a singer who moved around the stage with pace. From jumping off the bass drum to clinging on to monitors this was some way to end the day. Much like picking a favourite child is unfair to the others Bad Nerves are certainly contenders and their set left me with great excitement as my tired bones exited the winter gardens. Music ringing in my ears and smiles clinging to my face.
And that was it for the day. Barely time for food but so good to be back seeing people as well as being entertained and informed. A long day today with 19 pretty much full sets of bands and three with stories to tell.