Rebellion Festival

music

Rebellion Festival at Blackpool Winter Gardens with The Pukes.

7 stages of punk bands, 13 hours a day for 4 days.

Day 1 – Thursday

We were the closing band of Thursday night on the Opera Stage.

In the backstage dressing room there are tour posters for comedians from the 80s, strip lights around the mirrors and a sign on the sink that says “no food washing – this sink is only for wigs”.

The stage is enormous.

It was massive amounts of fun to play.

We all stayed sober enough to play (even drummer Saul), we played well and to a good crowd, sold almost all of our special Rebellion Puke Bag CD/’zines, gave away loads of vodka jelly shots, made new friends, met old friends and had a fantastic night of over-excitement.

Here’s our hard working merch man Adam, selling our t-shirts and ‘zines to pay for our next album. Sitting next to the stall is Swiss Rebellion-friend Andrej Guly.

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This year’s Rebellion had a good scattering of not-all-men bands and crew. Each stage had at least a few women performing every day, and in my mind, the most impressive bands had women in the line up, so this year I drew mostly not-all-men bands.

rebellion2016_01I caught an early train and came straight from the station to catch Werecats at 2pm on the Introducing Stage. I play in The Pukes with Cil, and in Rabies Babies with Mike and it is beautiful to watch them in Werecats. Cil and Pip play off each other’s harmonies and inter-song chat, and they play fun and fantastic mid-80’s pop-punk with fuzzy guitars, smiles and fuck-you attitude, like in the days when pop-punk was great.

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I spent most of the afternoon hanging around The Pukes’ march stall, and went back to the Introducing Stage at 6.30pm for The Svetlanas, a tsunami of hair and hardcore, and at 8pm to catch The Tuts. If I was 18 and in a band then I would definitely want to be in The Tuts. They are energy, humour and fantastic pop punk tunes.

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Day 2 – Friday

On a sunny day Blackpool is a beautiful place.
I had midday drinks with friends in the bar at the end of North Pier. The organist entertained us with seaside hits and 80 year old couples waltzed.
I wished that I could waltz.

At 1.20pm Maid Of Ace played the new Tower Street Arena open-air stage. They rocked tough and fast. I bought both their albums afterwards.Maid Of Ace

 

I met up with Aston of Boss Tuneage Records at the Tower St Arena, “I’ll be easy to spot – I’m the one in the black t-shirt” he said. bloke in black shirt
The Winter Gardens felt hot and stuffy so I went back to the seafront to eat an M&S salad (thanks Karen Hag for the top-tip!), and while I was there I came across this photoshoot (with lights!) of a punk and two old ladies. Later on I bumped into the punk. His name is Andy. The photographer asked him to pose with the ladies. He didn’t even get a quid for it.

punk in blackpool photoshoot

I got sunburn after a while, so I headed back to the Winter Gardens and caught a few bits of bands, had a couple of beers, and then went to hear Brix Smith being interviewed by John Robb on the Opera House stage. I learned that Brix Smith wrote one of my favourite Fall songs, Hotel Blodel, and she told entertaining stories of music-obsession, manchester & ‘merica. She returned to the Opera stage a while later to perform an awesome set with her band. Their performance was my favourite of the festival. I LOVED every second of it. I felt the nostalgia of being a teenager in my bedroom listening to Perverted By Language, and loved the new songs they played. Brix Smith

Ramones tribute band Ramonas played the Empress Ballroom at the end of the night. This room is enormous with a sprung dance floor. Very few bands can get away with playing the Empress. The Ramonas OWNED the place. They were easily the most professional, tight and deadly band of the weekend. They didn’t pause for breath. They pretty much did ‘It’s Alive’, as the Ramones did it, but better. They are Ramones-plus. I am still in awe of the musicianship of these women.

Ramonas

Day 3 – Saturday

The day begun with The Pukes’ Blow the Roof Off Rebellion – Biggest Band of the Festival workshop. It was as fun as ever with around 30 people taking part. Two people during the festival told us that they had done our ‘Here’s 3 Chords Now Form A Band’ workshops in previous years and had gone on to form their own bands. Total Punk.

Favourites bands of the day was oi-pin-ups Hard Skin and fab M.D.C on the Pavillion Stage, and on the Introducing Stage, Shot! a multi-nationality London US-style hardcore band, and Amsterdam squat band Cracked Up.

Shot!

cracked up

Day 4 – Sunday

Highlight of the day was listening to Dave Dictor being interviewed and read from his book: MDC: Memoir From A Damaged Civilisation.
When asked about sexism/equality in the punk scene, Dave tells that on their current 40+ date European tour they have only come across one band with a woman in (Svetlana). I love Dave Dictor for noticing and caring.

Dave Dictor MDC

I had a good wander around the Punk Art, and met new favourite printmaker/artist, Zoe Girl Shit. (check out her stuff – it rocks).

My Rebellion was cut short to catch the 8pm train home, but before I left I had a couple of anarcho treats on the Arena Stage. Anthrax UK followed by the best finale imaginable – Hagar The Womb. I love this band so much. They are funnier than Hard Skin, more punk than anyone, and were possibly the only band who were drinking chocolate vodka on stage.

hagar the womb

 

Rebellion Festival 2015 Saturday

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Saturday began with the Part-Time Pukes workshop – a massive play-a-long to make the biggest band of the festival, joined by Brunk brass band, a load of drummers, uke players and singers. Celebratory pints all round for the Pukes, and after lugging a dozen guitars & ukes back to the van I watched Goldblade rock the massive Empress Ballroom stage. In the afternoon I went for an ice-cream on the beach with Nipper from Hard Skin. We wanted Fabs but couldn’t find any, so we got a Nobbly Bobbly instead.

Nipper eating a Nobbly Bobbly

I came back to the Winter Gardens to catch Coitus – their first appearance at Rebellion.
Coitus

Coitus suit the Casbar stage. I stayed at the Casbah for most of Saturday night – it was like an 80s/90s squat party line-up. Culture Shock followed by Hard Skin, then I went for mushy peas & chips so I missed Chaos UK, but I got back in time for the Mob, with a tiny look in to the Empress Stage to see how appalling Boomtown Rats were. (They were doing ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, I didn’t even stay for the whole song). The Mob did one song with the singer out of Zounds, which was quite special to see, it was obvious how much the Mob love Zounds.

MDC
MDC were the last band of the night. (my drawing of Mike MDC is above) During their set a guy got on stage and asked his girlfriend to marry him. I couldn’t think of anything worse than being proposed to on stage in front of hundreds of people by a guy that had downed too many pints of shit lager. MDC singer Dave followed the proposal with dedicating the song ‘Dick For Brains’ to the happy couple, and said “I was married once” with a face that said it all. He then proceeded to tell an inappropriate story about going down on a prostitute. I laughed so much. Dave is a star. MDC rocked.

Rebellion Festival 2015 Friday

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I arrived on Friday night at Blackpool Winter Gardens in time to see Johnny Moped, who was fantastic and energetic. After that I watched Captain Hotknives, who orchestrated the best sing-off I have ever witnessed. He got the two halves of the crowd absolutely hating each other, and then declared that each half should battle the other by singing “I hate babies” the loudest. If Captain Hotknives ever decides to become a politician then we are in trouble. I have never seen such manipulation. It was stunning. All of his set, as usual, was hilarious. For some reason he had black war-paint on his face. Not sure why.
captain hotknives

After Captain Hotknives I saw a little bit of the Damned, who were quite good but I had to leave their show to go and watch the Restarts, who for me were the best band of the night. Kieran was wearing a ballet skirt, which he looked really good in, and he did a great girls-to-the-front shout-out just before the band played their tribute to Mia Zapata song.

the restarts

After the Restarts I watched a little bit of Sham 69, but I thought the sound wasn’t very good and they seemed a bit dull after the great Restarts show so I went back to my BnB for an early night.

Rebellion Festival in Blackpool

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Rebellion was fun. The first band I saw was Guida. They soon had the room full of spikey haired punks doing the ‘Quo dance. They were ace.

guida

Guida. Rockin all over the punks.

I led a ‘Here’s 3 chords, now form a ukulele band’ workshop and taught 12 people the chords for Part Time Punk by the TV Personalities. The Pukes played later and we got the dozen Part Time Pukes up on stage with us to perform Part Time Punks. We congratulated ourselves on having the most people on stage. After the Pukes played we were supposed to hang around the merch stall but I seemed to drift away from the merch stall and into the middle of the crowd watching the Men They Couldn’t Hang. Their set ended with Green Fields of France, and most of the audience ended up on stage singing along. The prize for most on stage definitely went to Men They Couldn’t Hang. Stiff Little Fingers played in the main room downstairs so I went to see a bit of them but I thought they were a bit dull so I came back upstairs and caught the fantastic Dinner Ladies. They were so good that I bought their CD and 2 badges.

Dinner Ladies

The brilliant Dinner Ladies

Hagar the Womb are without doubt the best and most punk band ever in the whole world. They are so punk that their guitarist can wear a tiger-print onesie and crocs and still look more punk than anyone in the whole punk festival. I love Hagar the Womb with all my heart. (i used my ink pens with this drawing, so there is an ink splot over Ruth’s microphone)

Hagar the Womb

Hagar the Womb. The most punk band in the world.

I saw a load of good bands over the weekend. Highlights were Guida, Dinner Ladies, Men They Couldn’t Hang, TV Smith, Hard Skin, Left Over Crack, Captain Hotknives, Hagar The Womb and the old man playing organ at the end of the pier on the sunny saturday afternoon.