Rebellion Punk festival, Winter Gardens, Blackpool 4th – 7th August 2011
Its Rebellion time yet again and thousand of punks descend on Blackpool for their annual pilgrimage for four days of sheer fun, excitement, bands and stalls where many cds and t-shirts are sold. It is a friendly atmosphere even though the winter gardens are under renovation and have scaffolding here and there. The amusement arcade has gone to make way for a plush restaurant but it is still punk heaven.
Apart from the four main stages there is the Bizarre Bazaar where you can go to hear easy listening type of music, the Abba Sensation blasts out Abba songs to many punks singing along, a Dolly Parton tribute has many people dancing along, but it was Toyah who had a full house and a very nice Egyptian like headpiece who stole the show over the four days.
John Robb’s literature afternoon where he interviews bands went down well, this year he interviewed Cock Sparrer and Glen Matlock along with others.
The Punk Art Exhibition, which is now in its sixth year, had artistes displaying canvasses, jewellery, art, and some photographers (me included) displayed some photos.
I caught a few highlights which I managed to see as I was running about like mad man trying to photograph as many bands as I could. I have put a few words together the best I can remember.
The Old Firm Casuals put in a good performance and were joined by Roi from the Last Resort to sing Violence in our Minds.
Off with Keith Morris put on another fast show with him jumping all over the stage even when the security moved in to speak to a guy who had been constantly hurling abuse at Keith , he said to leave him alone, I’ve had worse and just carried on with the show.
Infa Riot put on their first show in a very long time (possibly 25 years) and got a great response from the crowd.
The Exploited followed who, as Wattie arrived on stage, were confronted by a sea of beers being thrown at them and they set off on their frantic paced set with Watties eyes looking like they could pierce the soul of the devil.
The surprise band of the weekend was the Dickies, who were tight as always and played at a blinding pace, with many props used by lead singer Leonard, making it a spectacle to watch and enjoy.
Pennywise put on fast paced show and warmed the crowd up nicely for Sparrer.
I was on the balcony to watch the start of Cock Sparrer to get the feel of the entire ball room and watch 3000 + people cheer and wave their arms. As the police sirens wailed Daryl Smith appeared and the rest of the band followed and we were off into Riot Squad and the place was rocking from floor to ceiling.
These guys can sell out almost any where they play. There were people at this gig who had been waiting at the front of the stage through all the bands before so they can get up close and personal to Cock Sparrer.
We got Working and I fit Central Heating (working part 2) a treat indeed, the crowd loved it. The band were enjoying it too, the chemistry there for all to see – guys who have been friends for 40+ years, laughing, smiling and enjoying it as much as the crowd who are screaming at the top of their voice for songs.
Before they played Argy Bargy, Colin asked Daryl if he can sing as he had a late night/early morning and one shandy too many, they laugh and play it wonderfully.
Take ‘em all raises the roof, personally mine and many others favourite song, it had all the crowd singing along in unison.
Where Are They Now closed the set before we had an encore of Suicide Girl and We’re Coming Back closed the evening with everybody hoping that they are.
Afterwards Daryl asked me if I have sore throat and I ask why, he replies cause you were singing more than me! I realise I probably was and I’m not just here to do photos, I love these guys and enjoy myself too.
With Jello (of Dead Kennedy fame) being on at the same time as the Adicts I had to go and see him as having seen the Adicts 21 times already this year I could afford to miss one! But I did go and see a couple of their songs as they were playing as a 4 piece for the first time since the very early 80’s, as Shahen had been refused entry at the airport due to passport issues. Scruff took over playing the bass and did a good job from what I heard.
Jello came, he saw and he conquered. From the minute I saw him running about back stage in a frenzied state, psyching himself up for the show, I knew we were in for something special.
I was right, he appeared on stage with a white medical jacket, surgical gloves all covered in blood. Straight from the off he was flailing his arms about, pulling maniacal faces and running all over the stage, his distinct vocals making it a must see show.
Terror Town got a good response, New Feudalism had him telling us about he state of the American economy but it was the DK classics that got the best response. He mentioned the riots in Tottenham and then went straight into Police Truck, followed by Californian Uber Alles which had most of the original lyrics with some updated to bring the song into the current climate. It had the Olympia rocking. They even played a Lard song, but can’t remember which one.
The Cells That Will Not Die from the newest album was played before we got Holiday in Cambodia. Now the venue had an electricity around it that I’d not felt in a long time. When we reached the “Pol Pot” part of the song everybody was singing it and Jello even jumped into the crowd and did some surfing before getting back to the stage and finished the gig and the festival with the best show of the entire weekend.
Special mention goes to the security who, on the whole, got into the spirit of things, putting on fake mohicans, singing along, and when people came over the barrier they were never too tough on them and escorted them quickly back into the crowd, apart from when the League were playing we had some wankers spitting at us and the security, but you always get one idiot.
Words and pics from Ska Dude.
Rebellion Festival Website