(review n pix by neil crud)
To some, this Rebellion weekend is their one outing a year; reliving their youth, having a holiday and shame upon them really, as
1/ They need to scrape their fat arses off the settee and see a ‘new’ live band once in a while; not just crawl out of the woodwork, dye their hair specially and dust down the old leather jacket for the occasion.
2/ Bands need people to see them, they need exposure and
3/ You only have one life, LIVE IT…!
I’m writing this Saturday review over a week on since the event; that dull hungover feeling is still lingering. Those LOUD bands are still ringing around my ears, their CDs, books, badges, posters, flyers etc are still cluttered around my desk and I’m slowly trawling through them; some great, some shit, some brilliant.
To a lot of the bands who played Rebellion, this was just another date on their calendar (albeit a big one), some are so busy touring it’s incredible to see their updates appear on the feeds, and I both pity and envy them for their workloads…
Our biggest workload on this Saturday morning was scraping ourselves out of the B&B beds; we had not long got back after seeing RSI tear The Tache apart (there’ll be a review soon), we got in during early morning daylight, we dragged ourselves up for breakfast, we went back to sleep, we overslept and just managed to catch Goldblade playing The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll unplugged at HMV Blackpool, using cardboard boxes for drums!
Niall Hope saw more than we did and on his excellent blog said, ‘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.’
Inside the Winter Gardens and kickstarting proceedings at The Olympia were Dogsflesh. Tim, Michael and myself were thunderstruck. This three piece from Middlesbrough with 30 years under their belts sounded like a legion of tanks thundering toward you, like a 1300 Kawasaki ticking over next to you in a tiny room! Tracks / subjects included, Sleaze Bag, Remembrance Day, High School Massacre and the brilliant City In Dust. It was chugga chugga full metal jack off stuff, sometimes bordering on thrash. They sounded ace and looked ace and hard as fuck.
The queue for their merchandise after their set spoke volumes for them, and we caught up with singer/guitarist Rob (pic above) later on and he spoke dewy eyed of The Dudley Arms in Rhyl, of Mad Dog Andy on the door, and the band still rate Rhyl as having the best Kebab House in The UK. Rob also told me to call the other two Dogsflesh boys Gorgeous George and Robert Duval..!
I would have happily crawled under a stone for a couple of hours to nurse my glass of Berucca, but Potential Victims insisted we stayed for their set on Stage 2 at The Olympia, and quite frankly, it would have been rude to do otherwise. They looked rough as fuck, but looks can be deceptive as they were pretty darn slick. It was fast, free flowing punk rock with a splash of Ace of Spades in there. Do It for kinky bastards, Sex In Sweden about their experiences on tour, Torment, Even The Score, Television is Chewing Gum For The Brain, the songs came thick and fast, ‘Buy our CD so we can get the petrol home.’ Don’t mind if I do…!
The beauty of this immense weekend is that you can have an entirely different festival to other people under the same roof. It’s also frustrating as there are so many bands you’re not going to see. A quick look at other mates’ profiles and photos betrays ‘someone else’s party’ a lot of the time. I’ll hold my hands up and admit I had never heard of The Bronx, but 5000 people had, and enjoyed them too. Also, I had never heard of The Warriors until Trev HAGL mentioned them a couple of years ago, there are so many different combinations of bands you can see in one day that I guess an organised magazine or website would send maybe 3 or 4 reviewers out with a list of bands to cover. So I apologise to the bands I didn’t get to see, and to you the reader if you were expecting to read about Cock Sparrer, Chas And Dave, Outcasts, Varukers – the list goes on. We did however catch the end of 999 from the Empress Balcony as the hits reeled out – Nasty Nasty, Emergency, I’m Alive, Homicide. Gutted I didn’t catch Found Out Too Late, and wondered if they played Indian Reservation and guess they didn’t play one of my favourites Taboo.
With her debut album ‘Dreams From The Factory Floor’ due out soon, Louise Distras has a lot to shout about when it comes to apathy, standing together and anything else that angers her. She has got to be the hardest working person on the punk circuit right now. ‘Have guitar will travel.’ Belgium last week, Germany next week. Keep your back doors unlocked, chances are you’ll find her playing in your kitchen. She has her ideals, her principles and she fucking sticks to them. No sell out – EVER and credit to her. This is what networking does, it gives you results – yes, you have to be good, and if you’re not, you’ll get found out, regardless of the hype. Louise is not good, she’s ace, and armed with flyers, posters, FB, twitter, self belief, an acoustic guitar and a voice loud enough to break windows she is also kicking over walls in the name of punk rock and equality.
I also had a date with another lady of punk rock as Rebecca Bond was about to alight the stage in the Empress Ballroom. Better known to you as Beki Bondage who fronts Vice Squad, they ripped through Sniffing Glue, Criminals, Social Insecurity, the songs were relentless, bang bang bang, as if they knew any messing meant less time to play under these strict (and needed) time slots. Beki is as glamourous as ever, bassist, Wayne Stuntface as demented as ever, Paul dwarfs his guitar and the ever so slight and quiet Violet, turns into a monster behind that kit. Latex Love, Out of Reach, Scarred For Life, Punk Rock Radio (fuck, do we need a punk rock radio!), Rock ‘n’ Roll Massacre (about too much drugs, sex, cake and crisps), Stand Strong Stand Proud, Last Rockers, it was very much singalonga Vice Squad, and we did just that. Great entertainment.
The only problem with going on an all-dayer (for the third day running) where the beer flows as freely (£3.30 a pint freely) as the music, is that chunks of blackness appear. Where did we go, what did we do after Vice Squad and before UK Subs? We missed two hours’ of bands somehow… Did we go out, did we eat, did we browse the stalls (probably)..? Anyway, Charlie Harper’s Barmy Army (pic above by Mic) were on top form tonight, and I mean TOP FORM. I’m guessing they played a couple of new tracks off the new album XXVI, I say guessing as I ashamedly don’t own a copy yet, although with 26 albums to boot you’d forgive me for not knowing EVERY UK Subs song recorded, as I’m damn certain the UK Subs themselves don’t know every UK Subs song recorded!!
Charlie, Jet, Alvin and Jamie smashed Emotional Blackmail, Down On The Farm, Kicks, Tomorrows Girls, in which you could hear the audience singing every word, as you could with Warhead, after which Charlie said ‘Wow! Breathtaking.’ Which it was as thousands chanted ‘Warhead Warhead Warhead!’ – They finished with Stranglehold and then Guillotine. I keep meaning to ask them why they don’t play Teenage, Party In Paris, Keep On Running, She’s Not There etc, but they’ll probably refer me to my line about 26 albums…
There are / have been those among my circle of friends who loathe the Cockney Rejects. Football hooligans, thugs, yobs etc. And, if you read my review of Friday’s Rebellion and my sentiments for Crass, you’d probably be inclined to think I too share those feelings, and I do – they are hooligans, thugs, yobs and I fucking loved them… I loved Crass too, and The Damned, Dead Kennedys, I love Punk Rock.
Cockney Rejects weren’t some fake made up band pretending to be ‘darn wiv da kidz’, not some tabloid shysters dreamt up to be cool by Garry Bushell (he jumped on their bandwagon), the Rejects were members of the Inner City Firm (West Ham Utd’s hit squad), they were street fighters, they defended their manor and they made brilliant rousing punk rock terrace songs. Yeah, they went all wank by album #4 but just to meet vocalist Stinky Turner and have a bit of banter with him was a highlight among highlights this weekend. He autographed a copy of The East End Babylon DVD for me, ‘To Neil, Ave it son,’ follow by the West Ham ‘Hammers’ logo, ‘Don’t fucking put that on my DVD!’ I screamed. He laughed, ‘Who d’you support then?’ I told him of my Scouse tendencies to the red side, and he said, ‘My fucking boy supports Liverpool.’
I pissed myself laughing, I can’t believe Stinky Turner’s son supports Liverpool; his son was laughing too. On betraying my North Walian upbringing, Stinky exclaimed, ‘Colwyn Bay! We played on some pier there and got kicked out of the B&B cos someone shat in a teapot!’
I was too young to see them in Colwyn Bay in 1981, but I’m not too old to be enjoying every fucking minute of an absolute assault of a set tonight, we were literally running down the back streets (oi oi oi!) with our flares ‘n’ slippers on as we screamed out chorus after chorus, I’m Not a Fool, We Can Do Anything, East End, Bad Man, War on The Terraces, Police Car, Shitter, East End Babylon, Oi Oi Oi, Flares n Slippers, Where The Hell is Babylon. It was pretty awesome stuff, and with so much energy, you were knackered just watching it!
The set was cut short, ‘We’ve been told we’ve got ten minutes cos Chas n Dave played for too long, the Tooting cunts!’ explained Mr Turner.
As soon as I got home I dug out Cockney Rejects Greatest Hits Vol 1, 2 and 3…
Exhausted, drunk, exhilarated, we stumbled in on The Rezillos in the Olympia, ‘No need for any reverb on the vocals in this place,’ said Fay Fife as she/they battled with the sound. Under normal circumstances I’d have been down the front, taking in every note, every word, every hook of this band (another one on the Tick List), but after the Rejects I was worn out, punked out… Love the album ‘Can’t Stand The Rezillos’ and we caught Good Sculptures, Mystery Action, Top of The Pops in all their bubblegum punk glory…
We tried to squeeze in and see a bit of Ruts DC, a band I well and truly soaked up last year, caught a bit of It Was Cold (my favourite ever Ruts song) and that finished the night off perfectly for me… Well… not quite….