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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rebellion Festival 2014, The Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Rebellion Festival 2014

Punx are often cynical, extremely cynical, or realists? Throughout the years I and many others have slagged the festival off – it’s just about bands reforming, the ticket prices are a rip off, and it’s just a holiday in the sun for washed-out ageing has-beens who just want to get wasted once a year. Was it really like that? There are way too many good bands playing, and good friends singing it’s praises for us to be too cynical – this year, accompanied by Turtle Tim, Vegetauren, and Support TBC, Ont Road Zine went along to see what all the fuss was about.

On the train to Blackpool, a young crusty looking kid swoops down the aisle, rummy eyed, picking on an unexpected pair of Canadian Punks, to bombard with his stories. The highlight was when he was slagging off the Bristol punks for kicking off at him for telling racist jokes, and then proceeding to justify why it’s ok to tell them. This was then peaked by the plans for a black block to attack a fascist band at the festival. Apolitical maybe, but I am certain that Rebellion now is quite open in it’s policy to not allow right wing or racist bands to play the festival. That aside, were we going to be subject to such moronic attitudes for the whole weekend? Or was said punk spotted in a Guardian photo blog about the festival?

First and foremost, the Winter Gardens is a legendary entertainments venue, which has been through it all over the years, so as you can imagine the organisation was perhaps the best I have ever seen at a festival. It was clean, all the stages were less than 2 minutes walk from each other, the on-site food was quality, and the bouncers kept a low presence, stepping in only when needed. They loved the punks! Beer wasn’t cheap, but no more than standard city centre prices and far less than other commercial festivals, so our Old Brewery Bitter heads mustn’t grumble. What’s more, with that many pop-up bars, we never had to queue longer than 2 minutes for a drink. Win! 
Getting old
Turtle and I started the afternoon off by checking out all the stages. The newest of which, the Casbah, is out the back in a car park, which was great because there was an area to smoke and watch bands at the same time. With the bar area kitted out in graffiti, it definitely had that European autonomous zone feel. We took an evening meal at the Weatherspoons on the sea front, which had nice curry but a poor selection of real ale for a ‘spoons, before heading to the venue for some real listening.

Aptly starting off was a local band named GOLDBLADE, who were playing on the main stage, and they had a catchy sing along number where the chorus went ‘fighting in the dancehall, fucking in the street, woah, woah’. Thankfully there was none of the former, but some of the latter, as spotted by Vegetauren on the way back from the venue. “Enough for the wank bag during your lonely wank in a Travelodge?, asks Kunt & The Gang. Goldblade played again on Saturday on the acoustic stage, and were later seen leading the crowd around the walkways of the venue, singing the same songs chorus. We quickly realised that the sound in the main room was rubbish, unless you went right to the front and stood in the middle, so we made it policy to go there as often as we could.

BILLY LIAR graced the stage of the acoustic stage, and blasted through a great set of songs, mostly (yet not exclusively) about failed encounters with the opposite sex. He must have been busy because later in the weekend we met someone who had previously had an occasion with him, yet she wouldn’t go into any detail when we asked if he’d written a song about her.  We then caught half a set of songs from Leeds’ own CYANIDE PILLS on the Arena stage, which had a decent turn out to watch them. The stage was nicely peppered with leftovers from a shooting range. I think some of the band are record nerds, and they only play a few gigs a year, but if you get the chance, then make sure you go see them, because they are a great band.
Billy Liar
And then there was the straw that broke the camels back, a Macc Lads tribute band, called the MANC LADS – now I am aware (and a fan) of some of their output (I make no secret on my discogs collection), yet they had a few songs which are sexist, homophobic, and racist, which are a definite no no beyond the bedroom – in 2014 why is the band playing a derogatory song about ‘puffs’? It was when they made a remark and played that song when they lost my respect. It’s fair enough playing some of the ‘before the borderline’ classics for nostalgic purposes, but being outright homophobic on stage was a step too far. They even had a guest female vocalist for two ‘questionable’ songs, which although was an attempt to give them an air of legitimacy, didn’t make the content any more digestible. Although there were some in the crowd that left in disgust, there was way more that arrived with grins on their faces. However, I still feel that these people are in the minority, and that punk has come a long way since the 1980s.  

Next up were MORNING GLORY, featuring ex members of Leftover Crack, and are on Fat Wreck Chords. The record I heard isn’t good, and on stage weren’t much better, yet they were a good back drop for getting more drunk, in preparation for THE DICKIES (funnily enough, also on Fat Wreck Chords), who as it happens, despite being a great band, felt a little out of their depth as a main stage headliner, which perhaps should have been the SELECTER who played to a packed hall prior to their set. Either way, it was a great way to have a first night warm up to a festival.

We cut short The Dickies set, to finish off in the Pavilion with TRAGEDY (no not the amazing D-Beat mental crust band from Portland), who are a Heavy Metal covers band of the Bee Gees, Abba, and beyond. They were highly entertaining and good for a sing-along, and they kept the crowd amused with short skits involving their roadie called ‘Gimp’ dressed as a sailor.
Thousands of punks woke up in their B&B with a hangover – ours was three streets away, so almost every one on our streets was occupied by punks – the nearest we’ll get to living in a UK version of Mattersville. To avoid the relentless onslaught, Turtle and I took an 8-mile tram ride up the coast to spend the day visiting the adjoining town of Fleetwood. A quick search of ‘Real Ale Fleetwood’ on the Internet, took us to The Strawberry Gardens, which had about 20 ales on tap, a rare treat. When we sat down to get some food, our waiter was no other than Sid Little of ‘Little & Large’ fame. He & his wife run the restaurant part, and it was amusing listening to him muse on the daily struggles of Fleetwood life, with his regular customers. The net curtain trade has certainly gone down hill. After we left a tip, he spotted Turtle’s Asian Man Records t-shirt and preceded to tell us how a Little & Large 7” was recently given to him as a present. He knew how to please his audience with the right tales. We followed this up with a visit to Fleetwood Town FC’s stadium (6 promotions in 10 years!), had a peek in, and had a hold of the League 2 Playoff Final Trophy, which was just sitting on the counter of the club shop. That was a nice little treat to round off our wonderful short visit.

Back to the action, and we met up with Vegetauren, the latest addition to our clan. The first band of our day was THE FILAMENTS, who are a standout band from a sea of mediocre pop-punk bands released by Houeholdname Records & Moonska Europe during the late 90s / early 2000s. Their fast paced & energetic ska-punk was a great way to ease into the day. We then tried to catch the last few songs of SPLODGENESSABOUNDS, but only caught the back end of the last song. We had a policy that weekend where you had to see at least three songs of a band to say you have seen them, so they didn’t make the cut. With so many good bands playing the festival, it is almost inevitable to face clashes with other bands, which in so many ways is a good thing because you can maximise viewing potential by catching different halves of two bands sets. It’s a great festival for ticking the boxes.

The first surprise of the day came from GIUDA, who are a glam band from Italy. They weren’t on the original list, but we were persuaded to go see them by Mez, and it was sound advice indeed. Their singer was one sexy motherfucker, and he was always dancing and being animated during the songs. They were definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.

One of the joys of the festival is nipping outside, buying a cheap drink from the supermarket, and people watching all the different styles of punks, hanging & sprawling around, outside the front on the venue. Yet, starting drinking after lunchtime always brings the dilemma of having to take a strategic break to eat tea. On this occasion we went to the nearby West Coast Rock Café, which I wouldn’t recommend as it was overpriced for the standard of the food. Also, the food arrived 10 minutes before DICKIE HAMMOND was due on stage, so we had to ‘wolf it down for tea tonight’.

The first thing we noticed when walking into the bar area where the ‘Almost Acoustic’ stage is located is that Dickie was running late. This gave us ample opportunity to take a piss, get a round of Newcy Brown in, and take a seat on the floor down at the front, like proper fan boys. It was clear that Dickie had quite a bit to drink already as he was slurring his words when speaking to the crowd, and regularly dropping his lyrics sheets onto the floor, which his friends had to come on stage and pick up for him.
Dickie Hammond
He was playing electric guitar tonight, and it was difficult to hear the words due to the sound coming from the amp. By the time the second song was near to the end, people were starting to look around the room at each other, as if to say, what the hell is this, and already a few people had vacated their seats and moved on. Dickie then teased the crowd that he would play ‘Springtime’ by Leatherface, but only if someone would go up on stage and sing it, as ‘there are too many words to remember’. Nobody did, and that opportunity for a great crowd sing-along was missed. There are only a few people I could think of who could get away with emulating Stubbs, and one of them was on the stage. The other would appear later.

For his third song, he played what seemed to be a Johnny Cash cover, and like his other songs, he was a little out of time, slurring and forgetful with some of the words. Following this, he exclaimed how he was going to play Cash’s Hurt, yet decided against it, as he couldn’t find the lyrics. It was at the moment that Dickie seemed to have a creative block, and was just silently strumming for a while. And then, out of nowhere, as you would do practicing in your own bedroom, he starts to play a huge AC/DC riff, and after 30 seconds seems to realise what he is doing and then just stops. It was becoming a car crash.

That was until out of nowhere, appearing from the back of the crowd, like Moses parting the sea, is Golly, the singer from HDQ. He rescues Dickie from the situation by joining him on stage to sing four HDQ songs, which pleases the hardcore crowd to no end. They play Lost in Translation, Room with a View, Hand Me Downs, and Never Ending Winter (which we find out after the show is not a commentary on the social realities of living in the North East, but is in fact about Hammonds House!). Even though Dickie was sometimes out of time, and missing certain parts of songs, Golly rarely was ‘opening my mouth, and the wrong words always come out’, they did a fantastic job considering how drunk they were, particularly Golly who wasn’t expecting this to happen. Nobody lost a friend that night. This was a real treat, and a best-case scenario for the fans, even prior to the start of the show.
'HDQ' acoustic
After the set, Golly told us that if Dickie had have asked him prior to the festival, then he would have accepted and sat down to practice and hammer out some HDQ & Leatherface numbers. For whatever reason, Dickie wanted to go it alone for the first time, and I think this occasion has taught him the harsh realties of going solo. I guess from now he must consider the following three reasons: 1) whether to step up to the challenge and start off by playing more intimate gigs, 2) do it again but next time with an accompanying artist, or 3) scrap the idea completely. Options 1 and 2 are the only ones worth considering. Take this one on the chin son, keep belting out the classics, dig in deep and we’ll see you on the other side.

* Two days since this written, I was sad to find out that Dickie is not well and is in hospital. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, and I wish him all the best for the next phase of his life. Hang in there big man!

Following the set, I tried to go and see CULTURE SHOCK, but the room was too busy, so I went back to the acoustic stage to chat more with the Mackems, and occasionally listen in to socialist punk-poet ATILLA THE STOCKBROKER singing songs in solidarity with Miners & hating fascists. He is an inspirational activist, and someone to look up to. We then took some time to gather our thoughts and drink some prepared Rum & Coke back at the B&B.

I made it back to catch the start of SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS, one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing, as their ‘Do it dog style’ is a great record. I was too out of it, so I had to take a 20-minute strategic fresh air, and pint of stout relaxation moment, before heading back in to catch the rest of the set. The layout of the Empress Ballroom had changed this year, and a temporary stage had been set up at one side, meaning the bands were playing to a long, rather than wide, hall. What’s better is that now they have opened up the balconies, so I was able to enjoy the encore from the comfort of a chair. With such a relentless amount of bands, a strategic sit down is always welcome by the feet.

GEOFFREY OI!COTT or STIFF LITTLE FINGERS was a huge dilemma for the Yorkshire Punks in attendance.  We stuck to our roots and joined a respectable contingent of the Pyjama Army to have a good dance along at the front to this cricket themed Oi! band. It’s always great to see a band when you know most of the lyrics, so a good sing song was had. We even got a few streakers during one song, and the regional sample was obvious with the copious amounts of Yorkshire songs in-between songs. It was nice to see a local band that many years ago you were watching with twenty people down your local pub, to now headlining a stage to a few hundred people at one of the worlds most premier punk festivals. Jase Kilvo, we salute you!
Geoffrey Oi!cott
Vegetauren was crafty by checking previous shows on setlist.fm beforehand, and worked out that he could still watch Oi!cott and then make it to SLF to see all the classic songs at the end of the set. Plus one to the geek punks! Turtle and I went to the Pavilion to watch New York’s ska-punk band THE TOASTERS. This was a great way to round off the night, as we skanked just as hard as we did at the Lubby Nugget shows when were 16 years old. We were on such form, that there were grown women stood around gawping at us. The crowd was on fire and the band commented “we usually get booked to play all these hippy festivals, but we love coming to Rebellion because the punks go wild for our songs”. Says it all really.

After the nights entertainment we stopped by the hotel bar for a night cap, yet it was closed, so somehow we managed to talk round a proprietor over the road, who kindly let us into his hotel to have a coupe of pints. Turns out it is a hotel where many of the back stage crew stay, so we got to meet some interesting people during our visit, including the legendary Rat, who was earlier seen on stage in full cricket whites during Geoffrey Oi!cott’s set.

By Saturday the four was complete with the arrival of Support TBC, and the hangovers weren’t getting any easier. We started out foray into the outside world with a fish & chips lunch, and then took a leisurely stroll down the promenade towards the Pleasure Beach (no not the kind of beach you see on Kavos uncovered). That is the beauty of having a festival in Blackpool, the instant access to loads of entertainment, and it wouldn’t be complete without a game on the Arabian Horse Racing, the one where you have to roll balls down a hole to get your house to move through the race.

The Holy Grail though was ‘Adventure Golf’, an expertly designed mini-golf course, approved by the British Mini Golf Association, which twice hosted the Blackpool Open Invitational. The gradients on some of the greens were tough, which led to too many Mulligans being recorded on the scorecard. A division of talent emerged midway through the game, and Turtle Tim won the difficult course by four shots, with an extremely impressive total of one over par. If stomach hurting, non-offensive, and non-infringing banter existed, then the topic of Mini-golf would prove to be the focus of this for the rest of the weekend.
Another round of mini-golf
We didn’t’ get out arses in gear, so we expectedly missed a couple of bands that were playing early on, which is difficult to avoid at a festival of such magnitude. We started the day off with watching LOST CHEREES, whose female fronted punk-rock sounds eased us into the day. This was then followed by a comfortable sat down audience with KELLY KEMP (who was in No Comply) in the almost acoustic room. The sitting down (well lying on the floor) then continued with another surprise highlight of the festival.

I had seen JELLO BIAFRA spoken word in Manchester twelve years ago, speaking extensively about US foreign policy & all the fallout from the Dead Kennedys disbanding. This time round he gave us a wealth of material, with topics ranging from a future under corporate control, Middle Eastern band names, the Occupy movement, Fracking, and my favourite of all a long dismantling critique of US gun policy. Jello is an important thinker & artist in our movement, and his set proved that he is even sharper and quick witted than ever.

* During Jello’s talk on gun control there was a part where he was talking about the solution being to stop producing bullets. At one point he said “Guns don’t kill people” and left a short pause, to which I shouted “Rappers do!” This made many folks laugh, and I have decided to go out on a high, and officially retire from heckling, following this beauty.
Jello Biafra

And who could follow that? Fucking HARD SKIN that’s who. The Rebellion regulars caused a lot of controversy (sic) the year before by burning a Union Jack on stage, yet singer Fat Bob continued to be unrelenting in his hatred for the nationalist movement. The words “Fuck off you fascist wanker, the day he [Ian Stuart] died was one of the happiest days of my life” remain stuck in my thoughts. As usual, the ‘banter’ with the crowd was great, and the band treated the crowd to a set of all the hit songs from their array of releases. Another great set, from a classic contemporary punk/oi! band.

We then took a strategic food break, and sat down in the on-site restaurant. This place was plush, and for £6.50p a meal, was extremely good value and excellent quality. I got the feeling that they had marked down their prices in order to capture a market. It worked, because it was full every time we went in, and for the quality and convenience, wish we’d had eaten there from the start of the festival.

Afterwards we bought a bottle of Rum from the supermarket and went back to the hotel to take part in an accelerated drinking programme (it’s always tough that first hour following a mid-drinking session meal). Before we went back to watching bands, we had one of a number of regular smoke breaks at the Casbah stage, as one of a number of ‘Vauxhall Conference’ 77 ‘punk by numbers’ bands was playing in the background. Throughout the weekend, the mohawks were always different, yet the rhetoric was often the same.

If you could sum up the SUBHUMANS in one word, it would have to be consistency. Every time I see them they sound exactly the same, note for note, and watching them again, felt like I was there, in that Live in a Dive record. They played all the classic sing-along number, and you are always guaranteed a great set from the band, and a good rant from singer Dick Lucas. After their set, we all lost each other, and I remember walking around on my own just digging the buzz of the place, taking it all in, and catching one or two songs of each band that were playing at all the different stages. I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again, this isn’t the place run by businessmen.  

I had every intention of seeing more bands on this day (ATV, STEVE IGNORANT, SPIZZ ENERGI, and KILLING JOKE) but to be honest I was just enjoying the buzz and the energy, so all that became a backdrop to having a good time with mates old and new. I may have caught the odd song here and there, and that was enough, I was just so fucking happy to be surrounded by so many like-minded people (with the exception of the odd fascist that was spotted). We ended the night watching ska band JAYA THE CAT, who were good for a 20-minute skank, yet didn’t have the bite or frenetic energy that The Toasters had the previous night, to keep us there for the whole set.

Buckfast in Co-op? Only at Rebellion
One flashback I do have from the day (or was it Sunday?), is whilst walking back from the supermarket, seeing a trickle of punks marching past us, led by two people holding an ‘anti-fascist action’ flag. It is no secret that every year, the fascist punks organise a gig in or near Blackpool during the same weekend as the festival. This year, it was more controversial because it was the closest to the festival it had ever been staged. Were these punks heading to that gig? Or were they confronting someone whom had been in and around the festival site (as a Youtube video is suggesting)? There doesn’t seem to be anything glaring online, and I don’t have time to be doing research into this minor fringe skirmish. Perhaps the prophecy of the drunken train punk I overheard on the way to the festival came true?

In all seriousness though, it did get me thinking. Now whilst there are many occasions where a fash deserves a good whipping, and I respect a lot of work that Ant-Fascist Action carries out, it’s not always the best policy when dealing with these people. Perhaps by having the right wing fascists in and around the area during the festival, in an environment where they are outnumbered 100 to 1, where there is alternative way of thinking abound in a subculture they are familiar with, it may actually work in our favour. Perhaps I am being uber-naïve, yet maybe just somewhere there are people that have been blindly following along, and thus, seeing what the dominant thought process is within the punk scene and socialising with those in it, may decide to switch their allegiance, and thus we have won part of our struggle with ideological bullets rather than close-minded fists? Surely a scrap often just leads to a further polarisation and justification of opinions? Or does it make uncertain people reconsider their position? There were those, such as ATILLA THE STOCKBROKER who wrote on his social networking site, about using this discussion tactic at a pub nearby the festival, to mixed success. The question of how to deal with the problem of the fascists is always going to be a tricky one, yet at times the answer should not always be so black and white.

We rounded off the night back at the hotel bar, which thankfully the owner opened up for us that night, and thankfully allowed entry to the various roustabouts we had gathered from the festival. We sang many an acapella punk-song to round the night off joyfully.

The Sunday of the festival was always the main selling point for us, and the announcement that NOFX were headlining was the reason we all bought tickets. Little did we know at the time, the day started filling up with lots of great bands, and more bands playing the mid-90s Epi-Fat style that we as a collective have grown to love (and imitate) over the years. In fact there were many good smaller labels around at that time, with the exception of Golf Records, who were the go to label for all the shit bands of that period. Their compilations ‘Another round of Golf’ was more apt for us in the fact that the first thing we did that day was go straight to another mini golf course, to finish off our new found rivalries. This time I managed to pull out the win, hitting a hole in one on the last hole. The first round was on me then.

We started the day off at the Poetry stage, with Vegetauren and I watching Mancunian poet JOSHUA WILLIAMS. After the first poem we were doing our best not to burst out into laughter in this serious environment. We were sat right at the front and were becoming conscious that he would see us bursting. It was getting painful to hold back the smirking, especially when he started conveying himself as some sort of pained, worldly figure, which didn’t seem convincing coming from a young, feeble, and softly-spoken character. I had to run away from the stage, and goad Vegetauren away, who was being far too polite. We got round the corner and laughed so hard.    

Then BEZ, former member of the Happy Mondays arrived, and treated us to a 20 minute tirade against fracking, the Germanic influence in our Royal Family, and a brief outline of the new political party he has formed, the Reality Party. It turns out he has been homeless and penniless for the past few years, and has been living off the land on a caravan site with some other hippies. In this time, he has become politicised, extremely concerned with environmental & ecological issues, and has taken a road of doing community and political work. The guy has a good heart, and while some of his claims were scant on detail, his general philosophical and moral outlook on today’s world is something to be commended – he is a true conscious warrior, fighting for an alternative and better world. Look out for Reality Party candidates at your next local election.

The first band we saw was THE IMPLANTS, who are on Cyber Tracks, El Hefe from NOFX’s label; perhaps that was part of the deal? They feature members of Ten Foot Pole, Strung Out, and Pulley; so you can probably imagine what they sound like – it’s great that these people are still producing that kind of sound, even though it is nowhere near as popular as it was at the time. They were really tight, seemed really happy to be at Rebellion, and were that good we actually watched their whole set. This was another great surprise of the festival.

It was at this point that I had listed on a schedule of bands that I wanted to see, the Oi!/Punk band from Belfast, RUNNIN RIOT. I decided to miss them in order to take a short music break prior to the upcoming onslaught of bands. This is probably my biggest regret of the weekend, because a week later, lead singer Colin died peacefully in his sleep, mid way through the bands tour with the OLD FIRM CASUALS.  This is a tragic loss for the Irish & worldwide punk community. Check out their song, Alcoholic Heroes, to see how great they are.

We caught a few songs of legendary Canadian band SNFU. There was another legendary Canadian band playing later on, and another legendary Canadian bands, Propagandhi, need to be booked at this festival in the future. I digress, unfortunately for SNFU, they clashed at the same time as festival favourite, KUNT & THE GANG. One man and his jingles; imagine Super Hands from Peepshow, mixed with a dodgy, offensive, Essex bloke, prancing around on stage singing cabaret style songs, that cover topics such as sucking off a builder, gentleman’s washes, lonely masturbation, Jimmy Saville, and the absurdity of UKIP. The Spanish Hall was packed for his set, and there was plenty of laughter throughout. A perfect act for a Sunday evening, when after three nights on the sauce, craic might be running low.

Next up in the acoustic room, was CHAS PALMER-WILLIAMS, the singer of the now defunct, Lightyear. He had some amusing lyrics, and quickly gained a strong rapport with the crowd, whom he was able to utilise and move around the room as part of his set. Highlights included, a conga, a staged photograph, and a fake band to play along to the Lightyear classic ‘Pack of Dogs’ at the end of a good set. The hub was then flipped as we caught half the set of CHAOS UK, and I was able to mosh down the front to get my classic, early 80s punk fix. 
Chas Palmer-Williams
DOA in Leeds was voted as gig of the year in the 2013 end of year list, and once again, at their last ever UK gig, they showed just how phenomenal they are. From start to finish they were relentless, thrashing through classic after classic. On the first song, Joey Shithead, was already playing a solo with his guitar behind his head. Both guitarists had wireless instruments, so they were thrashing around the stage all the time, which added a nice visual treat to their performance. In 35 years since inception, they have produced an impressive stack of releases, and now Joey Shithead will trade in the axe for a career in local politics. It was a treat to be able to see them one last time, or ‘until the reunion tour’ as Fat Mike jokingly exclaimed.   

In the run up till the end, we watched some songs of LEFTOVER CRACK, to get in the mood for the main event. Whilst they have admirable and uncompromising politics, musically I have never been able and never will be able to understand why they are so popular. At least with them crossing over into NOFX’s set, we were able to ensure that we would get a good spot down the front, and lead the crowd in singing a Sublime song to get in the mood.  

And what a fitting end for us pop-punkers, one of the best around, following in the footsteps of Rancid & Bad Religion in headlining Rebellion Festival. It was clear from the outset that they were humbled, honoured, and respectful of the fact that they had been asked to play. As you may know with NOFX, part of the appeal of their set is the way they make fun of the audience. The highlight this time was when they were slagging off someone who had brought their young children to the show, and had them sat on their shoulders. It started off quite mild, with Mike having a go at them for blocking the view of others, then started calling them irresponsible for taking them to a NOFX show, and El Hefe took it to the extreme by asking the kids if they knew what various sexual phrases meant, before explaining in detail what they were.

The set itself was ideal for a festival, with a mix of old classics, and a few newer ones. The only satiating moments for us NOFX geeks who have seen them so many times, was their cover of Tony Sly’s ‘Shortest Pier’, and 30 seconds of the ‘Longest Line’. The rest of the songs were what you’d expect to hear at most recent NOFX shows, which is always great, but also a little disappointing that they finished 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Vegetauren will have to wait another day until he gets to hear The Decline in full. All in all, it was a fantastic way to end a fantastic four days, and as we’ve got a few years older, we’ve moved a few yards further towards the back, now about 6 foot behind the back of the pit, so we can still jump in for the songs we like.

There were loads of daytime ad after-gigs taking place throughout the weekend at the nearby alternative club ‘The Tache”. We valiantly tried to round off the weekend, there but we soon realised we were too exhausted from four days of partying, so we turned our backs at the door, and unwound with some fast food, and a game of Blackjack at the casino.

We left Blackpool buzzing, and this Rebellion Festival weekend is up there in the top all-time festivals visited for all four of us (there is already talk of getting the tickets for next years festival already). With so many good bands and people, in such a well-organised and compact venue, with no fucking camping, it is safe to say that Rebellion Festival will remain on the Ont Road radar for many years to come.  Up the Punks!

Words © Schwarzbrennen

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