Bands reviewed are Royal Oi, Inca babies, Super Fast Girlie Show, Rock & Roll Gypsies, P.A.I.N., Billyclub, The Vibrators, Dirt Box Disco, Brassick, Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions, Culture Shock, Lene Lovich, The Primitives.
Yes we made it to day 4 of the as ever marathon event that is the Rebellion Festival and took another slow stroll up the Prom as the tide was too far in to walk on the beach and arrived at the Winter Gardens in time for the first band of the day on the Pavilion Stage.
That band was Glasgow's Royal Oi who are a young skinhead oi band fronted by Ana Trash who sing mainly about life as a skinhead and the boots and braces culture. The songs the guy sings didn't have the same impact as the female vocals but they were still a decent wake up call.
We then went to The Opera House to see 80's Death rock legends The Inca Babies who started off sounding very loose indeed like a Mancunian Gun Club or Birthday Party while singing about My Sick Suburb. By the time they took us into the bands own Opium Den things had tightened up considerably even if they were sounding darker and more foreboding as they tried to Smash it into the ground as they thought we were at The End Of The World. It was really cool to see them play live finally as I have missed them a few times over the years.
It was then decision time as we couldn't decide who to see next we chose to see a few songs each of the two main contenders and so went first to see Super Fast Girlie Show in the Empress Ballroom where they sadly failed to live up to the band's name, as there were no Girlies involved and they weren't super-fast either being more like a third rate Dumpy's rusty Nuts or Left Lane Cruiser just standard biker rock really. They may have been singing We Are Freaks but they didn't look or sound like it. On the right bill they may well be good fun to see but on this bill they didn't Stand Up which was what the last song we heard was about.
We then went back to The Opera House for some of the Rock & Roll Gypsies who were all kinds of wrong playing some sort of west coast AOR soft rock meets soft core reggae with an annoying female singer that made us think we should have stayed in the Ballroom we lasted about three songs and left again.
We then went out to the Casbah For P.A.I.N. the anarcho squat punky reggae party band who mainly sing about smoking weed and police oppression and where playing in the drizzle that reduced the bands crowd somewhat. They are a whole lot of fun while doing it the girl singer really worked the crowd well. Revenge never sounded like so much fun as when they sing about it. That and making sure the Police don't find your Bag Of Weed. They closed with a brilliant sing along to Oh No It's The Pigs.
It was then time for our first visit of the weekend to the Arena stage for Billyclub who play super speedy hardcore thrash punk including the mental as it comes Punk rock Ambulance and the thrash monster that was 747 and finishing with the almost sing along finger in the air anthem of Fuck You Very Much and they had a few friends onstage for that one.
We then nipped over to the Opera House for The Vibrators who may have painted there whole world blue but the set really kicked into gear with Automatic Lover sounding cool and then they took us back to 1978 for Troops Of Tomorrow before going all garage rock on Have Love Will Travel. Blackout sounded cool and menacing before they showed The Members how The Sound Of The Suburbs should sound damn they sounded great even if Knox isn't quite well enough to tour with them.
Of course everyone sang along to Baby Baby before once again Judy Says Knock You In The Head seemed to make a good few people cheer even louder. They then decided we should all go to a Disco in Moscow before finishing with what could have been the results of an evening in Moscow yes once again The Kid's A Mess closed a really great and fun set from The Vibrators.
We then went over to the Empress Ballroom for Dirt Box Disco to bring their special kind of madness to us and from the opening Burning they had the whole place going kind of nuts as they tried to get more crowd surfers than anyone else.
Peepshow sounded great and Standing In a Queue had the normal madness going on from Spunk Volcano and Weab.i.am . Slap-dash Haphazard is enough of a mouthful for a song title but somehow it's a sing along classic that was followed by the totally roared My Life Is Shit.
Yes they are the sort of blokes who still have Imaginary Friends but looking like that what do you expect as they still marvel at the fact that My Girlfriends Best Friends Sister has a crush on them and anyone not having a great time by this point needed to go elsewhere as everyone else was chanting along to We are Dirtbox before they told us all that The Didn't Want To Go Out With Us aww which just left time for more crowd surfing and for them to close with Dirt Box Days to leave us all smiling, they are such a great fun band perfect for festivals.
It was then time to go back to the Arena for Brassick who we see every year at Rebellion for some great Angry hardcore from the Midlands and also thankfully they sold me a Sweatshirt to help me keep warm later. From the Start as usual Nicola the singer was totally in our faces and screaming at us to get moving and run around, really after three and a half days, well she Pelted us with more invective and got the pit moving in time for the full on lung busting Leeches. Of course they did Broke & Restless and made sure to get us all moving for it and as ever we really enjoyed them.
We stayed in the Arena for Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions that found Spunk somewhat more inebriated than he was earlier with Dirt Box Disco and they opened with the bands sort of theme song Shit Generation that got everyone going and made them ready to be Hanging Round The Shops again. Yes Spunks mask stayed in place throughout this Ram Raid of a set, as we all got caught in the bands Crossfire while trying to rev up our XR3's ready to Gatecrash our parties, but really seeing them play is like being at a party great fun even standing on Platform 3 sounds like a good idea when they sing it and the closed with what my notes makes me think might have been called Bastard. Either way like Dirtbox Disco they are a perfect festival band.
I then road tested my new sweatshirt out in the pissing rain from Culture Shock at the Casbah and despite the downpour Dick Lucas and the boys got a great turn out for their brand of Anarcho vegan punky reggae. It was raining so much I couldn't write any notes but damn they did a good version of Pressure and managed to get us all singing along to Singing In The Rain!! As well of course singing about oppression and the state of the world a great set in difficult circumstances but they are the sort of band that relish a challenge.
We then went back into the Opera House to dry off and see the rest of Lene Lovich's set. Damn she upped the weirdness levels she looks like a Matroshka doll gone mad and the band sounded well out there in all sorts of cool ways as she sang about a Wicked Witch with a sort of Brechtian art punk backing. When she told us that on the dark there is Light over a mini operetta it was darkly fascinating.
I really liked the song about all the little Details and I was expecting her to end with the big hit but we had missed that apparently as she finished with Home is where the heart is and she left me wishing I had paid her a little more attention over the years as she is up there with her old friend Nina Hagen in the mad women in music stakes.
That just left us time to see one more band and as I didn't fancy seeing The Skids we stayed in the Opera House for The Primitives a band who are totally un-punk and played a set of pretty glacial indie pop after a false start they got going with a song about lust and they sounded cool but out of place.
Stop Killing Me was pretty and glacial. I liked Sick Of It but it was also getting a little drowsy and sleepy after so much music this was a real come down set.
Spin O Rama sounded cool as did Nothing Left To Say if somewhat slight after what we'd been listening to all weekend. Tracey did her best to get us going in her party dress as she sang I'll Trust The Wind but a large part of the audience were here just to hear Crash and it was the high point of the set and the only real sing along they had. As soon as it finished about a third of the audience disappeared which meant they missed a cool version of Spaceboy and a few other songs as they sort of petered out. Had I seen them on the right bill this might have been a cool set but really they were just the comedown band at the end of a great festival.
That just left us time to find a cab back to our B & B to get out of the rain and look forward to doing it all again next year. As once again we thank everyone involved in putting on this brilliant festival.