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'Blackpool, Rebellion Festival, 5 August 2017'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave'

Our Rating:
Day three has arrived and along with the traditional walk down the beach we also did our normal ride on the big wheel whilst making our way back to the Winter Gardens for the busiest day of the festival by far. In fact, we made sure to arrive early enough to see the first band of the day in the Opera House.

Yes we had to see London based punk rock miscreants The Derellas high octane Ramones-style punk open this day up with a good blast of them having Something To Say. The pop punk of She's A Pistol was helped by the stream of people arriving to see them. Of course Rock & Rollercoaster should be played at the seaside even if some of us feel a little strung out in Sin City by this point of the festival.

Yeah, no matter how much Timmy and Stevie claim it no-one here is staying in a Soho hotel this weekend, but partying with Luca and Bish is reason enough to Dress Up and Mess up as Timmy Suggests we might Rip out the seats before they play Rip It Up and finish a great fun start to the day with Stick It To The Man.

We then went to the Empress Ballroom for Los Fastidios who I can't believe I've never heard of before as they have been going for 25 years playing Italian antifa vegan ska punk with strong skinhead oi leanings. They had great fun dance-along songs about being Antifa Hooligans and animal rights and being anti-fascist skinheads as well as playing a song with a monumental sing along intro taken from The Rivers Of Babylon. Yup, the whole room sang along with it although it was much more the U-Roy version rather than the Boney M one!!

They also had a very cool song about 1968 and the birth of the Skinhead movement and they just left me with a huge smile on my face. They also had a great sing along to what I was told was the theme song for Roger Ramjet by my expert on such matters. They left me wanting to get their Best of and I may also need the new album they are promoting.

We stayed in the ballroom for 999 who are the only band to have played all 21 Rebellion festivals. They sounded much the same as last year and that's no bad thing. With Arturo Lurker looking and sounding like one of the Boys In The Gang they were firing on all cylinders and In the Morning was almost right. It's still classics like No Pity, I'm Alive and Emergency that get the crowd going as Nick Cash tries to make out he's Nasty Nasty once more. Of course they finish with a great version of Homicide that leaves most of us very happy indeed.

Then it's outside to the Casbah Stage for Citizen Fish, Dick Lucas' second band of the weekend. They are the anarcho vegan ska band he fronts to great effect as they sing about Let's Get Back and have a pretty wonderful Meltdown while the band members point out the guy who is standing on a roof the other side of the fence and dancing along to them. The graffiti classic that is Marker Pen went down well as did Human Conditioner and they closed with a danced up sing along to Wake Up before Dick made us all turn round and wave to the guy dancing on the roof!

Then it was back into the Empress Ballroom for Gimp Fist who had a backdrop of Mickey Fitz standing proud in front of a Union Jack flag. As eve,r they play a great set of sing along terrace chant Oi street punk that from War On The streets onwards gets everyone going, with our Fists In The Air waiting for that Wake Up Call. Yes they dedicate I think it was Heart Full Of Pride to Mickey Fitz and On The Beach to all of us and everyone at Rebellion before finishing with a rousing sing along to Here I Stand.

Then it's back to the Opera House to see The Lurkers who of course feature Arturo and Stu from 999 (or is it the other way round?). Whatever, Stu also plays in Resistance 77 but we didn't make it to see them this year. They still sound great even if they introduce Pills as being by The New York Dolls and not Bo Diddley we know what Arturo means. He is funny throughout with his in between song banter and pops at the Mass Media for the Freakshow we live in. I love the wry sense of humour of Come and Reminisce (If You Think You're Old Enough) and of course New Guitar In Town sounded pretty damn good too with the biggest cheers reserved for Shadow.

We stayed in the Opera House for Department S whose current line up play spiky post punk often with good choruses. The current singer Eddie Roxy does the angular dance stance pretty well from the opening blasts of King Of The World through a great cover of Sonic Reducer, while Going Left Right was a good sing along thankfully without an everybody on the left routine. Wonderful Day sort of summed up exactly what this day was before they romped through Is Vic There and finished with When All Is Said And Done well worth seeing.

We went back into the Empress Ballroom for UK Subs to play a set of festival faves. They seemed to take a few songs to really get going but by the time they unleashed Coup D'Etat they had the room going nuts for them. Down On the Farm sounded great and it was nice to hear Endangered Species sounding this great as Charlie is still on top form.

City of The Dead was good and forceful. Sadly Warhead hasn't seemed this relevant in a few years as it does at the moment, though of course the place went nuts for it so they had to call in the Riot Squad which didn't help and they left after a triumphant Give It To Me or whatever the last song was called.

It was straight back to the Casbah for Ruts DC for a top notch set of Punky reggae. They did a great version of This Music Must Destroy and of course everyone skanked to Staring At The Rude Boys and cheered when Dave Ruffy stood up to show us his Misty In Roots Ruts t-shirt as Misty In Roots followed them on this stage, though we sadly missed them. Jah War was as mighty as ever and they do a mean version of Suffragette City and a very cool In A Rut before Babylon's Burning once more and they close with a pin sharp Psychic Attack.

We nipped back into the Empress Ballroom for the rest of the Angelic Upstarts set. The first song we heard properly was Teenage Warning, which had the band's normal terrace chant chorus and aggro punk attitude, before they had a huge sing along to an almost acoustic Leaning On A Lamp-post that led into Red Flag. Everyone seemed to sing along to Safe Haven and Mensi was joking between songs especially before I'm An Upstart. They finished with the double whammy of Police Oppression and Who Killed Liddle Towers? The correct answer that everyone shouted back at them is of course The police killed Liddle Towers. A great end to a rousing set.

We stayed in the Empress for Sham 69 in the Pursey, Tregunna, Parsons and Guy format and they had the pace going right from the off. An early highlight for me was hearing Tear Gas Eyes one of the very few new songs they played. It sounds like classic Sham 69 too. I don't Wanna still sounds great and seeing Jimmy stalking around the stage is always cool as he gives it everything. Rip Off is still as relevant as ever.

Jimmy Jokes that the next song is in French before they play Bastille Day full on and angry of course Borstal Breakout gets a huge pit and sing along. One Faith has the sort of message that will always be relevant and, damn, Robin Guy's drumming is as brilliant as ever as is Dave Tregunna's Bass playing. I loved their version of White Riot before they closed with If the Kids Are United and when they left the stage the entire audience just kept on singing the chorus until they came back for an encore!

The encore opened with a version of Angels With Dirty Faces that really got a good pit going for it and then they made sure everyone sang along to Hurry up Harry and the chorus of "We're Going Down The Pub" in particular which was enough to earn them a second encore. They came back and finished off with Hersham Boys to make sure everyone left happy and singing on the way out.

We decided nothing could really follow Sham 69 and as much as the Violators might have been cool, we didn't have the energy for it and stumbled off into the booze Britain of the front on a Saturday night.
  author: simonovitch

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