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'Blackpool, Rebellion Festival, 4 August 2017'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave'

Our Rating:
After the full on first day we made a bit of a slow start to the second, not managing to get to the Winter Garden till just before 2pm so that we'd be in time for the first band I wanted to see on Friday's bill, Flies On You.

Yes our first band of the day was Flies on You from the fertile Leeds music scene. They are at times a slightly twitchy, if sober, Fall-meets-Wire-style post-punk band who had some real anger at the state of things and the need for Gang Of Four-style rantings against the system as basically it's Tick Tock it's post punk o'clock. A good first band of the day and good to also meet and chat with singer Doug Aikman both before and after.

We then went and took a seat in the Almost Acoustic bar for the last 3 songs Benny Mayhem played on his acoustic guitar. He was a bit Saw Doctors-like but in a cool way.

Then we took our first walk out to The Casbah Stage for a good chunk of the afternoon to see Maid Of Ace play their regular Rebellion show. The four sisters were also as far as I know the only band at the festival with a pregnant member. It was appropriate of course this year that it would be the one wearing a tennis shirt, bassist Amy.

Damn they are so wonderfully angry girl gang in our face punk and the blokes they meet are Such A Disgrace!! Other highlights included On The Run and of course Dickhead! Always worth seeing and I wonder if Amy's baby will have the A.C.E. initials..

Next on were one of the surprises and sensations of the weekend as 2017 is the year The Membranes went Choral and showed up with a 14 voice choir. How punk is that? Well, very punk as it turned out. From the opening Dark Energy with it's very church-y choral space punk had arrived to blow our minds.

Do The Supernova added a sort of twisted disco punk feel in the mix. The choir looked like they were having a blast. Black Is the Colour was all Pil-Like Post-Punk with the choir making whirring noises from analogue synths before they were doing this amazing Space Junk, babbling and closing with the Immense Hum Of The Universe that was pretty stratospheric. This was one of the best sets I saw all weekend - a real must see.

After that we had need of a Toasted cheese sandwich break and a bit of a chill out before returning to The Casbah stage in time for Argy Bargy to deliver a great set of angry issues based Oi punk for us to all sing along to. A chorus that includes the line "War I Despise before they insist There's Gonna Be A riot" yep right over there in the mosh pit. They dedicated Homeward bound to the guitarist's young Daughter at the side of the stage and, no, it's not the Tom Jones tune of the same title.

No Regrets was bruising and heartfelt as was the band's tribute to Mickey Fitz and they ramped things up towards the end as they couldn't figure out how long they had left. Everything was the last song as they tried to Keep One Step Ahead Of The Law so we could all go mental to Argy Bargy, their theme song that closed the set

Next up on the Casbah stage were Vice Squad who as ever played a great fun, greatest hits set even if Wayne's bass doesn't sound as ferocious as it did last year. Still, Beki was in fine form and Rock & Roll Radio sounded great as they rattled the bars as they were Back In The Cage again.

As always, Latex Love went down a storm and then Beki tried to convince us she knew some Ordinary Girls and that she wasn't a member of the Punk Police in between charging around the stage and then Reminding us of the bad old days when we would have been Sniffing Glue! Yes, they gave us the rallying call of Stand Strong Stand Proud and as ever closed paying tribute to Lemmy with The Ace Of Spades- a great sing along end to the set.

It was getting chilly by this point so I'm glad Vice Squad had some long sleeve T-shirts as I needed one to stay warm if we were staying outside for Subhumans and possibly being outside later for DOA! Ah, August in England.

Yes it was time for the first of the three bands Dick Lucas fronts each year at Rebellion as we are in need of a healthy dose of his Anarcho vegan angry issues punk singing about a third World War in these trumped up times seems rather on the money as does his rant about Apathy as they get the place going. Dick explains loads in the mile a minute lyrics of So This Is War and no matter how serious his lyrics are, the music is always great fun. So that by the time they play Evolution to close most of the crowd are dancing or moshing along to them.

We then got out of the cold and went into the Empress Ballroom to see Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes and it's good to see Frank in full on Festival fan winning mode. From the opening extravaganza of Juggernaut with him walking on the audiences hands and just the sheer energy level they had was a big jolt to the system.

As ever, in-between songs, Frank gets a bit of emotion going on about being a dad before Lullabye and then getting the circle pit going for Fangs. The hard core widescreen anger and bile he throws at anyone who thinks they can get to Paradise through being a terrorist or soldier is brilliant.

The Devil Inside Me is milked and worked to the max as he gets us all singing along and the place really gets it as he closes with the monumental almost anger ballad of I Fucking Hate You and just about everyone sings the chorus by the end of a great set - as is always the case with Frank Carter.

We then decide that it's a bit too cold to go and see DOA outside and instead take a seat in the Opera House for The Members instead it was always a toss-up between the two for whom we'd see in this slot.

The Members started with a bit of a ragged instrumental almost sound check dub style thing that eventually went into Soho A Go Go that was still finding its feet. Offshore Banking Business was dubby and cool as was New English Blues although for me the high point of the set was the cover of Boys Keep Swinging that was off in a few places in a cool way.

They dedicated Gentrification to the victims of Grenfell tower as well as Solitary Confinement that had some cool stuff going on in it. Of course the room went nuts for Sound Of The Suburbs even if they didn't play the best version of it I heard played over the weekend! They closed with I Ain't Gonna Be Your Bitch No More that was a great sing along end to a decent set that didn't quite hit the heights of last year's.

That was the point we left in search of Donuts but ended up having chips instead on the way back to the hotel which meant we missed all the hoo-ha of Sheer Terror managing to set the Arena stage on fire after spilling petrol over it or The Professionals set in the Opera House.
  author: simonovitch

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