It’s the second day in Blackpool, and I’m taking it easy today. A leisurely breakfast at the Compass Cafe (an essential eatery when you are at Rebellion) followed by a stroll up to the Winter Gardens. After perusing the merchandise stands, it’s time to see some bands!
First up is Glasgows original ’77 punks The Zips in the wonderful Opera House. Not only is the room magnificent it also has seats, much to the relief of my wife who, due to major surgery recently, is unable to stand for very long. The band have been around for a long time and their anti-racist and politically charged songs have made them many fans, which is reflected in the number of people who have turned out to see them. The Zips do not disappoint and turn in a wonderful set.
Terrific set from Sunderlands finest as they make the step up from the Casbah Stage to play the Empress Ballroom. I thought the step-up was premature, but how wrong could I be. A good, solid set of straightforward, no nonsense street punk was a real hit with the large crowd that turned out to see them. Vocalist Patty looks lean and pretty mean as he prowls the ballroom stage, but he revealed a much softer side of himself as the band performed a tribute to his brother (Steve “Cast Iron” Smith, singer of Red Alert) who died last year. This is the biggest stage the band had played on, but they took it all in their stride and killed it!
The beauty of Rebellion is that there are bands from all over the world, many of whom you will probably have never heard of. One such band is Turtles JR who come from Bandung, Indonesia. This band was totally amazing and their brand of hardcore punk was really in your face. They pulled a substantial crowd to the smallish Pavillion stage, who certainly embraced the band and danced their asses off! Singer Boodfuck is totally manic as he throws himself around the stage, at one stage he starts doing press-ups on one leg. They certainly don’t like the police though, and the song Police Fuck Off is very well received by the mosh pit. An amazing live band, if you get the chance to see them, take it!
It’s back to the Opera House for Spizz Energi. The last time I saw Spizz was so many years ago that I don’t care to remember. I was glad we got to the Opera House early, as the crowd just kept growing and growing as more and more people packed in to see Spizz. The sense of anticipation was palpable. I can honestly say that this was one of my favourite gigs of the festival, Spizz absolutely slayed it. His band were absolutely brilliant and definitely at the top of their game for this one.
We were treated to covers of Hang On To Yourself (Bowie) and Virginia Plain (Roxy Music) as well as Soldier Soldier, Death Of The Free Man, Clocks Are Big, Machines Are Heavy and of course a barnstorming Where’s Captain Kirk? to finish things off in brilliant fashion.
Bar Stool Preachers
It’s 7.30pm and Bar Stool Preachers have the Empress Ballroom absolutely bouncing! It’s not often a crowd will get even wilder if you bring your dad on to sing, but if you are T.J. Mcfaull and your dad is Colin Mcfaull of Cock Sparrer it is understandable. Bar Stool Preachers were fantastic from beginning to end, and the whole crowd were singing along to the final track Bar Stool Preacher. This band has come very far from when they first started, and it’s great to see them enjoying their success now.
Neville Staple From The Specials
In the ballroom, the sense of anticipation is growing rapidly. You can also sense the love that the crowd have for this man and his old band, The Specials. Like punk, two-tone has a special place in the hearts of British people of a certain age. As the band appear and go into Gangsters, the crowd erupts into a big skanking mass. The audience is really up for this and the dancing is non-stop throughout the set.
Many old favourites are played, Nite Club, Concrete Jungle, Rudy A Message To You, Pressure Drop, Longshot Kick De Bucket, Ghost Town, Skinhead Moonstomp, a glorious version of Monkey Man, Do The Dog, Guns Of Navarone and Sugary Staples Original Rudegirl Sound.
Neville was having so much fun that they almost had to drag him offstage when his time was up, such was his reluctance to leave. Tremendous stuff and thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the whole audience.
Another day over, with an exciting day in prospect tomorrow.