Rebellion Festival, Blackpool – Day 4, Sunday 6th August 2023

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So here we are, the last day of the festival. Today I have no set programme and have decided to see whatever takes my fancy at any specific time, should be an interesting day!

Zen Baseball Bat

We start off in the Empress Ballroom to see the first band of the day, Zen Baseball Bat. A rather interesting band, they looked good, they sounded good and were more than a little quirky which made them stand out from other bands we have seen. Each song had a strong 80s vibe about it and would go on a little journey, a meandering funky groove maybe, or a bit of a rock out or even into ska/reggae territory. One thing this band definitely wasn’t is boring. It was fun waiting to hear in which direction a song would go, very entertaining and well worth watching.

Hi-Fi Spitfires

Staying in the Empress, next up is Hi – Fi Spitfires, a good old “proper sounding” English punk band from the North East of England. Guitarist and vocalist Steve Straughan is also guitarist of the UK Subs. They attracted a large crowd and did not disappoint with their brand of old school UK punk rock. Catchy songs delivered at a brisk pace soon had the whole crowd on their side, a great band to see early afternoon, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Ask Charlie Q&A

It’s the last day but my first visit to the literary portion of the festival. What has tempted me up here?

The prospect of hearing Charlie Harper (UK Subs legendary frontman) answer questions submitted by fans. In theory this should have been great, but in reality the presenter/interviewer was not very good and that Charlie is somewhat deaf these days! What this meant was that you did not always get the answer to the questions asked, as Charlie had heard something entirely different. But we did learn that he has written a book about his life which he is currently editing from 500 pages to 400, which he is hoping will be released in time for Rebellion 2024. We also learn that the Subs are giving up touring as he is unable to cope with the aches and pains of sitting in a tour van for endless hours for days on end. He confirmed that they will still play festivals and the odd weekend tour here and there.

The Shit Talkers

I must admit that I chose to see this band because of their name. A quick Google search reveals that they are from Canada, used to be an all-girl group but have recently had line up changes and introduced a male guitarist and bassist. The band were playing in The Pavillion a small space that is great to see a band. So glad I decided to see them, as they were fantastic. Short catchy songs played with plenty of enthusiasm and commitment. The vocalist/guitarist looked like your favourite old Aunty and was a total badass as she thrashed away at her guitar. They did have some sound problems when the vocals disappeared for a couple of numbers, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment. Absolutely brilliant stuff!


Murphy's Law

The Casbah stage is hosting New York Hardcore legends Murphy’s Law. Formed in 1982 the only surviving member is vocalist Jimmy Gestapo. During set up, Jimmy can be seen enjoying the delights of a bottle of Buckfast and makes his stage entrance clutching about half a dozen or so pints of beer. Does he drink them? No, he takes a swig out of each one and then hurls them into the audience like hand grenades! This gig was pure theatre as Gestapo decided he didn’t want to be separated from the fans by the security barriers and clambered off the stage into the mosh pit, where he stayed for most of the rest of the gig.

On the way down, he enlisted the help of 10-year-old James, hoisting him up onto his shoulders. James looked half excited and half terrified at the same time. Gestapo strolled nonchalantly around the pit posing for selfies with the crowd as mayhem raged all around him, there appeared to be no set list, just the band playing whatever Jimmy wanted. He continued to enlist the help of James, getting him to sing and dance, at least James looked to be totally enjoying himself now and his 15 minutes of fame.

This was totally enjoyable, and a rousing version of Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight had the crowd in a frenzy.

TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers

TV Smith must have been one of the hardest working artists over this festival. Now he is onstage in the Ballroom with his band the Bored Teenagers who are playing the music of the Adverts. The Ballroom is absolutely packed for this, and the audience seem to know all the words to the songs and are singing along wholeheartedly. The Adverts songs still sound great the band is really tight and TV, the man himself, is just sublime!


No Time To Be 21

Safety In Numbers

We Who Wait

New Boys

Drowning Men

On The Roof

My Place

Television’s Over

On Wheels

I Surrender

Back From The Dead

Male Assault

New Church

Bombsite Boy

Great British Mistake

Gary Gilmore’s Eyes

Bored Teenagers

One Chord Wonders




Back to the Pavillion stage to see American street punks Antagonizers  from Atlanta. A lively, energetic bunch who wowed the crowd with their catchy social commentary laden street punk.


Doug & The Slugz

Following along in the same vein as the Antagonizers, next up is Doug & The Slugz, one of the very first Oi! bands on the West Coast of the United States. As you would expect, a band influenced by The 4-Skins, The Last Resort & The Business have a lot of songs about skinhead life. This is just what the audience they have attracted wants, and the front of the stage is very lively for the entire show. A couple of cock-ups (I think they had a new drummer) did not diminish the enjoyability of the set, and a good time was had by all.


The Briefs

I had intended to catch Bob Vylan in the Ballroom, but due to my inability to read the correct time they were on, all I managed to see was the last 5 minutes! So instead it’s off to the Casbah to see The Briefs from Seattle. The set was already underway when we arrived, the band were decked out in their trademark plastic sunglasses and rocking away! The rather sizeable crowd didn’t appear to be that into the band and seemed a little apathetic. The band were trying their best to rouse the crowd with numbers such as Destroy The USA and We Got The Neutron Bomb but it didn’t seem to work. Shame, they are a good band and the last band we saw this Rebellion.


So that’s it for Rebellion this year. I have seen some great bands, bands I had never even heard of before coming here. There have been so many bands on that you could read a dozen reviews and each would feature different bands! It is a wonderful opportunity to see bands from all over the world and different stages of development. The organisation has been superb and so have the security who have been incredibly helpful, I know my wife, who can hardly walk at the moment, has been very appreciative of their help and support.

Tickets for next year are on sale now, I already have mine!

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