Rebellion 2012 – Sort of Review

Well here we go again, another year gone, another fantastic event passed by. Hats off to the organisers, the bands, the staff and even the security as the festival passed by smoothly and without any trouble. As with last years review I am only going to talk about the bands I liked – but if there is one I have not mentioned it could be that I didn’t get round to seeing them, not that I didn’t like them.

Once again me and my BIL FatBoyTim got there on the Wednesday and went to the Rose and Crown for the pre-festival gig. Unfortunately by the time we’d eaten, had a few beers and met up with some German Cock Sparrer fans we met last year, we didn’t actually go into the gig. Old and tired non-handlers I’m afraid 🙂

Thurday 1st August

The first day of the Festival brought with it a new stage – the New Band stage. The concept being that for one day only a stage would be put by for bands that are just starting on the road to fame and glory :-). What a great idea with the only problem being it started at 11.20am, which was a bit of a shame because hundreds of people weren’t even in the venue by that time.

We popped in and out of this stage all day and were happily surprised by some of the bands we saw…its great to see some young (and not so young) bands that love Punk. Stand out for me were Chemical Threat (from Southampton :-)), In Evil Hour, Science Made Us Robots and Drones…not to be confused with The Drones from back in the day. I particularly liked the way Drones guitarist played in the middle of the audience, nice touch.

I really hope this concept continues for the Festival going forwards as I am sure that those that tried it really enjoyed it…we certainly did

Videos below….

From the other stages I really enjoyed Roughneck Riot (Folk Punk), and Fire Exit (’77 Punks) for completely differing styles of punk. However the Filaments and Snuff in the Empress Ballroom were the absolute bollocks on the day…loved ’em both.

Friday 3rd August

Friday was Conflict day, not only the band but who to see. First up for me was Loaded 44, a band I had been dying to see since I saw Beki touring with Steve Ignorant in 2010. I was not dissapointed, good melodic Punk Rock, love it.

We then spent a couple of hours seeing 10 – 15 minutes of various bands before heading into the Bizarre Bazaar to see the Mob. They were a massive surprise to me as being a ‘depressing’ band lyrically they really nailed their set and I came away feeling rather pleased and not as suicidal as I expected 🙂

Sick on the Bus always make me smile and this was no exception, and Zero Boys did quite a good set but my next must see band was the Restarts. For the first time I was really unhappy as the acoustics in the Olympia did nothing to help what is really an excellent band…not a lot that can be done about that but it didn’t make for great listening.

The Headline band was Social Distortion and they were tight, probably the best American band of the Festival. I also enjoyed the Boys who played an excellent set and as one of my all time favourite bands they did not disappoint.

BIL really wanted to see Conflict as his band of the Festival and they were excellent. He would have gone home happy after them if he had to 🙂

Saturday 4th August

Got there early on Saturday in time to see the Fuckwits, a great start to the day and they were followed by Cyanide Pills who despite appearances (I hate white leather jackets – trivial I know) played a great set.

BIL listens to Kerrang Radio so we had to go and see Police Bastard who were 100 times better than I expected. I wanted to see a bit of Ska so we watched the Slackers then back to Punk with the Varukers via the full set from Ruts DC. I didn’t really know what to expect from them especially as they had a female vocalist but it was a great mix of Punk and Reggae and the fact the vocals were not Malcolm Owens did not detract from a great set.

But the moment of the day, and possibly the Festival for me, was the Subhumans playing all 17 minutes of From the Cradle to the Grave in the Olympia. Absolutely Fuckin Awesome…hair standing up on the back of the neck greatness.

 Sunday 5th August

Today brought me the band of the festival, a band I couldn’t understand a word of but I heard the greatest noise, saw the the perfect attitude (they gave away their latest album), and exhibited tons and tons of energy…Segismundo Toxicamano. All I know about them is that they are from Spain…and I will be making it my mission to see them again. As second band in the Empress they deserved a bigger audience…hopefully they’ll get it next time. What a start to the day.

The next person you really must make some time to see is Captain Hotknives. One man and a guitar has never made me laugh so much singing about Anarchist Squat Punk bands, Benefits and Drugs….hilarious.

My third must see live band is Random Hand, Ska/Punk at its very best. But its the live experience that sets these guys apart. Robin Leitch is one of the best frontmen I’ve seen and he is the only one who’s managed to get the crowd doing a Wall of Death, a Circle and a Chicken Fight in one set. When they first came on stage and I noticed there were only two security at the front of the stage I smiled…by the first three songs this had been quadrupled. They were simply superb as a band and as a show.

Sunday also brought with it Rat City Riot, Neville Staples (plays the Specials), the UK Subs and Stiff Little Fingers. Easily the best day of the four. SLF even played Johnny Was and I’d never seen them do that before. The only downside was that we couldn’t get in to see Rancid as the venue was full but they are over again later in the year so you never know…

Rebellion 2011 – Review – My Choice of Bands

For this review I have decided to only write about bands I liked as everyone has different tastes….you may think I haven’t got any after reading this…….. ah well. I will also try and embed as many videos as I can…knicked off youtube of course.

A fantastic weekend and a much better showing from security made this one pretty special. Went up on the Wednesday with my B.I.L and got to the pre festival gig at the Heat club, above the Rose and Crown. Two bands stood out for me, the always good Drongo’s for Europe and 2 Sick Monkeys. In fact how 2 Sick Monkeys make such a great noise with just a drummer and bassist amazes me….a bloody good laugh too.

Day One – Thursday

Rebellion started at 11.45 on the Thursday and in a proper fashion we got there about 12.45, just in time to catch the Kings of the Delmar and grab a pint. KOTD were a decent band in the old school style and probably would have had a bigger crowd if they were on a bit later. I particularly liked ‘Punk Rock Idiot’, reminded me of my BIL.

The next band I saw all the way through was Noise Agents, the band fronted by the lead singer of Demob…who indecently kept popping up all over the place :-). They were impressive and he really is a good front man….just don’t know his name.

Band of the day for me were Short Bus Window Lickers who played a set of hardcore Punk, which can only be expected when the band has members of the Restarts and UK Subs in it….these are a must watch band, tight as fuck and superbly loud.

Story of the day came from Tyrannosaurus Alan, a Ska/Punk/Rap sort of combo, heavy on the brass. Last year they busked outside and made enough money to get in. This year they were playing the Empress….impressive. I even bought the CD.

I had to go and watch Pipes and Pints because I couldn’t believe there was a Punk band with a bagpipe player in it….I even managed to win a pint off a German skinhead cos he didn’t believe me. Pipes and Pints are an American hardcore band and the bagpipe player was hilarious…not sure he was meant to be though….This set the theme of the weekend for me though, lots of great American bands.

Surprise of the day was the Old Firm Casuals, Lars Frederikson of Rancids new band. I wasn’t expecting too much as before the gig it looked as though it was an American trying to emulate the British football hooligan style, and as a typical Brit I was expecting a poor mans Cockney Rejects. What I got was a fantastic set from a guy who clearly loves Punk and Oi!

Honourable mentions on day one go out to Max Splodge, Girlfixer, Geoffrey Oicott – Yorkshire, Yorkshire 🙂

Day Two – Friday

Started the day with Middle Finger Salute, a sort of Blackburn Blink 182….loved the noise but missed ‘We are Fucking Shit’ as there final song…so here it is from the year before…

Funniest band of the weekend award goes to 3CR, Manchester humour for those not easily offended – and if you are then Fuck Off….songs like ‘Theiving Scouse Bastards’ and ‘Spit Roast Groupies’ just made me smile….’Just Fucking Do It’ was probably the most sensible thing they said.

One thing about Rebellion is the T-shirts people wear, and today there was a lot of T-shirts with Rust on them so off we went to see them. They’re an ok Aussie OI! band.

The best part of the whole day for me were the three back to back bands in the Empress – The Restarts, A Wilhelm Scream and Bouncing Souls. The Restarts were just awesome and I think a little bit of wee escaped when they played Outsider…..I love that track, the first I ever heard recorded by them.

A Wilhelm Scream were a band I’d never heard of. According to youtube, myspace etc they are a Hardcore band. THEY WERE FUCKING AMAZING…….I love bass and the guy who plays bass for them was doing things I could only dream about….get on youtube or any media player of your choice and listen to them. They should be headlining…..pursue with the video below, the songs great.

I was expecting a lot more from Bouncing Souls as they were on straight after AWS, and they were ok. I would like to see them again in a local venue because I think I could relly get to like them.

Although they have been around forever I had never seen the English Dogs, which is a real shame because they were great. The lead singer is obviously a nutjob and his head was painted green but he was excellent. Didn’t quite get why he threw a tent into the crowd but it was entertaining none the less. Balsall Heathens are in the video…

The Stupids are one of my favourite bands so I had to catch a bit of them, The line up looks to have changed but still managed to bang out a fantastic sound. Video from my local venue….

GBH played the Olympia, which doesn’t have the greatest acoustics, but they showed that they are a quality band. They had a large crowd and it was probably well deserved.

I really liked The Dead Class, a Punk band from Ireland. They really seemed to enjoy playing the festival and said that they’d played to crowds consisting of just the sound guy 🙂 Another band that I would love to see again in a local venue.

Day Three – Saturday

Rat City Riot played the Empress and deserved a lot more than they got crowd wise. Another American band that had energy and a lead singer who got into the crowd and mixed it up a bit. They were still in the venue well into the evening and I like that in a band….one thats not pretentious and happy to mix with the punters. (A massive note to Charlie, Arturo and the Captain who are always around for a chat). The video is not a UK Subs cover.

Los Fastidios had the best T-shirt of the festival – Love Football, Hate Fascism. Fantastic message. They are an ok band too if you like the noise and don’t want to understand the lyrics….unless you speak Italian of course.

The best ‘crowd moment’ came from Random Hand who created a wall of Death. Thank christ I’m too old for all that shit. They were a great band who played a mix of Punk/OI!/Ska and had the crowd bangin…excellent.

Highlight of the day for an old fucker like me was The Boys, a band I’d wanted to see since their first album came out. I was really scared that they would be a massive dissapointed and I am so glad I was wrong. From the moment they opened with TCP they were bloody amazin’. I was so pleased to hear one of the old bands from the birth of Punk playing the songs as I remember them, as they were recorded. Fantastic.

Church Of Confidence are a German band who’s influences include the Clash, Rockabilly, Punk. For a three piece they were surprisingly good musically and they did all their songs in English, including a cover of White Man in Hammersmith…. Video from this year 🙂

The Have Nots were yet another amazing American band who had a fusion of Punk and Ska at 100mph. I don’t know whats happening over the pond but the music scene is clearly looking good. Another band that you really should see.

Captain Hotknives was the only offering in the Bizzare that I personally found worth a mention because the guy is fucking hilarious. As soon as he started singing about white supremacist polar bears he had my attention.

Day Four – Sunday

A band I’d already seen was Dirty Revolution and this year they got elevated to the Empress….deserved, and for those in the crowd they weren’t dissapointed. Only dissapointment for me was I didn’t get an ‘I Love Reggae’ T-shirt…next time.

Barnyard Masturbator have to have a mention cos they come from Leicester, as does my BIL, and they have a strange lead singer who refers to the band as hers, and she flashes her arse……

I really liked One Man Stand, a three piece that play the kind of Punk I like, fast, melodic make me wanna jump up and down kinda stuff…..I will definately check them out again.

The Skints are a Reggae band and I wanted to catch them as they are supporting the King Blues when I see them next month. Really chillin band and I was amazed at how many instruments the singer could play. I counted flute, keyboard, guitar, mouth organ thingy and saxaphone…..impressive.

Another of my heroes from the early days Jello Biafra played the Olympia….organisers – why not the Empress? The guy was amazing, miming the songs during instrumentals :-), crowd surfing and preaching about the Tottenham riots. Even managed to get California Uber Alles in the set and encored with Holiday in Cambodia…..amazing. And the crowd went wild…..

Citizen Fish played there Punk/Ska set with the usual aplomb….noticed they’ve added a brass player since I saw them last. Great tunes and a great frontman in Dick.

Playing an acoustic set in the Olympia, STZA Crack was fantastic. Good banter between songs, pissed as a fart, and living the life. So much better than with his band in my opinion.

Sick on the Bus played a really energetic set and deserved a better crowd than they got. If you like GBH, Motorhead, Restarts, SBWL you’ll like these guys. Good honest Punk Rock. Video from 2009 Rebellion

So there ya go, a quick list of all the bands I saw and liked (for one reason or another). I saw lots of other bands too and that is the joy of Rebellion, you can wander no more than a few hundred yards and you can be seeing another band, if you don’t like what your hearing with the first one.

I’d like to add that there were also a hell of a lot of bands I didn’t see (there were 209 in total), so don’t be offended if your names not on the list, and think you’re shit……you’re not. I didn’t see you or you didn’t float my boat…..