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Review: 'Rebellion Festival Blackpool Winter Gardens Day 4'
'The Damned, Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls,'   

-  Album: 'The Professionals, Foreign Legion, Witchdoktors,' -  Label: 'Vice Squad, Dirtbox Disco, Svetlanas, CultureShock'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '4.8.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'The White Ribbons,Trigger Mcpoopshute'

Our Rating:
By the Sunday we were feeling a bit tired but looking forward to another great days music, after our fry up we wandered down the Beach and had a good look round the Car Show they had on the promenade the highlights of which included finding a Gold Cortina and a great old Ford Pick-up truck and the good mix of Punks and car nuts wandering about.

Every year at Rebellion we try to see at least one band playing the Introducing stage in the Dereham Lounge and this year we figured we'd reached a point in the weekend when seeing a band named Trigger Mcpoopshute made sense! Well they were a real hoot as they played thrashy noise punk with its tongue in its cheeks and the best song they played was the hilarious Skidmarks & Spensers about shitting yourself in marks and sparks. The bands fans showered them with beer mats and plastic glasses and for the last song of the set invaded the stage with fans on shoulders, it was a riot and loads of fun to watch.

We then went to The Pavilion to see a band we saw on the Introducing Stage last year The White Ribbons who help promote the charity https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/ who campaign to end Male violence against women and whose singer and lead guitarist Brian Mitchell is wearing his aunts skirt to show solidarity as they play some indie punk. I like the song that had a chorus of You're a Bastard in it and they have a great song for Sophie Lancaster to remember the senselessness of her getting killed for looking Goth or different.

But the real highlight of the set was when they brought on special guest Declan Kerr the bassist from The Positives who also uses the support services of The School Of Rock & Media to sing back-up vocals on the street punk classic Making Your Mind Up, Deckers took the song up a level and his dancing in his kilt was great fun and included a kilt flash rather than a skirt rip. We were laughing a lot by this point in the afternoon.

So we went into the Club Casbah for Culture Shock the second of Dick Lucas' bands we saw this year. As ever Dick manages to make ramming politics into our heads great fun as they had their very own Countdown and wanted to offer us 10% off as if we'd take it, but he did have loads of dancing going on as they worked for the Clampdown. Still they did send us all Sky High before they had a good run through there song called Pressure and closed with the call to arms that is United as Dick told us to put aside all our differences and work towards making this a better world to live in. As ever great fun and very thought provoking.

We then went to the Empress Ballroom to see a band that first played the Introducing Stage a few years ago before confirming their reputation as one of the most dangerous bands on the planet. Yep The Svetlanas are living and performing in Exile from Russia where it's illegal to own the bands albums!!

The reason they are now on the main stage is simple Olga Svetlana is simply the angriest most kinetic and incredible frontwoman on the planet. A ball of total energy who means every word of Go Fuck Yourself as the thrashcore really gets properly angry too. She berates us between songs to not mess with The Svetlanas like she's running a street gang about to start a massive brawl. As for the anger and energy she puts into Spitting On Your Mothers face you really know not to cross her. It comes to something when the most upbeat song is called Control as she tells us she loves to Rock & Roll and lose control, so you'd better watch out as she might turn into a Pyromaniac. By the time Olga Screams Svetlanas Kill You not only do I feel exhausted watching her, but I think we all knew she'd be more than happy to kill her enemies. A band that need to be seen to understand just how powerful they are.

After Svetlanas we needed to see something happier and much more fun like Dirtbox Disco over in Club Casbah, they appear to have lost a singer somewhere along the way so that Spunk Volcano has taken over all the vocals instead of just playing guitar and backing vocals. The only real difference seemed to be less mucking about between songs but who cares when it's Dirtbox Day and they are going make it a Party no matter what or how much time they spend at the Peep Show, they even manage to get us all shouting about Standing In A Queue like it's good fun. They are still as worried as ever about fancying their Girlfriends Best Friend's Sister, Almost everyone sang along to I Don't Want To Go Out With You as a blow up penis bounced around the crowd. As if we needed telling they screamed at us Let's Get Fucking Wasted before closing with the bands biggest anthem My Life's Is Shit that kept everyone happy.

We stayed in the Club Casbah for the always great Vice Squad to play there own Punk Rock Radio to us, as ever Beki was in great voice and looking great too as she belted out Back In The Cage and made sure we knew she means every word of If I Knew What I Know Now as ever Paul and Wayne try to keep out of Beki's Reach. Ordinary Girl rocked like hell and Punk Police could have been written last week never mind all those years ago. Thankfully I didn't see anyone Sniffing Glue at Rebellion, we are far more civilized these days. As always, the message of Stand Strong Stand Proud was totally understood by all of us even if we need to convince the rest of the world to come on board. Beki as ever dedicated Ace Of Spades to her old mucker Uncle Lemmy wherever he is. I think they closed with Last Rockers but that's guessing at the scribbles I have down for it.

We then nipped over to The Arena to see The Withdoktors playing at Rebellion for the first time, which as I've never seen them play a bad show is obviously a good thing and this set was no exception a ram raid of Estuary Garage Punk By the time we got in Big Black Sack was revving up and motoring like it normally does with a breakdown into Guns Of Brixton. Voodoo Eye was good and crunchy and Planet Andy may have been singing I'm Sick but he looked totally ecstatic to singing to us all. I Told You To Go was good and punchy and as ever they closed with a great version of Common Prayer For A Working Man leaving us all wanting more.

We stayed in the Arena mainly because we found a couple of seats and had some time to listen to a random band in this case Welsh Oi band from the 80's Foreign Legion who I really don't know much about they were angry and opened by slightly changing the title of The Sun Always Sets on Babylon to Blackpool. They got properly thrashy and even angrier on a song about wasting your life away. Then they decided to have a bit more fun on Drugs For the Max that seemed to get everyone going. At that point it was nearly time for The Professionals in the Empress Ballroom so we missed the rest of the set.

As ever Paul Cook and his compadres wanted us all to Join The Professionals and a packed Ballroom was more than happy too. Tom Spenser made sure we knew we Couldn't Keep A Good Man Down and's still a special treat getting to see this lot play live. Payola probably should be about spotify today but still Chris McCormack is now right at home on Guitar and sounded great on Going Going Gone. No they didn't need Steve Jones to sing Silly thing but it did get the biggest sing along of the set. It's good to see that Toshi isn't a Lonely Boy who only plays with Ginger Wildheart but is now on Bass as a Professional. Tom Joked about it being time to take his hat off before they played recent song Hats Off and they finished with a great riot through 1-2-3.

We then took a seat in The opera house so I could complete the set of seeing the Groups Pauline Murray has been in as she was playing I believe only the second show with The Invisible Girls since 1981 and I first saw her playing with The Storm in the mid 80's. The current line-up features her hubby and main man Robert Blamire along with there son and daughter on Keyboards and backing vocals and not sure who else was in the band, but they played the bands only album in full so things started with Screaming In The Darkness that sounded great, European Eyes felt strangely current as did Shoot You Down.
The band really sounded a lot like the album and even quieter songs like Drummer Boy went down real well. No matter how nervous Pauline was Thundertunes was magnificent and Judgement Day seemed perfect for a Sunday evening. Having some time to spare at the end of the album they also played the bands non album single and Searching For Heaven had a lovely woozy feel to it before they finished with Animal Crazy by which time I was a very happy fan indeed.

Then it was time to go and see this years final band in the Empress Ballroom and unlike last year with PIL this year they had a proper headline act in The Damned who filled the Ballroom and kept everyone there rocking like they'd only just arrived on Thursday. From the moment they opened the set with The Captain making a few choice remarks as they launched into Love Song it was clear they are on form still, Second Time Around was shouted along too by most of the ballroom as was I Just Can't Be Happy Today with as ever Dave Vanian stalking the stage looking menacing until he starts with the banter between songs that always keeps things light hearted. Melody Lee was great fun and Anti-Pope was good for A Sunday Evening sing song like some sort of modern Hymn. They did a pretty nifty cover of the MC5's Looking At You before the entire Ballroom erupted for Smash It Up. It was great that after all these years they still feel like they are Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow and they did a surprisingly timely version of Waiting For The Blackout as power cuts are back in the news again.

To make sure everyone left Rebellion happy they got us all singing along to Brand New Rose and most of the Ballroom was dancing and singing along to Neat Neat Neat and to finally finish the festival off for another year they left us with Jetboy Jet Girl that of course shares a tune with Ca Plane Pour Moi and was just a wonderful romp to make sure we were all smiling as we left the Winter Gardens.

As always I'd like to thank Jenny and Darren and all the team and staff that make this incredible festival happen every year it really is unbelievably well run.

  author: simonovitch

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