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Review: 'Rebellion Festival Blackpool Winter Gardens Day 3'
'Cock Sparrer, Walter Lure, The Outcasts,'   

-  Album: 'Pauline Murray, Hard Skin, Ruts DC, Alvin Gibbs,' -  Label: 'Desperate Measures, 999, Call Me Malcolm,'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '3.8.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'The Derellas, Los Fastidious'

Our Rating:
As seems usual we started Day 3 of Rebellion with a good fry up and a walk along the beach and this was the first day the tide was out far enough for us to walk on the sand before stopping for coffee so we could marvel at how much equipment the young busker needed as he had three trestle tables worth of keyboards and gadgets as well as a guitar and microphone, we guess he didn't play well with others.

We got into the Empress Ballroom in time to see Los Fastidious bring some Italian Joy Joy Joy to Rebellion with there as ever heady brew of Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist vegan ska punk they got the ball rolling with well Get The Ball Rolling and had an impressive turn out this early in the day. Enrico really knows how to get us going while they tell us It's Time to get back on the streets again to work to make the world a better place and to bring back the Joy Joy Joy that is the super bouncy title track of the bands new album. As ever they want us to Stay True Stay Rebel. Radio Babylon sounded massive and had everyone dancing with them and Guest vocalist Elisa Dixan couldn't get the grin off her face. Let's Go Rudy was a skank along party and at the end of it as Elisa went to leave the stage Enrico pulled her back and then proposed to her onstage! Thankfully she said yes so, they could sing I Have A Dream while we all took in what had just happened. Antifa Hooligans then went down a storm and they closed with a song about This Is the end of another storming set a must-see band.

I then went and took a seat in The Opera House to see The Derellas for the second time in a week for a good smash and grab set of glam trash punk that saw them Strung Out In Sin City like normal although I'm not sure Kids Just Wanna Slam in seated venues it sounded good none the less, We all marveled at the Freak Show of Blackpool and the crunchy guitars on Inner City Rock & Roll, the high spot of the set for me was High Rise Superstars that really went down well and Slam Bam also hit the spot nicely even if Joe's voice sounded a bit hoarser than usual, this set was as ever a lot of fun.

I then got back into the Empress Ballroom in time for the last song and a bit of Call Me Malcolms set, they are a sax and trumpet led modern ska punk band and the song I heard in full was about mental health problems and getting the help you need, they seemed like a lot of fun and were very grateful to be on the bill.

I was back in the Empress Ballroom for 999 to continue as the only band to have played every Rebellion Festival so far and as ever they didn't disappoint opening with a smash and grab through 1976 that went straight into Boys In The Gang before they ram raided us into 999 then Nick Cash introduced the current crew that he's feeling Alright with and Stuart Meadows as ever smashed in to the drums and thankfully Arturo hardly chatted between songs this year, they played some of the songs from the new album that's coming out before giving a nod to the start of the Football season with The Biggest Prize In Sport and the now obligatory toast to those no longer with us before I'm Alive and an blistering Emergency and a sadly topical Nasty Nasty and of course they closed with everyone singing along to Homicide to make sure they left us all happy.

We then went over to The Pavilion to see Desperate Measures who are a "legendary" New Zealand hard core punk band fronted by Eugene Butcher who I normally see introducing other bands at gigs promoted by Vive Le Rock Magazine, he also had The Snivelling Shits drummer James Sherry in the current line up of the band along with an original member or two. Agony sounded properly pained and quite angry as Eugene stalked the stage. Execution Order sounded like it was fighting for its life and 1984 had a sort of prescience lyrically that is hard to comprehend when you hear a song that came out before that date that seems totally right for our own dystopian times. The guitarist was the only one who looked like he might be an actual Hells Angel and was wailing away like crazy and with No Time to spare they closed with Militant Takeover and well I'd happily live in a country that Eugene militantly took over.

It was time for a seat in the Opera House for Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants that is his solo band when he's not touring with the UK Subs and featured that bands Jamie Oliver on drums along with Steve Crittal whose disobedience was proved later in the festival when the other band he's in ruptured after there set, but as I was banned from seeing them I won't name em! Also on Guitar is Leigh Heggarty from Ruts DC making this one very cool group. Ghost Train seemed perfect for playing in Blackpool, they did a great version of Don't Be So Cruel and then brought on Gizz Butt to add some more sleaze to the sound in time for a couple of songs Alvin played with Iggy Pop back in the day Down On The street sounded good and moody and 1969 was just great. He did a good dedication or three before singing Living Dead and they closed with Back To Mayhem that really went down a treat a very cool set with just about enough joking about between everyone.

We stayed in The Opera House and Leigh Heggarty stayed onstage for Ruts DC Acoustic which featured Dave Ruffy playing the most minimal drum kit I've yet seen as for most of the set he just played using one drum head but no actual drums and with brushes mainly and a little bit of stick work as well as some barely used electronics. They opened with a delicate version of Something I Said before playing a much more subtle version of West One Shine On Me than in the electric set. This Music Must Destroy had a good lilt on it as Segs really got into it.
They warned us about the dangers of overindulgence on Golden Boy. Psychic Attack worked a bit less well than the full on electric version, but everyone joined in on Staring At The Rude boys and In A Rut before they closed with a very cool Babylon's Burning as they marveled at just how packed the Opera House was to see them play acoustic.

Then we popped over to the Pavilion that was rammed to the rafters for Hard Skin who were making everyone smile while singing along to Down The Pub as they played a great set of Aggro Oi with a smile on it's face as they asked Whose That Boy and reminisced about the old days before boasting they play with Two Fingers Two Chords and they then got everyone singing along to We Are Wankers towards the end of which Fat Mark was so into his Bass solo he managed to bounce off the stage taking his microphone stand and bass with him, he was clearly in pain as they introduced Desperation Street that was pretty colossal before they closed with Beer & Fags that made sure we were all smiling.

We then went to the Acoustic bar for Pauline Murrays solo set and as it was rammed and all the seats were taken we ended up sitting on the floor of the dancefloor almost at Pauline's feet as she sang When we Were Young, as ever solo she is rather nervous but shouldn't have been as Just Drifting went down a storm, Guilty sounded really cool and Dark Clouds was a good evocation of what it's like to suffer from depression. Of course we all sang along to Don't Dictate and the solo version of new song Beat Goes on was a very cool close to a really nice set.

We then went back into the Opera House for Belfast punk legends The Outcasts a band I first saw playing to a half empty 12 bar club that would have fitted on half the stage they were on, it was great to see them with a good sized crowd getting the recognition they deserve. They opened with the second cover we'd heard of 1969 by the Stooges on the Opera House stage today this was slightly rougher than Alvin Gibbs take on it. Self-Conscious Over You was good and gritty and Stay Young sounded a bit odd being sung by some old blokes.
But then Just Another Teenage Rebel was equally awkward but great none the less. I Love You was heartfelt, and they had a great rapport between songs. Winter was appropriate in the Winter Gardens but not on as hot a day as this still a great biting song about the troubles. The Pressures On had just a hint of ska into the punk mix and went down a storm as did The Cops Are Coming which would have been quite scary in Belfast back in the day. You're A Disease was as bitter as it needed to be and they closed with there cover of Complete Control a great rabble rousing set.

We stayed in the Opera House for Walter Lure's new band with Mick Rossi and Mark Laff as well as Nigel Mead to come on and give us a good blast of classic Heartbreakers songs from the opening One Track Mind they sounded great and All By Myself flew by. As ever we all sang along to I Wanna Be Loved and hoped Walter would point at us. Mick Rossi sang a cool version of Slaughter & the Dogs Situations before they sang Crazy kids from last years new Waldos album. I'm Busted slowed things down and it's always good to hear a Merchant Banker singing this Ray Charles classic. Pirate Love flew by before Walter dedicated London Boys to Johnny Thunders and The Sex Pistols who inspired him and Johnny to write the song. Get Off the Phone as Walter pointed out only seems more relevant as the years go by. Not sure anyone wasn't singing to Born To Lose as they got into the drugs section on Chinese Rocks and closed the set with Too Much Junkie Business. Everyone went suitably nuts for them to come back for an encore of I'm Waiting For The Man that kept repeating the second verse and never quite made it to the third verse but it didn't matter as they sounded great and finished things off with Do You Love Me and Let go to make sure everyone was happy.

We then went to the Empress Ballroom for Cock Sparrer a band I have never seen before and due to the 80's skinhead reputation I kind of avoided them so much so that I know I own a Cock Sparrer beer mat but don't think I own any of the bands music.
We stayed towards the back as everyone got into it for me the highlights were Teenage Heart that really rocked, and the almost tongue in cheek nature of What's It Like to Be Old. They cranked it up really loud and Suicide Girls was cool. Running Riot had enough of an edge to be the sort of song that put me off them first time round. I Got Your Number and Because Your Young seemed to show a softer side to them before the anger rose up on Take 'Em All that sounded like a terrace battle cry. They gave shout outs to several of the departed before closing the set with Where Are They Now that lists a good few friends they have lost along the way. They came back for a well-earned encore that opened with the aggro Oi! Classic Argy Bargy and yes one member of Cock Sparrer is also in Argy Bargy. Then before they sang England Belongs To Me they made sure to emphasize that it's not a racist song but a song for everyone and finished with a big sing along to We're Coming Back that left everyone happy on the way out and we went off in search of some more dough nuts on the front.

  author: simonovitch

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