The Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Rebellion 2014

(Check out Part 2 and Part 3, and Part 4)

Well it’s that time of year again when 4000 of the UK (and rest of the world’s) Punks descend upon Blackpool. In this my 2nd visit I aim to give a flavour of the event, i.e. an account of who and what I saw. This time around I travelled up the night before with my 4 accomplices and the event “began” in the “Rose and Crown” pub and “Tache” nightclub respectively, with some well-chosen bands for the “pre” gigs. The Rose and Crown is buzzing as people come and go all night, mixing in with band members and locals alike. Charlie Harper can be seen chatting freely with punters all evening. It’s just like one big reunion for one and all.

Skizofrenik 1

A nice long lie-in is followed by a hearty breakfast before heading off to the Winter Gardens-our home from home for the next 4 days. I have every intention of catching as many bands as possible. My first band of the day are young Punks Skizofrenic, a 4 piece band with an eye for a slightly Nu Metal/Ro Punk sound (to me). They deliver a set of catchy and confident, bass-heavy numbers that get us early risers in the mood. They receive decent applause while announcing they’ll be on the Arena stage that afternoon. I head back to the Pavilion to catch Borrowed Time, a 5 piece noisey, 3rd generation Punk act with a great vocalist.

Borrowed Time
Borrowed Time 1

A quick hotfoot to the Arena Stage allows me to catch “Faster Than Bulls” set. The 4 piece have a “clangy” guitar sound over a Vanian-esque vocal that doesn’t disappoint. I stay in the Arena for The Exiles. This 3 piece deliver a bass-heavy, Old Skool Punk sound that is both very good and very fast with great vocals! The Jimmy Cliff cover at the end doesn’t disappoint!

Faster Than Bulls
Faster Than Bulls 1

I head back to the Pavilion to catch Crisis Warning, a very loud and very young, energetic 4 piece! The shrieking vocals on “Puppet Man” are matched by the huge drums. Back to the Arena is where I catch Toxic Ephex with their wall of sound, heavy bass (again) and a song titled “We’re All Going To Die” which is overlong!

Back to the Pavilion I watch “Skaciety”, another 5 piece with a wall of sound (it’s catching)! There’s clearly an excess of brass here-so much so you can’t hear the vocals! “Lost the Plot” seems somewhat apt!! I stick around for “Angry Itch” who are loud with great vocals and anthemic songs. It’s hard ‘n’ fast and angry in places but they don’t disappoint.

Back to the Arena for “Indecent Assault”, a fast-paced 3 piece with an angry vocal delivery. The clean guitar sound and huge drums are of the 80’s Punk era but again they don’t disappoint. Back at the Pavilion I catch “The Antiseptics”, an even angrier, faster 4 piece who delight in playing “ACAB”! The Arena now plays host to “The Noise Agents” with their old skool Punk songs. I’m reminded a little of Cockney Rejects with this 5 piece and “Punk Rock Radio” is a highlight. The energetic singer delivers many “Punk-themed” songs including the excellent “Leave Me Alone”.

Finally I venture across to the new Casbah Stage where a huge crowd await Dirt Box Disco’s favourite offspring “Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions” Before taking to the stage Spunk is accommodating the fans with pictures and handshakes, such is his legendary status at Rebellion. Onto the show then. They preview almost the entire “Injection” LP to loud, long applause. What more can I say than it is loud, raw, classic Punk in its finest form; while Spunk is in fine form-humourous and entertaining throughout.

“Bishops Green” give me a reason to head over to the Empress Ballroom. This year the bands play at the “end” of the room, (as opposed to the middle)! Their fast-paced, guitar-driven Punk/OI is well received but once again I’m on my toes to catch AMI in the Pavilion. Their no thrills, frenetic power-driven Punk is lost on me. There’s only one pace here-Fast! This 4 piece have an energetic singer but that’s the most I recall! ‘Foreign Legion’ on the other hand deliver a set choc full of great songs, mostly dedicated to other bands on the bill. The singer reminds this reviewer of a young De Niro. It’s fast-paced, energetic and accompanied by a direct, angry vocal. “Jump, Jump” induces a little movement while “Ain’t No Punks in My Town” is a highlight.


I nip to the Empress to catch “Goldblade”. I’ve never been a huge fan but thought I’d give them another try. Their set is simply overwhelming. Singer John Robb is energetic from the outset. The sound is huge while every songs seems to be an anthem. John praises Blackpool FC for having the “best chairman in the world”, then delivers the singalong “Fighting In The Dancehall” and “Psycho” to a happy moshing audience, who he duly joins! “Riot” anyone?!

Goldblade 1

After a well earned dinner break we return to catch the end of “Street Dogs” set. They offer a decent cover of the Menace anthem GLC before the singer dives into the crowd and is carried to the back of the room-Punk Rock!! A quick jaunt to the Arena sees the end of Superfast Girlie Show’s’ set. I have only one word to describe their songs – “speedfreaks”! The bassist I have to say has the “beard of the weekend”. Musically I’m a little “lost”, but there’s no escaping their energy.

Evil Blizzard
Evil Blizzard 123456

On a friends recommendation I venture to the Pavilion for “Evil Blizzard”. What appears before us is the maddest, freakiest and scariest band I’ve ever witnessed. Hailing from Preston they have a sound that on paper shouldn’t work-4 bassists and a drummer! They deliver a truly huge wall of sound while dressed in crazy outfits and equally scary masks. I’m afraid I’ve had enough of the drone after just 2 “songs” so it’s off to the Empress to catch a bit of The Selector. I’m not blown away, so head to the Arena to catch the oddly named “Klingonz”. The truly bizarre continues. Make-up, crazy attire and a water pistol toting dwarf. The music is both slow and fast with 1 or 2 gems for good measure, but I am amused and entertained in equal measure.

With about 15 minutes spare I head back to the Empress and take my place near the front in anticipation of The Dickies, who almost deafen us from beginning to end. They play a “best of” set with all the songs you would expect to hear. Ear drum shattering aside they deliver. Always entertaining and with props aplenty they justify their headline slot. To sum up, what on paper looked like a fairly ordinary day turned out rather well; which sets us up well for Saturday.

(Check out Part 2 and Part 3, and Part 4)

Words and piccies by Ross.