Day 3: Saturday 8th August

Rebellion Festival Day 1

I wake up Saturday in agony with aching ribs; after the ecstasy of the Damned moshpit, but return to the Winter Gardens once more for my first band of the day. Having reviewed Wonk Unit’s last two LP’s, I at last get to see them in the flesh. Alex (vox) announces himself and humorously waffles on about nothing in particular, then launches into their first song. His “dance moves” have to be seen to be believed! Crowd favourite “Lewisham” is an early highlight as they find their feet. A very large crowd this early in the day give huge encouragement and they respond with recent classic “Kings Road Sporting Heroes”, which would certainly be my single of the year. The humour/banter continues throughout, not least on a song called “Horse”. A thrilling set comes to a close with huge applause which sets us up for another great day of music.

Rebellion: Wonk Unit
Wonk Unit 

I take a walk back to the Pavilion to catch the interestingly monikered “Ming City Rockers”, who look like the bastard offspring of King Adora and The Libertines. One word comes to mind – HAIR!! “Waste My Time On You” is their standout track as well as a number simply titled “Christine”. These “Rockers” have youth on their side and undoubted talent; it’s not so much Punk, more Glam/Indie (if there is such a genre)! However, I leave midset to catch Andy T in the Casbah.

Rebellion: Ming City Rockers
Ming City Rockers 

Now I’m not a huge fan of poetry; but in this setting this early on, it really works. Andy’s style of delivery-poem, song, poem, song is a sure fire winner and keeps me in the room. The “Dub-esque” and bass-heavy “DIY Punk” is a standout cut while this political orator delivers passionate, heartfelt and deeply honest poems while I become an immediate fan! “I Fell in Love In The Middle Of a Riot” is pure genius before he leaves us with a sobering thought and an insightful poem centered around the late “Sophie Lancaster”. At a time when a certain John Cooper Clark is taking many plaudits it is refreshing to see such a talent getting the exposure he so deserves. If there is one artist I would recommend for the future it is Andy T-the man is a talent.

Rebellion: Andy T
Andy T 

I then head to the Pavilion; briefly to catch Spirit Bomb, but again don’t stay long. The wall of noise this 5 piece deliver does nothing for me so I head back to the Casbah for Anti-System who’s “political/terror/Punk” is marginally better! I say marginally, the wall of noise is complimented by an aggressive and angry vocal! After just three songs I’ve seen enough and head for the Empress and Goldblade. They open, unsurprisingly with “Fighting in the Dancehall” which sees “Brother John” energetically running around the stage. The mid-afternoon anthems continue with among others “Jukebox Generation”. They’re loud, clear and audible, but I genuinely feel they should be higher up the bill.

Rebellion: Glodblade

Once again I have itchy feet so go back to the Pavilion for London Sewage Company on the recommendation of their singer, who I met at a festival earlier in the year. Their bass-heavy wall of noise doesn’t blow me away I have to admit. In fact the nasally vocal doesn’t add anything either and I find it all a bit “plain”.

Rebellion: London Sewage Company
London Sewage Company 

I head over to the Arena, again amused by the band name. The Deckchairs have a loud and echoey sound, while the humorously named Johnny Durex (vox) reminds me of Ian Dury on speed! That workaholic Johnny Wah Wah, this time round takes the drum stool. The vocals come over all angry but musically they’re tight, in a 2nd wave Punk style.

The Deckchairs
The Deckchairs 1

Halfway through the Deckchairs set I head back to the Casbah, with temporary deafness! Third wave Punks A Heads are performing their huge, snare-driven sound with an equally decent vocal, but this reviewer is on a mission to see as many bands as humanly possible!

Rebellion: A Heads
A Heads 

A brief excursion to the local “Rock Club” is taken to catch the number one Siouxsie and The Banshees tribute, who are doing a matinee show. Having seen them this time last year I couldn’t resist returning. “Lizzee” (Siouxsie) has updated her outfit, opting for a whiter number with matching boots – but it’s all about the songs and once again they don’t disappoint.

Rebellion: Lizzee And The Banshees
Lizzee And The Banshees 

After the usual picture taking I return to catch three songs by The Boys over in the Empress. “USI” stands out with its huge sound and strong vocals. It’s no more Punk than good ‘ol R ‘n R but they entertain a decent sized crowd. I leave as they play “I’m A Believer” and as I head past the “Almost Acoustic” stage I’m stunned at the sheer volume of people filling the room. With standing room only I peer in from the corridor to see one Henry Cluney of SLF fame. To this reviewer the thought of “Fingers” songs played acoustically, well it’s sacrilege! It’s an opinion I soon change. Henry holds court with the whole room and has everyone singing along to “Wasted Life”, while he strums his battered old guitar. I’m now hooked and reeled in, as are many passing punters. The room is alive to the sound of “Johnny Was” and he reluctantly ends on “Tin Soldiers”. This really is a sight to behold – an ex-member of “Punk Rock Royalty” with a full room, all singing in unison.

Rebellion: Henry Cluney
Henry Cluney 

I head next door to the Pavilion to catch Church of Confidence. It’s a big sound for a three piece and the vocals are great. “All My Friends Are Going” is a highlight from this Berlin band whose drummer, (unless I am mistaken) is moonlighting for at least 3 other bands this weekend.

Rebellion: Church Of Confidence
Church Of Confidence 

Next up for me are The Adicts in the Empress. They put some serious Glam into their Punk and give a spectacularly, theatrical performance. The ticker tape and beach balls only add to the performance. I catch “Steam Roller” and “Viva la Revolution” and watch with interest the huge crowd participation.

Rebellion: The Addicts
The Adicts 

However, I leave midset to catch another interestingly monikered outfit called “Guitar Gangsters”. It’s another bass heavy, wall of sound. “Rattle My Cage” certainly leaves this reviewer “well shaken”! “Class of ’76” is another highlight but I return to the Empress to catch the end of the Addicts set. By this time they are in full flow and giving a rousing rendition of “You’ll Never Wak Alone” – cue more beach balls and ticker tape!

A quick refreshment break means I witness a couple of songs by the Surfin Turnips in the Pavilion, before heading back to the Empress for Hugh Cornwell. Hugh (and band) deliver a set of classics, old and new of which “Dagenham Dave” and “Duchess” are particular highlights. I stay for half the set, only to return to the Arena for The Lurkers. The room is packed as they enjoy another set list of Lurker classics. “Freak Show” is an early highlight, amid the usual jovial banter from Arturo. I hear “Rubber Room” and “Lucky John” before departing for the Pavilion for a bit of “Mod Revival”, courtesy of the “Chords UK”. The bass is huge while the vocals are strong and we get all the usual Mod posturing!

After seeing most of the Chords set, I venture back to the Empress to see the Boomtown Rats. The build-up and entrance music, with the accompanying video, makes us think we’re in for a real treat; but sadly this is about as good as it gets. Geldof is over-dressed in a snakeskin suit and frankly looks a mess. The band open with “She’s So Modern”, yet all we can hear are the drums. There are clearly sound issues and it doesn’t get much better during “Like Clockwork”. By the 3rd song, a huge jam whose title escapes me I’ve had enough of hearing just drums and head back to the Pavilion for Newtown Neurotics. They play a great set but I can’t decide if it’s Punk or new wave? In fact, “Keep The Faith” borders on Mod Revival! “Mindless Violence” is probably their set highlight. Either way; unlike Geldof’s lot, they deliver.

Rebellion: Boomtown Rats
The Boomtown Rats 

I briefly poke my head in the Casbah for “The Mob” but again, don’t stay long. Their dark, brooding vocals and heavy bass just don’t do it for me. For some unknown reason I head back to the Empress for the end of the Rats set. I’m told Geldof “lost it” mid-set and starting spouting some self-indulgent nonsense. A week later the evidence is there for all to see on You tube. They end the set on a high but lost it far too early for this reviewer.

I stick around for arguably the act of the weekend. When the Buzzcocks take to the stage the room is packed. They waste no time beginning with ‘Boredom’. These elder statesmen of Punk know what the crowd want and deliver. A set chock full of old and new delights us from start to finish. “Fast Cars” and “Autonomy” are early highlights yet songs like “People Are Strange Machines” still cut it with the older favourites. “Diggle” (guitars/vox) shows he is still the consummate entertainer while “Shelley” (despite the beard) shows no signs of aging. “Ever Fallen in Love” still sounds fresh while “Love You More” gets the whole room joining in the choruses. They end a fantastic set with “Orgasm Addict” with Shelley holding the opening note as long as possible. There really is no substitute for experience. The guys give yet another faultless performance and one wonders if the Boomtown Rats took notes?! It’s not rocket science – know your audience and give them what they want.

Strangely, the Rebellion team decide a DJ will close proceedings for Saturday. So many people I spoke to said they couldn’t understand this decision with so many bands that could’ve taken the slot. However, the first song choice is “Blitzkrieg Bop”. It’s not lost on this crowd as we all sing along as we leave the Empress. The atmosphere is simply euphoric.

Rebellion 1234

Quick Links To Our Other Days…
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4


Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone

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