Rebellion 2016

So, day 3 arrives and I awake shattered with back ache. A hearty breakfast is taken before another two hour snooze in preperation for another long day ahead. As is my routine it’s straight to Introducing. Sad Sally are up first and this fast; furious, bearded 3-piece are making a big noise. The gravelly, phrenetic vocals match the slight American influence in their sound; while the drummer reminds me a little of Dave Grohl in look and performance. “Politics” and “On/Off” are their highlights and it”s a great start.

Sad Sally

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We briefly venture to Acoustic to catch “Rat Boy”s Magic Show” (with no magic)! Whether deliberate or not it hastens our exit as we head back to introducing for Matildas Scoundrels, who are quite literally ripping it up. Their classic take on Folk/Punk gets this crowd moving early. The musicianship is great all round with a strong vocal. Halfway through I head to the Arena to catch “Arch Rivals” who are playing to a good sized early afternoon crowd. They bludgeon us with the sheer volume of their Oi/Streetpunk. Anthemic vocals, coupled with huge bass and drums.

Matildas Scoundrels
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It’s a short stay for me as I head for Tower Street to catch the entertainer that is “Spunk Volcano” (and The Eruptions). There”s banter and insults aplenty but as per usual Mr. Spunk owns this afternoon crowd. “TV God” is anthemic while “Crossfire” is simply hilarious! Again the sound is huge, and it”s an early highlight for me.

Spunk Volcano
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So, it”s back to Introducing for some more “Oi” in the shape of Tear Up who are very loud indeed. Their brand of Oi/Streetpunk takes no prisoners and the bass is simply huge. I depart early for lunch before returning for South Yorkshire”s finest “Hands Off Gretel”. Imagine if Nirvana crossed swords with Daisy Chainsaw and your halfway there. People will make the obvious “Hole” comparisons I imagine though. Sean (guitar) is chief shapeshifter while Joe (bass) is chief funnyman! Lauren”s vocals vary from screech to gentle but the gutteral powerhouse screaming at times is hard to ignore. Sam”s drums are huge throughout and while they are not strictly Punk, anyone looking for a Grunge revisit should look no further than these guys. Definitely one”s to watch.

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Staying with the ladies London 3-piece “The Kut” are up next. Screechy vocals, huge bass and power drums hold my attention once more. There”s plenty of energy, notably on “If Looks Could Kill” and I remain for the entire set which just gets better. After Rebellion they are on an exhaustive tour of the British Isles playing 30 dates back to back. This alone (if achieved) will be a monumental feat and I encourage you the fans to support these girls and take in a show. My next port of call is the Pavilion to catch Rebellion “veterans”, Dusseldorf”s “B Bang Cider”. This middle-aged Rock/Punk band are tight with great vocals and a top tune called “Scorpions”. I stick around for the “Barstool Preachers” whose energetic set and anthemic choruses keep this crowd happy. There”s just a hint of an American influence but they are pretty decent all round.

I leave halfway through again to be early for Chron Gen over in the Empress. Like three years ago in the “Car Park” stage it”s a best of set. Unlike last time however they are trying out newer material from a forthcoming LP, their first in 30 years! One of those tracks “Love This City” is decent enough; as is “I Wanna Be The Guy”, but we”re here for the classics. People are dancing early and “Lies”, “Clouded Eyes” and “Nowhere To Run” are early highlights. They even trawl right back into the archives for the excellent “Puppets of War”. Their best two tracks though are the always popular “Reality” and “Outlaw” and they leave us after loud shouts from my L.A. friend on LSD (the song)! Unlike three years ago when I commented that they looked like strangers onstage, tonight Chron Gen looked back on track and all singing from the same page. With a new album release we can only hope they”ll be around a little while longer.

Chron Gen
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After all that dancing it”s time to catch my breath during “Jilted John”. Now I”m not holding too much hope that I”m gonna be blown away so stick to my “3 song rule”! My gig buddy leaves after 1 song and I know I wont be far behind. He opens with “Going Steady”; which if memory serves me right is the B-side to “Jilted John”. It”s an inauspicious start and frankly doesn”t improve from there. After 3 songs I”m off too, but on reaching the entrance my other mate beckons me back in. I”m glad he does-the next song is dedicated to a teacher he (John) hated at school. “Mrs. Pickering” makes me laugh as it”s also my other half”s name-and she”s a teacher, oh the irony! Well basically, we”re all here for the big single which frankly doesn’t disappoint. The whole room sings in unison and the chorus can be heard loudly throughout the Empress. It”s a short set (approx 20mins) but everyone is smiling. We give ourselves a 30 minute dinner window in time to return for the “Upstarts”, but a heavy schedule at the local eaterie means we miss them (only hearing “Teenage Warning”) as we head back to the venue.

Jilted john
Jilted John 1

I head back into introducing to see “Flat Back Four” and their driving beat. Huge bass and drums compliment the strong vocals, but it”s too heavy for me as I head over to the Pavilion for “Hardskin”. Loud, anthemic “Oi” singalongs are the order of the day, but I”m on my toes again to catch the second half of the set from “Newtown Neurotics”. Still banging out those 80″s statements yet sounding fresh even today. “Living With Unemployment” and “Kick Out The Tories” seem most popular. I stay “til the end before heading next door to the Empress for “Cockney Rejects”. The room is packed and Jeff Turner (vox) is energetic from the outset. The self-confessed “Punk Grandfather” is a fine figure of a man at the ripe old age of 52; and patrols every inch of the stage like the boxer he once was, preparing to do battle. He has the moves, the fitness, the swagger and above all sounds as clear as ever. One always knows what to expect with the Rejects-tonight is another greatest hits set. Particular highlights for me included “War On The Terraces”, “Bad Man”, “Greatest Cockney Rip-Off” and “East End”, which allows Jeff to indulge himself a little. He once again states his hatred for the police before introducing “Police Car”, while also finding time to namecheck both the Pistols and Sham. Cockney Rejects know their audience and what they want. Jeff Turner is quite simply the fittest man in Punk and their set is another weekend highlight.

Cockney Rejects
Cockney Rejects 
Henry Cluney
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After that I take solace in “Acoustic” with “XSLF” or “Henry Cluney” as he”s better known. He delights this weary crowd both seated and standing with acoustic renditions of SLF songs with added anecdotes both during and between songs. I only stay for 4 songs as I”m keen to catch “One Way System” in the Arena. Again it”s a short stay as 2 songs here are quite enough for me, with my senses bludgeoned once more.

I decide the salubrious surroundings of the Opera House might be more to my taste, with a chance to sit down and rest my now weary body. “Ruts DC” are in full flow and as much as I love the Ruts I allow myself a “power nap”! No disrepect to the Ruts who I love, I”m just shattered. I stay ’til the end then head back to the Pavilion to watch “Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions”. One “song” is quite enough for me as I”m dead on my feet with my bed calling. The Arena is en route where I briefly stop for “Special Duties”; whose driving bass and heavy beat are the main ingredients, but this near 50 year old knows when he”s beat. And that my friends was Saturday at Rebellion.

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Pre-showPart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Words, Pictures & Videos by Ross Ferrone.

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