Rebellion 2016

And so it’s the last day of the festival – a day of rest maybe? No chance! Still loads of great bands to see before the day is over. Against my usual plans I head first for the Empress to catch Leicester old skool Punks First Wave. This tight 3-piece ironically play a “first wave” brand of bass-heavy Punk that I love. “Berlin” is a highlight, dedicated to some German Punks in the audience – a great start to Sunday.

First Wave
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Halfway through I pop next door to the Arena for Criminal Mind whose powerful driving beat with huge drumming holds my attention. The direct and brutal “Keep Your Mouth Shut” is a highlight. I stay put for “Revenge of The Psychotronic Man” who are fast and furious with huge drums. However, it’s too intense for me as I have an early lunch.

Criminal Mind
Criminal Mind 1

I return to the Pavilion for 16 Guns who achieve the fastest string break in Rebellion history; 1 second!! Once restrung they plough on through “Cracked” and “Friend or Foe”. Again their 3rd wave Punk is lost on me and I leave after 3 songs.

16 guns
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I make my way to the Empress for Demob who quite simply blow me away with their bass-heavy old skool Streetpunk. They mix humour and politics and vocalist Andy has a direct and “in yer face” vocal style. “Pain In The Arse” is an early highlight while “One More Man At War” gets this crowd singing. They too namecheck Charlie Harper on the inspiringly titled “Charlie Harper”, which gets a good response.

Demob 123

I leave just before the end as they play “Anti Police”, to watch Healthy Junkies over in the Pavilion. They start early and are in fine form with new bassist David. “I Don’t Care” is an early highlight; as is “Rebellion”, which they tell us is written for us. The onstage chemistry between singer Nina and guitarist Phil is a sight to behold. I don’t know if there’s a setlist but when they seem to run out of songs, Phil gets his way and they play “I Hate You Hypocrite” to great applause. It’s another fantastic set but I feel the time is right for them to be playing a bigger stage. Healthy Junkies
Healthy Junkies 123456789

I stick around for Popes of Chillitown who get the party started early. A great onstage vibe is matched by an energetic crowd, who respond almost the minute they start. Their Ska/Punk/Dub mash-up is perfect for a Sunday afternoon. I remain for half their set before heading to Introducing for Last Under The Sun, an angry Brummie quartet who pull no punches with their speedball Punk assault. It’s a short stop for me as I head to the Empress for my first ever encounter with The Defects. It was worth the wait as this Belfast 3rd wave Punk band simply blow me away. Their anthemic old skool sound is excellent and they duly get a great response. “Metal Walls” is one of many highlights but they simply don’t have any bad songs.

The Defects
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I stay to the end then head outside for band of the day Dirt Box Disco in Tower Street. This band has grown and grown every year at Rebellion, reaching the pinnacle of the Empress last year in front of a full room. Today is no different as they trawl through all their best songs. As ever Spunk Volcano is chief rabble rouser, making up for Weab (vox) whose voice today isn’t 100%. As the crowd starts an early chorus of “Hooray, Hooray, it’s Dirt Box Day” the place goes wild and the band join in. A great start and the younger element are out in force to get the pit moving. Moshing, circle pits, crowd surfing – nothing is off limits. Weab tells us (tongue firmly in cheek), no crowd surfing! He then says wouldn’t it be great for someone to “surf” right from the back? We don’t have to wait long! Weab uses the crowd who respond vociferously on the choruses and the band are in fine form. “Trajic Roundabout”, “Standing In A Queue”, “My Girlfriend’s Best Friend’s Sister”, all the songs you’d want to hear are played today. They end as per usual on “Let’s Get F*cking Wasted” and this crowd goes bananas. DBD might be classed as “Novelty Punk” but boy do they know how to put a show on, and today was no exception. With their name already on next years line – up I just don’t know how they’ll top this.

Dirt Box Disco
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To catch my breath and a well-earned rest I take solace in a local eaterie. We return to the Pavilion for the end of “Here and Now” who offer some psychedelia to proceedings this late in the day – chillout at a Punk festival anyone?! I then head to the Arena for “Sick On The Bus” who quickly leave me sick of their music! I walk next door into the Empress to join the massed ranks for Slaughter and The Dogs. After a drink and a few songs I am now really feeling the pace. I retreat halfway through to the Opera House for “Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons”. Their cat-suited clad and energetic singer is clambering over seats for our entertainment! The music itself, however, is totally lost on me and I use the opportunity to sit down for a rest! A brief foray into the Arena sees me catch the huge drumming of Sensa Yuma, allied to their anthemic vocals and speedball Punk. Then throw in some lunacy from their singer as the band just get faster and louder. So, where will I go for my final show. Having seen SLF many times I decide to chance my arm on Empress headliners The Adicts. Now these guys know how to put on a show-costumes, ticker tape explosions, beach balls-it’s all in there. What is sadly lacking for me are the songs-they really don’t have many. One or two newie’s are debuted including “F*cked Up” and “Do As I Do”; but I depart as they leave us on “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and that people was my Rebellion weekend.

The Adicts
The Adicts 123

Disclaimer: If your band is not represented here it is through any dislike on my part. It is more to do with logistics.


Pre-showPart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Words, Pictures & Videos by Ross Ferrone.

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