Rebellion 2017

It’s the first week in August which means only one thing to this 50-year-old (part time) Punk Rocker – it’s Rebellion Festival time!! As is now the norm we travel up a day early and get there in good time to settle into our accommodation, secure our wristbands and chill ready for the main event.

The Rose and Crown/Tache nightclub is the main destination for the early birds, looking to meet up with friends old and new. As this year’s designated driver I opt for a couple after supper before heading back for an early night. With my mission to catch as many bands as is humanly possible, an early night is just what the doctor ordered!

Breakfast is consumed by 10am Thursday and all talk concerns who everyone plans to see today. Thursday is such an underrated day at Rebellion in my experience and this year is no exception. Large queue forms at the main entrance of the Winter Gardens as we all wait patiently to enter. At precisely 11.45 the first band Cydernide take to the “Casbah Stage”. For me, though it’s all about new music so I head straight for the “Rebellion Introducing Stage” where I will spend a large amount of my time over the weekend.

1st on in the room is the interesting moniker’d “UK’s Lowest”, a Rock/Punk 4-piece who play huge snare-driven songs with a Yank snarl. They are pretty tight but very loud – a great start.

The Shrives
The Shrives 

The Shrives follow them who are decent enough, more Ska than Punk but pretty good without being exceptional! Next up for me are The Kopek Millionaires who I missed last year. They turn out to be the first great band of the day. Lots of relationship/breakup songs and a stagecraft right out of the The Clash bible! Strong vocals from “Johnny” and an all-around tight sound within the band. No surprise then when they cover “Brand New Cadillac”.

The Kopek Millionaires
The Kopek Millionaires 

Red Light Rebels deliver with snare-driven ferocity and loud strong vocals, enveloped within a huge wall of sound. 3-piece The Reverends play a heavy brand of Punk-the sound is huge with a slight Garage/Punk feel, matched to searing guitars and a throbbing bass. There’s more ferocity from Epic Problem, first on in the “Empress Ballroom”. A loud and heavy 4-piece, their sound is huge and equally fast. They make a dedication to 2 Sick Monkeys (band) and I make my exit to catch the end of the set by Spoilers. I’m gutted, they sound great! Less Than Jake-inspired Ska/Punkers and I missed the majority of their set-oh well, let’s hope they get invited back next year.

The Reverends
The Reverends 
Epic Problem
Epic Problem 

A quick walk back to Introducing sees for me the band of the day. Yorkshire quartet Klammer blow me away with their sublime Post/Punk and Dark/Pop. The heavy snare is matched perfectly to early Banshees-esque guitar lines almost throughout. The haunting vocal, at times echoing early Joy Division and (IMO) Magazine, is in sync with the effortless drumming and unfussy bass. I remain for the entire set as they continue to excite me.


Klammer 1

The interestingly titled Hospital Food is my next port of call as they claim to be “Too Young For Punk” on their opener. Their sound is huge; pounding drums matched to at times clangy guitars, scratchy in places. “Internet Warriors” gets a good cheer & they depart on the anthemic “Punk Rock Heart”. Traits next remind me of a Punk version of Hell Is For Heroes-ferocious drums and bludgeoning bass, no quarters taken with these guys. Next for me is the appropriately monikered Bollock Brothers who (IMO) are bollocks! Caricature Posh/Punk, just doesn’t work for me. Reno Divorce are like SLF on speed-fast and powerful, we even get a Punked cover of “Jolene” – best version I’ve ever heard! I just catch the end of Army of Skanks covering the Kennedy’s “California Uber Ales” before Buster Shuffle bring the vibe down with their Ska/2 Tone beats, even managing a great cover of Prodigy’s “Outta Space”.

Buster Shuffle
Buster Shuffle 123
The Zips
The Zips 123

The Zips are an old skool Punk quartet with a Joey Ramone-esque vocal matched to a great all round sound. “19 I Will Forever Be” seems somewhat apt for these old-stagers who have a hint of SLF about them. More old skool Punk on this the Opera House stage sees London take their places. Clear, audible vocals matched to powerful hitting; great guitars and bass creating an all-round sound. Also lyrically amusing, notably on “Everyone’s A Winner”.

London 123

Back to the Empress Ballroom sees two heavyweights in action, Drongos For Europe are first with their loud anthemic set while Peter and the Test Tube Babies play a familiar set with one or two new tracks from their forthcoming LP including the aggressive “In Yer Face”.

Drongoes For Europe
Drongoes For Europe 1
Peter And The Test Tube Babies
Peter And The Test Tube Babies 1

The Reletics are last on in Introducing, these female fronted noise makers are lost on me with their vocal style and are frankly a racket. Teenage Bottlerocket are furiously fast and aint hanging around. Yankee “Punk Rock” from wave 4-fast and tight with huge snare hitting.

Rubella Ballet
Rubella Ballet 1

Rubella Ballet are a curious bunch in the finest attire of the day. “Money Talks” is a notable song during their set. They contain the youngest bassist I believe in the whole festival and depart us on the frankly haunting “Emotional Blackmail”. Good Riddance are one of a few of our USA cousins high up on the Thursday bill. Huge drums, great vocals and fast and heavy. More speedball ferocity from Pennywise with huge drums. Pure over indulgence with their use of the “F”- word, I cannot believe its nerves.

Fire Exit
Fire Exit 12

Fire Exit bring the humour back to the Pavilion crowd with songs about drinking and more drinking. Classic old skool Scottish Punk band deliver raw, rough and anthemic songs; also about life and love. “Changes” and “Religion” are just two of many standout songs. Bad Religion disappoints me the most and when they announce a song called “Fuck You”, I’m off to catch Macc Lads tribute The Manc Lads.

Bad Religion
Bad Religion 

It’s the usual round of verbal abuse and insults aimed at the band from a now well-oiled and boisterous audience. Give this crowd their due though, they know all the words. A rousing chorus from one section of this crowd is the obligatory “Manchester, Wank, Wank, Wank” – swiftly followed by a more regular chorus of “You Fat Bastard” aimed at the singer. He gives as good as he gets before we all join in on “Sweaty Betty”. Pure entertainment this late in the day.

The Manc Lads
The Manc Lads 1

After a brilliant opening day, there is only one band who can finish the day’s proceedings-that band is Menace. Greeted by a good sized Opera House crowd these guys rattle out the tunes one by one with real gusto. Finn (guitar/vox) is in energetic mode, patrolling every inch of this stage. They play all the anthems; “Last Year’s Youth”, “Carry No Banners”, “So F*ck You” et al. But no Menace show is complete without the obligatory stage invasion for a jolly old knees up to “GLC”. Ten punters are invited up but it’s nearer 100! Cue the carnage, everyone gets in on the chorus – m included!! Every year they seem to top the previous year’s show and tonight is no exception. They still have time for two more songs before finally departing, leaving us to catch our breath(s). If that is just for starters then this year’s Rebellion will be better than ever-roll on Friday!

Menace 1234


Words, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone

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