REBELLION 2012 – SUNDAY

Some photos that someone’s posted. I am somewhere in these photos, but will deny all knowledge if identified

One more day to go. I manage to get to breakfast with minutes to spare.  I now have The Cravats debacle in more perspective. Today is a much quieter day for me. The main event for most is the headlining slot by 90s punk royalty Rancid. I saw them back in the day – they were nothing special. There, I’ve always wanted to say that. I feel like I’ve graduated to being a proper old punk git now.


Today being a slow day I’m pondering the future of the festival now. I think I’m allowed to having attended every one. The festival has got a lot bigger since the days when it was in a 1,000 capacity venue in Morecambe. It now has a more diverse line up, and a much bigger profile. This in itself doesn’t bother me but despite so many bands playing there’s a surprising lack of new bands from what you might call the “real punk” scene (debate “real punk”, but you know what I mean by i). These bands are out there – Defcon Zero, Bottlejob, Trashcat, Cryo-genics. The “real punk” bands seem to be restricted to ones that have either been playing the festival for several years or are newly reformed from the dim and distant past. Instead the focus seems to on promoting more general “alternative” bands. The promoters understandably say, with 250-ish bands playing, there’s plenty of choice. It seems to be a lot of the same choices though year i year out, particularly lower down the bill.
Anyway, enough of that. It’s time to head to an Irish pub with a couple of mates who want to “watch Celtic”. This turns out to be something to do with football, but the prospect of nicer and cheaper beer than the venue, and having a conversation without shouting, appeals at this stage of the weekend.

Back to the veue to meander about catching bits of various streetpunk / oi bands, mainly Foreign Legion from Merthyr Tydfyll, with their brand of poppy oi. They have some new songs about being stuck in on a Saturday night, and more seriously the effect of supermarkets on the local community, showing that middle aged punks can still find something to be angry about. I can’t find a clip though so here’s their mates Control


Also not exactly young is Zillah Minx, punk documentary maker and frontwoman for Rubella Ballet. This doesn’t stop her adopting her unique day-glo overload look. Rubella Ballet seem a bit underehearsed but no other gripes with a fine set, featuring the odd punk punk number, but mainly their better goth-tinged material such as Trial 13, Arctic Flowers and False Promises. No clips of those though.


With not so much I’m bothered about seeing I end up spending quite a bit on music and t-shirts. Actually that’s misleading, I’ve been doing that all weekend. Bands seem to be putting out 7” singles again presumably because us old gits are buying vinyl again. Standard price for a 7” seems to be £5 – ouch. That doesn’t stop me though. The Septic Psychos on the other hand are selling their CD album (factory pressed not CDR) for £2. Apparently people will still trying to blag them for less. You’ve got to love the punk scene! I keep having to go back to the B & B as alcohol, vinyl records and the “pit” don’t mix well. The UK Subs, experts in merchandising opportunities, are even selling baby t-shirts. “Wyngate jnr” nearly gets one but they don’t have the right design/size. I do manage to find a compilation of obscure Welsh punk from the 80s (Bullsheep Detector!) weeks too late for the Welsh Songs topic.
The only other essential band of the day for me is The Outcasts, one of my highlights from last year. They play their usual varied set in the unlikely setting of the Opera House, ranging from snarling 70s classic Frustrartion, to pop punk love songs like Self Conscious Over You, to the Killing Joke-ish Winter.A bit psychobilly and pseudo-country gets a look in as well, but no band is perfect. That and plenty of banter with the audience. Highlight of the day but not the right venue. Dodgy clip of  one of their 80s classics Programme Love follows


The only question left is which headliner to go for out of the 4 on offer. I’ve already dismissed Rancid. Stiff Little Fingers are definitely out. Don’t get me started on Jake Burns –  I once said what I thought of him on youtube and was inundated with angry emails from fans. So not them. Altered Images are playing the Opera House. When I was 11 I thought Happy Birthday was the most irritating thing I’d ever heard. I can’t imagine I’d think any differently now.

That leaves Agnostic Front playing in the Arena. They are nothing like Altered Images. As they come on stage you can feel the testosterone level in the room rising. We get a bracing blast of New York hardcore at it’s best. Lots of men take their shirts off and start a circle pit at the front which is slightly scary seeing as this is the smallest venue.

Agnostic Front with special guest hanger-on. If you want to join in it’s  “Guliani Guliani Guliani fuck you!”

Agnostic Front finish off with  hardcore version of Blitzkrieg Bop  which seems like a good way to finish the weekend. It’s been another great weekend of music, drinking, bad food and catching up with old friends and acquaintances,  one of whom casually tells me that she is now working as a dominatrix. It’s that kind of festival. But it’s 99% friendly these days. The days of punks vomiting on passers by are long gone. Time to go home to get vomited on by “wyngate junior” instead.

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14 thoughts on “REBELLION 2012 – SUNDAY

  1. Read the reviews with interest, nicely written and certainly some interesting views. Now I was the for the first time with my son (19) as a kind of pilgrimage fulfilling a punk dream. Over the 5 nights (inc pre fest) I managed to catch a pleasing 60 bands (not all full sets though, some because of clashes and some because bands weren’t my cup of tea.

    I agree with the comments about the headline bands and although there at the start of the Ruts DC set I did move elsewhere after a few tracks as I though it was going to be a DC set so gutted to read they did play Ruts numbers. I would actualy like to see them put the headline acts on much earlier to get them out of the way and leave the audiance pumped up to see the lesser known bands.

    I do want to pick up on one point and that is regarding the real punk bands coming through. I thought the new bands stage on the Thursday was superb and was pleased to see my mates R.S.I. get a very good reception but again were they all new bands, I am told the number of walking sticks was up this year and I do agree it is a shame we aren’t seeing young punk bands there. I am not sure how many bands you got to see and whether you focussed on established bands but there was some cracking acts there, such as Roughneck Riot and Dirtbox Disco who added some fresh air into the scene.

    I am not so sure. I live in Northamptonshire and there are a few young bands coming through, certainly keep an eye out for B-Movie Britz from Corby. A young band producing a wide spectrum of quality punk music, very good musicians and were all at Rebellion this year and tried desperately to get on at Rebellion or the afters hows but didn’t get the call this year. They have just recorded a new one take EP that is to be released shortly and were handing it out to those people interested up there in an attempt to get on next year.

  2. Thanks for your comments.Sorry you missed Ruts DC – I nearly did the same thing but thought I’d give it a couple more songs. Anyway I won’t rub it in any more…
    I’m not disputing that the festival is pushing some new, young bands (they seem keen in some ways to encourage young bands, an investment for them I guess) and I’m quite happy for it to be a diverse line up. The problem I have is that for the last few years there seems to be hardly any slots given to new(ish) bands of the hardcore punk/UK82 type despite the fact these bands are still out there gigging. Of course it may be that some of these bands don’t want to play anyway, but that I’m sure some do. I used the phrase “real punk” deliberately in quotation marks – who can agree on what that means – but that’s roughly the kind of band I meant. There’s a few who got on a few years ago such as the Restarts and now seem to be regulars, but nothing much since. I keep hearing on the grapevine that Daz Russell won’t put any more of these sorts of bands on, which if it’s true seems strange as they are the sort of bands that appeal to the a lot of the people who have been coming to the festival in it’s various guises since 1996. Surely 3 or 4 slots wouldn’t be a lot to offer.
    I didn’t see the new bands stage – I missed a lot of it due to travelling and if I’m completely honest the descriptions of the remaining bands didn’t appeal, but hopefully there were plenty of other interested people. As for the rest of the weekend, one gripe is that we could have done with a line or two on each band in the programme – there was so much on I was reluctant to trek backwards and forwards on the offchance.
    I saw B Movie Britz last year suporting UK Subs. They got a good reaction from what I remember.

  3. I know what you mean by the trek, at my age it was essential to grab a kip sometime either afternoon or early evening to sleep off the lunchtime excesses. As I said to my wife when I got back six days of beer and lard hadn’t done my diet much good, I was very confused when she put some green stuff on a plate in front of me.

    I now have a greater investment in B-Movie Britz as my son has recently joined as the new drummer and they are moving in a much more GBH style sound but I have always enjoyed the fact they put on a show and make some great diverse spread of music so there was a smile on my face when he did join the band as I knew how keen a musician he is and how he like the rest of the band like old school punk.

    To me the D-beat UK/82 era was when I found the sound I had been searching for. The original punk sound to most people now is pop (even my parents like the Buzzcocks now they will never say the same about The Exploited). That’s not to say old school lost it’s place and for me the biggest thing about punk was the breakdown of barriers in music and the two eras combined helped diversify the music scene.

    It was great to see the various sounds at Rebellion, I enjoyed The Restarts but the sound was awful in the Olympia (as you mentioned about Conflict) but you are right there wasn’t many bands that had that chainsaw punk sound, thanksfully we did get tThe Varukers and One Way System to keep me happy. I also enjoyed The Piranhas, Bow Wow Wow and Spizz at The Opera but then I am not sure that wasn’t just because I was knackered and there was seats.

    I was disappointed when Red Alert came on and had a pop at the two American bands (No Offence and The Duel) that had just finished their sets and actually were still on stage (I actually thought they were good). The need for the “we don’t like that sh*t” comment just struck me as a skinhead hippy comment, similar to your Punk hippy discussion.

    I was lucky we had cancelled a family holiday so my son and I could go so it seemed rude not to go up a day early for the pre-fest show.

    I treated the festival as a pick and mix and tried to see as many bands as I could so I could put them in the notebook for the year ahead. Some sets were outstanding though and at the end of the day it comes down to personal choice, I thought 999 were superb, my son thought they were dreadful. I thought Peter ant the Test Tubes babies were superb my son….. couldn’t get in (wasn’t he miffed).

    As I have said I really enjoyed your reviews and will look forward to reading them again next year. Hopefully there will be more new young bands to carry the sound forward and maybe the bill toppers won’t have used up most of the budget like they probably did this year (I am dreading the prospect of The Sex Pistols being announced)

  4. Got to agree that it was a bit off by Red Alert. I’ve met Steve Smith and found him a very nice bloke but also very drunk! This is apparently par for the course. I think he likes to engage in a bit of “earthy” banter with audience and mixed with his huge alcohol consumption it’s perhaps not surprising if it steps over into obnoxiousness sometimes.
    I don’t know why Test Tube Babies insist on playing the Arena every year.Presumably it’s their decision as Peter & Del are involved in the stage management. Every year there’s a load of people can’t get in and Test Tubes could quite easily hold their own on the Ballroom stage.
    It’s funny what you say about the Opera House. I felt a bit sorry for Bow Wow Wow that they came out to a big audience but it soon turned out most were just curious or having a rest! I’m not sure it works as a venue, but there you go.
    Thanks for your comments. I’m planning to go next year, and I’ll probably do a write up again. I write other bits on punk here as well. I’ll keep a lookout for what B Movie Britz are doing.

  5. I am working backwards. Some really nice sounds. I didn’t much care for the Rubella Ballet thing, but maybe that was the sound quality, the last two were great and I liked the photo show and song.

    More clues about the you pic, please. Drinking or shopping? Smoking or not smoking? Facial piercings? I think we should be told! :)

    Oh you do write well. Enjoyed last year and same again this year.

    • re Rubella Ballet -poor quality clip, not their best song imho (the were one band that were better when they moved on from straight punk)and not the best time I’ve seen them either. It was the only clip I could find of them this year.
      Here’s a clip of them in full bloom in the 80s

      I look fairly bland, that’s all I’ll say

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