“OI! WYNGATE! WAKE UP!”
As you might have realised there has been a major event going on in the UK attracting visitors from all over the world. Of course I’m talking about the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool. Yes it’s that time of year again and I know you’d be disappointed if I didn’t give you a full, day by day report. There has been some banter at “chez carpenter” about this being my equivalent of the Olympics, concern about whether I’m in good enough physical condition etc (answer – no). However a performer that I get chatting to about the Olympics on the coach to Blackpool offers a different perspective – the Olympics is the world’s equivalent of the Rebellion Festival!
Day one is a bit of a easing in sort of day. You’ll be disappointed to hear there’s no cheesy 70s novelty acts today. There is some novelty though – a band called The Pukes featuring 17 women playing Menace’s GLC on ukuleles anyone? Pairubu? I take a quick look at newish Nottingham band Girlfixer. A bit Distillers-ish, not quite my bag, but they’re a tight band.
Today is more of a day for catching up with old friends , including old friends who still live within 6 miles from me but that I only see once a year in Blackpool!
There are of course one or two reformed obscure 80s bands for me to see. I check out Xtract who did one 7” back in the today which I didn’t rate that much. Tonight they sound pretty good though, despite the singer’s bandana. This for some reason seems to be a popular fashion item for ageing punk bands, perhaps to hide a receding hairline. I blame Chron Gen, I’m pretty sure they started this.
Second reformed 80s band of my day, and the one I’m most looking forward to, are old anarcho band The System. I have been getting drunk in preparation for their appearance. Unfortunately it seems the frontman has as well. He keeps cocking things up and repeatedly blames the rest of the band. They take it on the chin and carry doing the best they can, but I imagine a frosty journey home to Wigan awaits! At least none of them were wearing bandanas.
Onto the final leg of the evening, and time for an embarrassing reminder that I’m not as young as I used to be. Cockney geezers The Business are on in the main venue, the Empress Ballroom but my feet are aching so I head upstairs to the balcony. The Business are probably past their best these days, but do a good job of rousing the rabble with their shout-along choruses.This song is, appropriately, Loud Proud & Punk.
After their set though I start to feel the effect of the drink. I’m feeling drowsy and ominously a hangover seems to be setting in already. I decide to wait and see if headliners The Buzzcocks are on form. Next thing I know I open my eyes and The Buzzcocks are already halfway through Autonomy. When did they come on?
They sound good but I sensibly decide it’s time to give up and head back to the B & B. This is worrying. If this weeked was an Olympic event it looks like I would fail to qualify.