The Diary of Noz (RBH) aged 47 and a bit (Rebellion Festival 2015)

Ok i've not been to Rebellion fest for about 7-8 yrs, I used to go every year when it was in Morecambe and loved it. 8 of us in a caravan, speeding, getting pissed etc. then it moved back to The Blackpool Winter Gardens, which I went to once and  then said never again. My problem with the Winter Gardens was the sound. I remember watching Dead Kennedys and DRI and couldn’t tell what songs they were playing.  It was all snare drum so I thought I’d stick to smaller venues, anyway fast forward to 2015...

Kaz (my missus) got us tickets for my birthday so I thought I’d give it another chance so here’s what I remember.  Me and Kaz decided to not stay in Blackpool as we both think it’s a shithole but for kaz to drive down and back every day, sleep in our own bed and feed the cat, it was only an hour away or so I thought?  Anyway...


We decided to not get there for 11am doors so set off about 2pm and got to Blackpool an hour or so later, found a car park behind The Winter Gardens which was full but the bloke manning it said he would get his boss to move his car and we could use his space for £10 as long as we were gone by 12pm(fine by us).  Into the venue for wristbands, said hi the the STP mob then back outside to a pub where some mates were drinking.  Had 1 pint then decided to go and check some bands out after fish n chips (kaz got asked do we want a small fish or big fish, Kaz asked what’s the difference, my comment of one’s probably a fish finger didn’t go down too well with the girl serving).  Into the venue £4 a pint (it was only 20p cheaper outside), walked around in a big circle looking at t-shirts and laughing at the overpriced rare vinyl before going nto the arena to see the last few songs of Revenge of the Psychotronic Man (couldn’t see them at first cos of all the dry ice till we got down the stairs). Fair few in and they did get a circle pit going. Next up Anger Flares from Japan in the same room.  Did see them in Manchester the previous Sunday and really enjoyed em, got a cd, sound weren’t too bad in here but my boots stuck to the carpet – boo.  They played the classic ‘Fighting for Survival’ 1st, good crowd for them.  My friend Ant was doing merch for them, I can't believe they only brought 30 CD's with them for a UK tour ending up at Rebellion, they could of sold hundreds.  Great to bump into Yuichi (singer)later with Ant even though I think I kept saying goodbye in Japanese, it's all Dutch to me.  Next I watched a few songs by Trioxin Cherry, good band, have the CD then off to the Casbah to catch the end of Emergency Bitter (i met the singer at Manchester punk fest about a month ago) sounded ok but I don't know the songs.  I did like the Casbah venue as you could smoke as I think it was the old car park and there was a breeze.  I think the rest of it is getting knocked down so next year I think this will be the open air stage (flat mohawks in the rain).

Next band Sick Of It All’ in the Empress Ballroom (oohh posh).  I watched the full set, great as always but a few too many new songs, went into the bar for chinwag with various people for an hour or 2 (the acoustic stage was in one of the bars which was a shame as it should have its own room, most people who know me know acoustic acts bore the fuckin shit out of me apart from Paul Carter and Captain Hotknives cos they are funny!  Went upstairs to the art gallery, paintings and drawings etc. done by various famous band members, some were good, some looked like they were done in primary school. I won't name names to protect the guilty (can just see some poor git that paid £80 to have a painting of a dolphin in their living room cos the guitarist was in a original 70's band, not for me)  By this time our feet and legs were hurting as we are old  - so off to the new band stage (Pavillion) which we had bobbed in and out of most the day walking in circles to see Ted Dibiase and the Million Dollar Punk Band.  3 hitmen millionares flown in by hellicopter, I love this band, got the cd, 3 t shirts (new one snort caviar, inject champagne)very entertaining, lots of fake money thrown about, fake bags of cocaine (did see a lad trying to snort it, prob Talc) and a dead body wrapped in bin liners thrown into the audience.  Great band check them out, gutted to miss Drongos but they were on sat the ame time as Ted.  Anyway we were knackered so decided to head off home for egg on toast – see ya tomorrow!


OK, woke up feeling like shit in the morning so decided to have a kip on the sofa, woke up at 4pm and after discussion with Kaz who's feet were still hurting we decided to give Friday a miss. I did get pissed at home later on though and started to regret missing Gimp Fist, King Prawn, External Menaces’ last gig (hopefully not) Test Tubes, Subhumans etc.  One problem I had yesterday was wearing 14 hole docs and tightish jeans (guess I'm not a 26 inch or 34 inch waist anymore) so tomorrow it’s on with the shorts and trainers, crikey I feel old, this will happen to everyone when you hit 40 unless you keep fit and drink cranberry juice and are a twat.


We set off really early about 9.30am to make it to the Casbah for the mighty Wonk Unit who were  on at 12.30 (1st band on).  We didn’t take into account that families visit Blackpool on a sat with their stuttering little bastards so the motorway was busy.  We got in the Casbah just as Wonk Unit are going on, ignoring anyone on the way in (sorry) what a crowd for 1st band on.  I love this band so much that I will see them 3 times in the next few days (more on that later)but what the fuck were Wonk Unit on at this time for, they should have had The Boomtown Rats slot (sir bob you knob).  A French girl whose name I forgot on keyboards is a new addition to the band, sound was ok but keyboard was very quiet.  Alex the singer was funny as fuck today asking how many builders in the audience (1 hand) then how many labourers were in the audience (1 hand) then saying it just goes to show punk rockers are fuckin’ lazy bastards.  Alex could easily be a stand up comedian, Tommy, Pwosion and Ben were tight as fuck, they were great, made a lot of new fans and sold plenty of merch (I will see them in Oldham later tonight and with Teenage Bottlerocket on Tuesday).  I hung around chatting to Wonk while Andy T was on (sure he used to be acoustic? got him on some anarcho comps). 

We decided to go for a walk on the seafront passing our friends still sat in the same bar, walked halfway down the pier before realising its shit, was laughing at the German punks who had wrote a massive Hamburg Punx in the sand while their friends took pics (got Kaz to take a pic of it as well) and was wondering if they were gonna be there tomorrow during Blackpool Airshow when the spitfires were flying up n down the front?  Kaz got donuts , I got a burger but nearly dropped it cos an old bloke in front of me started farting as he was walking (think he was deaf). Back into the Empress to see 1 song by 999 which I’d never heard and was crap so into the Casbah (smoking) for The Skeptix, sound wasn’t great, the bass kept cutting out, think it was the amp ,ok though.  We went for a sit down to watch a Peter and the Test Tube Babies interview and only Del the guitarist turned up, funny as fuck though with loads of interesting info, interviewer asked Del who is the most punk rock person you know and he said Lily Allen cos she masturbates with an electric toothbrush?

Back in the Casbah and Coitus were on.  I’d never seen em’ but was impressed with the punk/metal vibe. The bass sounded nice ‘n’ grindy.  Next band were Culture Shock who were fantastic, great sound.  Last band I saw was Hard Skin (2 songs as we had to leave to get to see Wonk Unit in oldham).  It was fuckin' rammed for Hard Skin, took ages to get out of Blackpool to Oldham but got to see Wonk again (longer set)got to bed about 2.30am, will I make it to see Random Hands final gig tomorrow?


3 and a half hours to get to Blackpool, aaarghhh, did I get to see Random Hand, no!  I forgot about Blackpool Airshow, motorways are shit, I drank 4 cans on the way down so by the time we get near Blackpool football ground I'm busting for a piss.  We did get to see most of the airshow from the traffic cue (Spitfires, Hellicopters and the Red Arrows).  I did say to Kaz – ‘man that plane was close’ til kaz pointed out that it was a big seagull (I don't need glasses).

We watched the traffic wardens have a field day with people that had parked on pavements before saying to Kaz give me a tenner for a couple of pints and I'll meet you in there as I need a piss only to walk what felt like miles to see Kaz drive past me smiling near the door of the Winter Gardens, aaarrgghhh.  I decided I was on a mission to get drunk so the 1st band was HDQ and the sound was terrible, went to the Empress to see Ignite who I love, where the fuck was the crowd? Shame on you they were great.  Snuff up next but only seen ‘Marbles’ and a new song which I think is on the new Fat Wreck comp.

We went to see if our friend was ok as he'd overdone it and found out he was on his way to hospital which fucked my head up, went to see Sweet and it was packed but kept thinking about my mate and decided I just wanted to go home?

Would I go to Rebellion again - yes I probably would but would stay over, a lot better than it used to be, pretty well organised, only problem is you need a lot of money.  I think Rebellion doesn’t have control over what the Winter Gardens charge for beers £4/pies £3.50/water £2 - perhaps negotiations are in order like North West Calling etc? and I don't see the point of getting tickets and sitting outside with Buckfast or Lambrini either (I can do that at home).

You can’t see everyone at the Fest but watch some bands at least, I did!
Cheers to everyone we met and everyone we know!

review by Noz RBH (19 August 2015)