Live Review: Rebellion Festival 2023 – Saturday
Words: Dan Barnes
Photos: Dod Morrison
It's barely just past noon on Saturday when Charred Hearts take to the Pavilion stage to dole out some old school Punk Rock; Slackrr get things going in the ballroom with a powerful pop punk sound and the Casbah hosts Erection, a female-fronted German band with a song called Fuck You and an attitude to match. Kudos must go to the bass player, who sports a blonde dyed do, a moustache and pink spandex – a strong look and no doubt.
Back in the Pavilion and Deadbeat at Dawn at combining punk rhythms with heavy bass and a dual vocal that sees the inclusion of Hip-Hip and Ska; an interesting take on the genre. All the way from South Korea for another shot at Rebellion after last year’s appearance on the Introducing stage, Rumkicks have made it onto the main stage and seem more excited about playing on the same platform as Cock Sparrer the other night. There is a huge amount of goodwill in the room, all aimed at this three-piece who have been visible as punters since Thursday. They offer caution on the dangers of daytime drinking with tongue held firmly in the check and dedicate their Fuck You to a former manager who tried to get them to change. This is the band’s last show of their ninety date European trek and, on this reception, we’ll see many a return to the continent.
Italians Los Fastidios wear their political heart on their sleeves and combine Ska rhythms with Oi! aesthetics; the merging of styles takes us back to the very beginnings of the Skinhead movement when the scene was heavily inspired by the music of the Caribbean. Celebrating more than thirty-years as a band, they are a familiar face at Rebellion and always go down a storm.
Another one of my favourite bands, County Durham’s Gimp Fist are a shoe-in for a great reception in Blackpool and this year is no different. Jonny Robson has also been here since Thursday, when he played the acoustic stage early doors. But it’s about the ire and we get Common Ground, Working Class and First in Line, along with a new one. Perkele’s Heart Full of Pride gets the crowd singing, Where’s the Fight, Top Dog and Marching On and On cement the band’s popularity and the explanatory Skinhead Not a Bonehead. They end, as ever, with the infectious Here I Stand, and the fist-pumping Whoo-oos of the chorus.
Midwich Cuckoos have taken to the Pavilion stage and are giving a fine display of energetic, sharp and aggressive Punk Rock. The underpinning bass keeps the three guitars in check and the vocals soar to such an extent that this band would be equally at home at a metal show. Boston legends, The F.U.’s are here on the final show of their European tour and their first Rebellion show in seven years, bringing that traditional USHC sound to the Casbah and spreading their own brand of musical insanity.
Ferocious Dog attract a huge following for their take on Celtic Punk, packing the Empress to the point that it’s at capacity. Misconduct open with the Star Wars theme and set about ramming their foot hard to the floor. The Chisel are playing in front of a backdrop that reads: “Anyone else fucking sick of The Chisel?” Frankly, no and as long as the band deliver aggy Street Punk like this it’ll be a long time before we are.
A trip down memory lane, listening to the charts on the radio. That’s what Bad Manners recreated for me. Been sooooo many years since I heard anything from the band, but Buster Bloodvessel is a fine host and he skanks and Skas as heavily as anyone else. Aussies Sensa Yuma rage with the best of them, The Only Ones take the aggressive tendencies down several notches and Icons of Filth still burn with a righteous indignation.
This is my third festival show from Mille Manders & The Shut Up after Slam Dunk and North West Calling and I’ll be covering them in Manchester in November, but one thing about this band is they never do anything but play high-quality, high-energy shows and never give anything less than one-hundred percent. New Model Army have been fighting the good fight for decades now and have amassed a near-cult like following. Justin Sullivan and his charges open the show with the appropriately titled No Rest before delivering a sublime account of their more than forty-year history, including 1984 and A Liberal Education from the debut up to Never Arriving from 2019’s From Here album.
Another band with more than forty years under their collective belt is The Dead Trousers, or Die Toten Hosen as they are known their native Dusseldorf. The turnout in the Casbah is massive for what it essentially an intimate show for the Germans; like their Teutonic counterparts, Rammstein, DTH have found widespread success without compromising their art by singing in English. And like Rammstein, the audience has gone to them and sing the songs back in German.