Rebellion Crisis!


Less than two days to go to Rebellion, the annual long weekend of punk rock and seaside tat. You might think I would be looking forward to such a weekend. You might think it’s a simple case of turning up, consuming more alcohol than I do in the entire rest of the year , removing my t-shirt and entering the “pit”( I apologise to anyone who witnessed me actually do this a few years ago for any mental trauma). But this year it’s more complex. There are multiple clashes of bands that might be dubbed “Wyngate favourites” and some very hard decisions to be made. The trouble is I’m not the kind of person who just “goes with the flow”, or goes to watch bands because my mates are watching. I’m not the kind of person who can just relax and enjoy the end of The Mob’s set knowing full well that 5 minutes walk away The Outcasts are starting their set.
So, fellow Spillers, have you ever had to decide between two artists to watch? How did you decide? Do you think you made the right decision?

I’m not a stranger to these dilemmas myself. A few years ago in Blackpool I walked out of what was looked to be a great Test Tube Babies set (Test Tubes on top form, the crowd was going mad, Peter full of sparkling repartee) after 10 minutes because The Gonads (Garry Bushell’s vanity project) were playing next door and I’d never seen them. They were crap- plodding through an under rehearsed set and Bushell, for possibly the only time in his life, saying bugger all, just standing there looking gormless between songs. The only bit of excitement was one solitary shout of “wanker” from a stray anarcho punk.
This years’ dilemmas include:

Cock Sparrer / Varukers / Ruts DC
Sparrer – The writers of some the best back catalogue in the history of Oi. Varukers –live one of the most consistently good UK hardcore punk bands . Ruts DC – it’s two of the Ruts! I’ve got a bit bored with Sparrer so not them. It’ll probably be Ruts DC, but they’d better play a Ruts greatest hits set!

Jello Biafra and the GSM / Infa Riot
Legendary political hardcore punk pioneer, or a bunch of bootboy oiks from the UK? Obviously it would be oiks from the UK … except they didn’t write California Uber Alles. My mate pointed out another crucial factor – he got close to the front watching Infa Riot a few months ago, and reported that they look old and fat. So does Jello, I pointed out. Jury’s still out.

Anti Establishment + The Warriors / A Heads
Geezerish Oi double bill vs feminine anarcho warbling. Perhaps the assumption was that these bands appealed to two different crowds, but as you know “musical variety” is my middle name.

Rage DC / Wasted Life
Wading through unfamiliar bands on Facebook looking for someone new to watch, among all the ska and folk (!) bands that seem to be taking over the bill, I came across these, and made a note to check them both out. Guess what…?

How do I decide? Suggestions welcome, although I probably won’t read them until I get back

12 thoughts on “Rebellion Crisis!

  1. I came across your comment on the mothership, and was wondering if you were going to get to Rebellion this year. I’m glad you are, it sounds like you could use a break. Hope all is well with you.

    Do you like Peter Capaldi?

    Have you found the RR group on Facebook?

    Can’t help you out with the dilemma though. Maybe a coin toss? Halvsies on each?

    Be well.

  2. Easy: Ruts DC & GSM have released two of the best albums this year.

    The Ruts are going to be in full on dub mode, which may not be your thing.

    Those GSM boys can really play, which, again, may not be your thing.

    Coin flip for the other one.

    • I don’t have any of the records but GSM were very good two years ago and Jello’s still got it as a frontman. Still not decided.

      I would happily check out a Ruts DC dub set if it wasn’t clashing with Varukers. Last years it was 75% Ruts songs though, and if they’re going to do that anywhere it’ll be Rebellion.

      Maybe I should do Jung’s old trick of toss a coin, and then I’ll know from my own reaction which one I really want to watch. I maybe I won’t.

  3. Last year someone said that The Ruts started out all dubby before launching into a full on greatest hits set. Apparently it was brilliant, but some walked out before the hits started flowing. MIght’ve been my sister who said that, but maybe it was yourself.

    My sister says the GSM gig. She’ll be the one who looks ever so middle-class and out-of-place but don’t tell her that, she’s a mean kick-boxer these days. Those people with no kids and too much time on their hands!

  4. I think that was my summary of Ruts DC last year, but this year they also have the new album to promote.
    I’ll try to spot your sister if I’m at GSM but I reckon it’ll be a big crowd. It could well be one of the least middle class festivals there is, although there’s probably a higher han average percentage of kickboxers.

    • Just looked at the list and see that Terveet Kädet will be at The Arena on Saturday at 8. Excellent band.

      Sister will probably easier to spot at the Geoffrey Oicott and the Dickie Birds gig. Friday at The Olympia looks very good and likely atteact lots of people I used to know.

      • My mate went to see Terveet Kadet – but they’d cancelled!
        I did watch a few minutes of the Oi!cotts but gave up because the sound was terrible. I’ve only just read this so I didn’t get the oppotunity to guess who your sister was!

  5. I looked at the lineup for Rebellion this years and was tempted (if I didn’t have small children to entertain in the holidays first) – it’s the ska based bands that would entertain me – they look ace.
    Ruts DC would do well to kick out the best of set first and weave it into the dubfest of the new album once everyone is on their side… hope you have fun.

    Have you ever had to decide between two artists to watch?
    big Bjork set or Cowboy Junkies? – I choose the junkies in a tent to fewer than 50 people and never regretted it – intense. (I’d seen the Sugarcubes loads, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch) – there’s many more.

  6. hope you’ve had a good time and all the bands you saw were worth hearing. I’d say it depends on how busy the venues are maybe? Or as others have suggested, a coin flip.

  7. Pingback: British punk rock report | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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