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