It’s the final day of Niall McGuirk’s Rebellion Festival 2017 roundup
And so it drifts to a close. We may want it to go for ever, but most bodies can’t take the pace. There is a world out there to return to, families and friends to be cherished and minds to change. Again Rebellion has been a cracker, my years of animosity towards this festival were wrong for me. I spent a long time saying I didn’t want to see old fogies reliving their youth, but it’s great. The festival brings a community or, as Pete Stahl from Scream described it, a tribe together. We all have different parts to play in the tribe, but it is ours.
I started late today, spent some time at the seaside, wishing the donkeys weren’t being used, before heading to see Pizzatramp. The venue was as packed as I’ve seen it for any on the intoducing stage. Pizzatramp are loud and fast. Their new drummer joined this morning, which made for an interesting show. The blistering speed is fine if you’re used to drumming, it’s only when bands decide to get cocky and include breaks in their songs… They even managed to play the same 20 second song 4 times. John Robb’s chat with Jah Wobble coincided, but I heard some of it.
The literary stage isn’t there this year and it is a shame. The stories of punk rock are important and whilst we are there for the music it is necessary for the reasons behind it to be documented. Hopefully it will return next year. Barry Cain’s chat with Nicki Weller proves how important these talks are. Nikki spoke of managing the Jam’s fan club and correspondence they received. She was the curator for the From The Jam exhibition which made it to London and Liverpool and could yet travel to Amsterdam. Barry Cain sidetracked with his own stories, but thankfully Nikki reeled it back in and told some lovely tales of her brother Paul.
Zounds were always trying something interesting when Crass and Conflict were challenging people with their lyrics and music. The arena had a huge crowd, many happy to rest their weary legs after 4 days but it was great to see Zounds on that stage.
Jon Langford is king to me. He would be my god if he didn’t eat meat, so to see him acoustic and with The Mekons was an honour. I don’t know what he eats, but I do know he replied to a letter I sent as a 15 year old. I still have it somewhere as it’s the little things in life that can really matter. The Mekons were on stage with their original line up from 1977. songs like Fight The Cuts could have been written at anytime over the last 4 decades but it strikes me that we are back in those days, and it’s not nostalgia talking. Mekons were post punk almost as soon as they heard punk; they discovered country, but always had the attitude of punk. It was, yet another, honour to sit and watch them play tonight. You’ve no idea how much.
I felt like a disloyal subject as I sneaked out of Jons acoustic set (sshhh don’t tell him) to watch A Page of Punk, but needed to. Japan know how to do extremes in music and A Page of Punk sure are extreme. This was an unexpected highlight – incredible energy on stage, and an insane show. If ever you get a chance to see them then please, please do. The intensity of this band is phenomenal, everyone had a smile on their face.
Attila was back in the Opera House entertaining us all showing that there can be humour in the revolution. This splendid venue had hundreds of punks singing about prince Harry’s knob and the irony of it all wasn’t lost on Attila. The crowd in the acoustic room the other night were full of chat with their friends but opera house brought people in who wanted to see him and respected what was on offer.
Speaking of which Ruts DC burst the Almost Acoustic room yet again. You could slice the respect this crowd have for Ruts DC. Even though they can do no wrong they still did everything right
Propagandhi were outside in the Casbah and were immense, in the rain. So much so that I barely caught The Skids but as I wandered home from Blackpool my dreams for 2018 had already started.
To my tribe, thank you. Let’s keep on keeping on