Vienna, host to this year’s Spring Rebellion festival, and the venue ‘The Arena’ is as punk rock as it gets. Formally an abattoir and used for the horror film ‘Hostel’, the old rundown slaughter house was a prefect setting for the two day festival, with over 50 bands including Ska legend Neville Staple from the Specials and American punk rockers the Dwarves.
The sun was shining and the day had only just begun, and by noon punk rockers were itching to enter the doors of the Arena. The first outstanding band of the day was GOLDBLADE (4/5), with catchy, sing along choruses and a unique rock and roll rhythm, Goldblade performed a blinding set, with the audience singing every word to ‘Psycho’ people couldn’t help but dance, giving an opening show to the festival punters.
However the street Dutch Oi! band DISCIPLINE (4/5) wrecked the stage as they followed on with an aggressive and fast performance, with heavy thrashy guitars and powerful shouting vocals, the show just seemed to get better.
Discipline tear it up at Vienna Rebellion
On the other hand a quite rigid set from PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES (2/5) with not much charisma on stage, the excitement died down a bit, and the smoke machine wouldn’t stop smothering the drummer! However the boys classics such as ‘Banned from the Pubs’ and ‘Student Wankers’ were definitely the tunes their fans paid to see.
Ska Legend NEVILLE STAPLE (5/5) bopped on stage full of energy, with the crowd cheering him on performing classics such as ‘Monkey Man’, ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Ghost Town’. Staple had no problems pleasing the crowd as he non-stopped skanked through the strewn hay pit, boots were getting muddy but no frowns were to be seen.
However, it was Saturday night headliners, also known as the godfathers of Oi!, COCK SPARRER (5/5) that made the festival come alive. The 1970s reclaimed Oi! legends delivered a set of pure raw rock and roll, combining with thumping working class anthems, and sing along lyrics. Soaring their way through infamous classics such as ‘Riot Squad’, ‘Working’ and ‘Watch Your Back’, Sparrer also threw in their new sound from current album ‘Here we Stand’, performing ‘Gotta Get Out’. The boys gave a classic ending with ‘England Belongs To Me’ giving a true sing-a-long vibe to the show, giving the old boys a thumbs up from me.
With the festival coming to a close, another day dawned of punk rocking in the tranquil city of Vienna. The first big act of the day was London’s SONIC BOOM SIX (4/5). The ska punk rock sensation produced a sing a long set with ‘Piggy in the Middle’ and ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’. However, with them being on so early, Sonic Boom Six didn’t get the crowd they deserved.
Austrian punk rockers SKEPTIC ELEPTIC (3/5) got the crowd going with a cover of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’. Climbing on the stage’s scaffolding, this band definitely knows how to entertain a crowd.
Watford’s Oi! boys ARGY BARGY (5/5) made a groundbreaking performance with fast shouting Oi! rhythms and a distinct sharp edge of street class punk. Delivering a set of their original Oi! anthems, Argy Bargy also gave the crowd of Vienna a taste of their new album with two tracks ‘There’s Gonna Be A Riot” and “No Regrets”. Receiving a brilliant response the show only got better as lead guitarist Mickey Beaufoy from Cock Sparrer joined on stage for the performance of ‘Argy Bargy’.
American long-haired thrash punk rockers MDC (3/5) had no problem entertaining the crowd at this year’s festival, with crazy head banging and soaring through heavy guitar riffs, blasting the Oi! fans away.
However the closing headlining act of Spring’s Rebellion Festival 2008, didn’t exactly go off with a bang. The American punk rockers THE DWARVES (1/5) didn’t exactly hold a crowd, and even the crazy antics of the guitarist being naked with a thong did not help. With a bad sound and a half empty crowd, the closing of Rebellion’s Spring festival came to an anti-climatic end. The weekend belonged to Cock Sparrer, Neville Staple and Argy Bargy.