Sobered up from Rebellion yet? Then have a read of Paula Frost’s report and relive all those sunny Blackpool memories….
This year the Vive Le Rock! crew made our way up to Blackpool for a long weekend of punk rock at the Winter Gardens! The festival has been running for 22 years and this year featured 350 bands across 4 days and 7 stages. Needless to say it’s the biggest event in the punk rock calendar year on year and one we look forward to.
Every day Max Splodge, the singer of ‘Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps’ kicks the Rebellion day off with his comedy bingo show. You won’t want to win one of his prizes, I’ve seen him give out a bag of out-of-date Bad Manners flyers.
Thursday kicked off with some Vive Le Rock! flyering outside the venue. Frontman Djamel from The Blue Carpet Band took a break from his usual role of playing Cramps style rock’n’roll and was recruited as part of our street team! We swerved through the busy crowds of punks enjoying another hot summer’s day and spoke to everyone we could, making sure they knew about Vive Le Rock, the only punk magazine in the UK. It was a great way of getting to know more of the punk family.
Backstage we bumped into Lynda and Coppo, two infamous punks who’d been on the scene since ’77 and knew all the bands (Coppo has most of them tattooed on his back!). Then someone called my name, it was John, the drummer of IDLES! They were playing the Empress Ballroom later and the rest of the band came over for a quick chat, including the big bushy bearded bassist known for his dancing in the ‘Stendhal Syndrome’ video.
It was time to venture further into the Winter Gardens, on the way I caught up with Jenna Talia of Glitter Trash, then met the controversial Soap Girls who had their boobs out as usual. There were tons of punks I hadn’t seen in years and it was great to link up with everyone again. We caught Call Me Malcolm on the introducing stage and then The Bar Stool Preachers hijacked me and lead singer T.J. McFaull took me to see one of his favourite bands The Menzingers. Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life played the introducing stage. His acoustic crew of seated musicians drew a big crowd of singalong punks to the Opera House. Accompanied by Carol Hodge on piano, Ignorant performed a theatrical set dressed in a smart suit and braces with a trilby. Their moving performances of songs like ‘The Way Things Are’ and ‘Slice of Life’ brought some punks to tears.
IDLES played at 20:55 and sheered through ‘Mother’, ‘Well Done’ and ‘Stendhal Syndrome’ plus their new pro-love pro-immigration anthem ‘Danny Nedelko’ during their fifty-minute set. Frontman Joe climbed all over the stage and got into the audience whilst the rest of the band rolled around thrashing guitars in a frenzied intoxicating performance.
Later that night legendary punks the Buzzcocks headlined the Empress Ballroom and instilled that mystic feeling of revolution in a chandeliered, elegant room filled with punk rockers losing their minds. It was the flawless beginning to a weekend of anarchy and protest music.
There are too many other incredible moments to recount but you can read all about Rebellion 2018 in full in the new edition of Vive Le Rock!, on sale now.