When Revival Music invited me to shoot and review Rebellion Festival I couldn't say yes quick enough! As someone who, somehow, has never visited Rebellion Festival before I needed to see this long established event for myself. First impressions were great. The Blackpool Winter Gardens is a perfect venue. Seven stages running all close to one another but separate enough for no noise crossover. Plenty of bars and food available and a great shopping village to explore. So on to the music....
Midlands based The Army Of Skanks played this show as a three piece as their singer was unable to make the show. And despite some nerves they played a great set of their own songs and entertained the crowd. Whatever the future holds for this band they are well worth a watch.
London's Buster Shuffle had the Thursday afternoon crowd jumping and dancing with their high tempo set
of ska and rock. The mix of their own tunes and some ska/two tone favourites had broad smiles on the whole crowd.
Evil Blizzard are a sight to behold live. Six guys in strangely disturbing masks on stage, the drummer sings, the keyboardist wields a machete and the other four all play the bass! Its punk, its metal and its fun.
Steve Ignorant and Slice Of Life played a lovely acoustic set on the Opera stage. Although the music is softer and, well, more musical than other bands Steve has been in don't for a second think he has lost his edge. His lyrics are still thought provoking and he prowls the stage full of emotion, sharing plenty of humour, some pain and some anger with a crowd that stood and enjoyed the full set.
The years have been kind to Toyah. She still looks amazing and sounds amazing and has almost unlimited energy as she moves around the stage. The Opera stage was packed to capacity for her set that included new songs with old favourites as well as some enjoyable covers.
The Thursday night packed mainstage ended with a triple pronged American assault. First up was Leftover Crack. Joined on stage by Alice Hour from In Evil Hour for a couple of songs only to be followed by the one and only Pennywise playing the festival to all of their bros in the crowd as as part of a short UK stint for this year. Finally, after a seven year absence, Bad Religion took to the Rebellion stage once more to reclaim the throne as kings of Punk and ending the day on an absolute high.
My Saturday started with The Poly-Esters, an all-girl four-piece from Blackpool. They flew through their set of grungy punk with tons of energy and humour. When Matilda's Scoundrels take to the stage though its impossible not to move your feet. With a stage full of musicians playing their own brand of folk-punk at 100mph they are definitely a band to enjoy and watch out for in the future.
Heavy Drapes took to the mainstage with a rock'n'roll attitude and swagger and entertained the crowd with an immaculate set of punk rock. We went bat shit crazy with the Screech Bats! They played fast, they played hard, they were great. Definitely a band I'd like to see again.
The third all-girl band of the day was of just as high quality as the previous two. Maid Of Ace are possibly unique, four sisters in the same band! And they play a great brand of high-tempo punk that the crowd loved. The Svetlanas have been called "the most dangerous band in the world". Banned from their homeland, Russia, for their anti-government stance, they exploded on stage at rebellion with front woman Olga putting in the most extreme and energetic set of the weekend. Local boys The Membranes like to push at the boundaries and their set today was no exception. They were joined on stage by a full choir and where you might feel that this wouldn't work at a punk show it was well planned and sounded great and was appreciated by the crowd. Vice Squad rolled back the years with a great set of their stomping favourites delivered at speed and with smiles from on and off the stage.
Time flies when you're having fun and with half of the festival now done, we drove full steam into the weekend as we approached the end of a truly unique experience to be chronicled in part two!
Check out the full gallery of photos below!