Its festival season folks! And with that comes once more our annual excitement for all things Punk Rock and Rebellion Festival that takes place in Blackpool Winter Gardens. Don't be fooled by the location name though or the name of the next band we are speaking too. There will be nothing 'winter' or 'blizzard' about Rebellion Festival this year as the lineup is bringing pure summer heat with band after band of scorching punk in what is without a doubt the biggest independent festival for the genre.
This year, Rebellion Festival veterans and the UKs very own EVIL BLIZZARD will once more take to the stage after becoming somewhat regulars at the festival. Bassist Filthy Dirty dives into all things festival with us!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: How are things? Whats new?
Filthy Dirty (FD) Boom! All good here. Loads of new stuff – we’ve set up our own record label and released a new album that is doing really well. Just got the picture disc repress back yesterday so that’s exciting.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Rebellion Festival is fast approaching once again, how excited are the band?
(FD) Ridiculously so. Prowler is like a dog waiting to go for a walk, pining by the front door with his bass. Rebellion is always great fun and the only time you’ll ever get Stomper and Blizzpig in Blackpool.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Evil Blizzard seem to be regulars on the lineup, how did that happen?
(FD) Dunno!!! We’re cheap and local is the only reason I can think of! We’ve never thought of ourselves as a remotely ‘punk’ band. Theres obvious references to PiL, Killing Joke etc in our sound but we didn’t think the Rebellion crowd would dig the Blizz. To be honest in hindsight perhaps that was us being snobs and thinking Rebellion is just ‘punk’ when in reality there’s so much more going on all weekend. Blizzard grew up in the ‘Post Punk’ years; we just missed 1977 so music to us was not only Ramones, Clash etc but also Specials, Steel Pulse, Au Pairs, Basement 5 so ‘Punk’ to us has always meant more than 3 chord Pistols rip offs and as I say it was great to hear a variety of bands the first time we played Rebellion.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: ‘The Worst Show on Earth’ came out last month, hows the reception been? Are we expecting some of these songs to hit the setlist for the festival?
(FD)The reception has been amazing. We knew the album was a bit ‘out there’, what with it having two tracks clocking in at ten minutes or more, and so we were fully expecting people to struggle with it but right from the off its had rave reviews. The first pressing of vinyl sold out in 90 seconds! And yes there will be a lot of the new album in the set for Rebellion.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: What bands are you most excited about seeing at this years festival, if you had to pick one band for someone to not miss, who would it be?
(FD) Well Saturday night is sorted – Discharge followed by Ruts DC. Also PiL – anyone with ears can tell we ‘owe them a pint’ so to speak and so also Jah Wobble will be great. But pick of the weekend for me is Ruts DC - Incredible band who we’ve been fortunate enough to share the bill with a few times. I'm also intrigued by The Ramonas - I'll either love them or hate them!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Rebellion Festival is quite unique when compared to all the festivals out there, how important do you feel Rebellion is in the global punk scene?
(FD) I think Rebellion has made Punk more accessible and visible. For a long time Punk as a genre had become invalid -punk was like the Teddy Boys we used to laugh at when we were kids, listening to ‘dead’ music. But round the mid 90s the Pistols did Finsbury Park and it dragged everyone out the woodwork; all the old punks who’d started going to raves, all the ones who’d got into metal, or those that had simply hung up their leather. And people started going to gigs again, forming bands, helping new venues get set up and I think its no coincidence that Rebellion Festival started out life around then. And now of course Rebellion is totally unique, people come from all over the world and it has a sense of celebration about the place.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: What’s your favourite Rebellion moment?
(FD) I’m a Ramones obsessive, and one year we were on before CJ Ramone. I was too nervous to say hi – I’d heard a few stories about the Ramones not being too nice, and my wife asked CJ’s guitarist how he was with fans. ‘Man, he’s an asshole – he hates getting hassled’. So I stayed out of his way and as we came off stage after Blizzard played we walked past his dressing room and our manager – equally Ramones obsessed – thought ‘sod it’ and gave him a knock. So he answers; 6’4” in his leather with his bass on, pretty intimidating. He sizes us up, smiles and says ‘You’re in Evil Blizzard? That was great!! Come in and have a beer!’ while his wind up guitarist was laughing in the background! He was great, a lovely man. But I think my favourite Rebellion moment was when CJ was onstage I was crouched by his amps watching and this guy stands on my fingers. ‘Sorry man’ he says, singing along. ‘Hearing these songs makes me feel young again’ he said. ‘Me too’ I said. ‘And aren’t you Chuck out of Black Flag?!?’. Singing along to Ramones with Black Flag takes some beating.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: What can one expect from this years performance from Evil Blizzard?
(FD) Free form jazz; our new direction.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Any particular Pre-show rituals?
(FD) We never have time! The curse of wearing silly masks and outfits and not having a road crew means we set up our own gear then have to dash off to get changed so we never have tine for our group hug or aromatherapy pilates sessions.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Looking ahead, any interesting future plans in the works?
(FD) We’re touring as much as we can until Xmas then next year we’re doing things differently. We’ve spent 6 years doing the band and its been a scream, but next year we’re doing less gigs so we can spend more time with our kids and also concentrate on some other musical ideas some of us have had but never had time to do. Blizzard will still be doing a few gigs to keep our hand in though; we’ll be doing festivals and we’re looking at playing Japan, USA and Europe instead of the UK though. Less gigs in more interesting places.
Rebellion Festival takes place at Blackpool's Winter Gardens 2nd - 5th August. Tickets are still available to purchase at WWW.REBELLIONFESTIVALS.COM