I was very glad that The Revival Music sent me back to Skegness Butlins for The Great British Alternative Music Festival again this year. It’s a great value for money weekend with ample opportunities to meet old friends and make new ones whilst enjoying some top class bands.
As before, the daytime focal point is The Skyline, a massive covered space ideal for socialising and enjoying the Introducing Stage. This stage isn’t just for introducing new bands but also to introduce more established bands into the Butlins family. The demand to get to play these spots is high as was the standard of bands on show. The daily reward for winning the public vote is to be invited back the following year to play one of the main stages.
Massive credit goes to all 12 bands who played this stage across the weekend, all of which played amazing sets. Friday saw the first ever voting dead-heat, kudos to Butlins as they have allowed both bands to step up to main stage next year. So, congratulations to SV & The Eruptions and Tokyo Taboo for winning Friday. Desensitised for Saturday and Rage DC for Sunday.
A special shout out goes to the singer with Tokyo Taboo who pole dances while she sings and can comfortably hold a note even upside down! Something I’ve never seen before! Over on the main stages it was brilliant to see that The Blue Carpet Band could step up from the Introducing Stage and totally hold their own in a bigger venue. They are a brilliant live band who will entertain any sized crowd in any sized venue.
The Adicts are back and absolutely killing it with their own brand of theatre punk. A mammoth set filled with balloons, streamers, costumes and some thumping songs had a massive crowd loving every second of their show. The Undertones get a special Saturday lunchtime mention for packing their venue so tight that it was literally ‘one out one in’ to the building during their set. Those crammed in were rewarded with a set full of Singalong classics, from the opening ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ and one of the very best punk songs ever in ‘Teenage Kicks’.
Disappointment of the weekend was that Bad Manners couldn’t get to the venue. This left the alternative weekend heavily leaning to just being a punk weekend especially as the Angelic Upstarts stepped up and played the empty slot as well as their own slot the following day. We were also treated to three of punk rocks biggest bands. The usual brilliant singalong courtesy of Sham 69, a great set of classics with The Stranglersand a whirlwind of energy from Jeff Turner and the Cockney Rejects. Any single one of these sets would make a great weekend and Butlins gave us all three!
Set of the weekend for this reporter came from Hung Like Hanratty with their high tempo mix of un-pc punk rock, costumes, masks and total chaos! With the singer in the crowd, the crowd filling the (ridiculously sized) security pit, mobility scooters, fat blokes being thrown off the stage & dancing security guards this was a must watch experience. Lead singer Al was the Ringmaster of Mayhem, thriving on the chaos and egging it on where necessary! This was an amazing set.
So thank you Skegness for a great weekend, I’ll see you all in Minehead in the spring for another one.