Rebellion Festival in Blackpool is the highlight of the year for any self-respecting punk music fan. Here’s nine acts I’ll be making sure I check out at this year’s event, from runs from August 1,2,3,4.
Kickback Generation are an old-school political punk trio from the North East of England with a fine line in working class anthems with catchy choruses. They made their Rebellion debut two years on the Introducing stage, and as they make a welcome return this year, it’s been picked as the launch gig for their third album, Stand By You. They’re on at noon on Thursday in the Arena.
Bar Stool Preachers were the main beneficiaries of gobshite Geldof’s rant about ‘black T-shirts with shit bands on’ in 2015, as fans deserted the Empress Ballroom in droves to pack out their set next door. Since then they’ve released two excellent albums of ska-inflected street punk, and they’re unmissable live. Catch them in the Empress at 5.15pm on Thursday.
Fear are one of the big US bands who the organisers have managed to snag this year, and their midnight set in Club Casbah on Thursday is on many people’s must-see lists after they had to cancel in 2016. It’s the first and only UK appearance of a band who are credited with helping to shape the sound and style of Californian hardcore.
Gimp Fist are Rebellion regulars, and with good reason. The North East street punks regularly pack out whatever stage they’re playing with fans of their infectious working class anthems. Their set doubles as the album release gig for new record Blood, so it should be a cracker. They’re in the Empress Ballroom at 3.30pm on Friday. See you down the front.
The Business Event is the not-to-be-missed set in the Empress Ballroom at 8.10pm on Saturday. It’s basically a tribute to Micky Fitz, frontman with the hugely-influential South London Oi! band The Business, who died in 2016. Original members Steve Whale, Steve Kent and Micky Fairbairn will reunite once more, with a list of guest singers, to pay tribute to their old friend by revisiting some of the band’s finest moments from the last 40 years.
Saturday night is looking like a big old Cockney knees up, because after The Business Event you’ve got Cockney Rejects, followed by Cock Sparrer. The Rejects have been at it for 30 years now, and Sparrer for 47, and if you haven’t seen either of them before, you’ve got to ask where you’ve been hiding. On the off-chance this is true, if streetpunk is your thing this is a chance to put it right.
Snakerattlers are a husband and wife duo from York who were formerly in garage-punk band The Franceens. Dan and Naomi combine rockabilly, garage, trash and greaser rock ‘n’ roll, which results in an uncompromising yet mesmerising set of raw, erratic power. They make their Rebellion debut on the Arena stage at 1.05pm on Sunday.
There’s plenty of big names to look out for on Sunday, but Birmingham five-piece The Liarbilitys probably won’t be on too many people’s radar. Check them out in the Arena at 4.15pm and I can guarantee you’ll be impressed. Their debut album Antagonisms was one of the best I heard last year, and you’ll be singing their best song, Two Against One, long after you’ve gone home.
Remember that supporting punk music isn’t just for one weekend a year though. Many of these bands on the bill are gigging up and down the country every week, most of them just about covering their petrol.
Go to see them at your local venues, buy their merch, have a beer with them. You never, know, you could be hanging out with the Rebellion headliners of 2029.