My memory is a little patchy now because it is now some 2 weeks since Rebellion finished and I haven’t got round to writing this yet. Fortunately, being reasonably organised when it comes to writing blogs, I’ve made some notes.
So, back to Rebellion 2008, Day 4, or Sunday as it is usually known. Darcy and I made a point of getting into Blackpool early so I could see the band I frequently refer to as my little friends. This is not a reference to their stature but their youth. They’re the same age as my older daughter and I feel an almost maternal pride when they play. So, my little friends, or, as they’re more commonly known, Middle Finger Salute. I know they sang Wannabe, famous for being one of the most irritating songs I’ve ever heard, and they sang it so much better than the Spice Girls did. They sang plenty of songs off various CDs, with guest appearances by Outl4w and The Exposed. My memory is sketchy but I know they did sing Because You’re Young with two members of Cock Sparrer.
After that, we had dinner and then saw a little bit of The King Blues. Moving swiftly on, we moved swiftly on to the Arena and there caught Danger’s Close, which was much more our Cup of Tea. As we walked into the Arena I thought “I know this song!” and then realised it was a fast version of Punk/Oi! Legend, Lionel Ritchie’s blood curdling song “Hello”.
We saw a bit of The Restarts’ set and then went off to have some tea. After that, we went up to the Bizarre Bazaar to see Neck’s acoustic set. They didn’t show up so Frank Sidebottom filled in, to a rapturous reception. His version of Anarchy in the UK was surreal and hilarious. I was suitably impressed. After Frank was Ed Tudorpole or, as I used to know him, Tenpole Tudor. We watched his sound check and then buggered off to wander round the stalls.
Now for an admission it pains me to have to make. After being so impressed last year with their set, I managed to miss East End Badoes. This is dreadful and I will be paying the price for my omission for the rest of the year and well into 2009. Very remiss of me indeed and I can only apologise.
We wandered in to see The Sweet and caught the second half of their set. I really loved this band when I was a little junior school girl and it was a good nostalgia trip to see them play live. I should, at this point, commend the organisers of Rebellion for including bands like The Sweet, Slade (last year) and Chas and Dave in the line up. I don’t think there are many punks and skinheads out there who will only listen to punk, Oi! and Ska and there are going to be plenty who remember Glam Rock with affection. There was a sizeable crowd in there when The Sweet (minus the now defunct Brian Connolly and other original members) launched into “Love is like Oxygen”. This included a reasonable sized chunk of Fanfare for the Common Man (as performed by Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and I loved it. They followed with Blockbuster (I got rather excited at that point because I LOVED the song when I was a kid) and Ballroom Blitz.
I was almost delirious as I left when they had finished but not quite as delirious as I was when we returned about 15 minutes later for The UK Subs.
This was the original line-up including Paul Slack, who signed my jeans – see Tight Jeans, Romance and Sid Vicious for the full story. Sorry about getting your name wrong, by the way, Paul but I was believing something I read on the Internet and not trusting my memory. Well, they played loads of 2-3 minute masterpieces (The UK Subs have NOT forgotten their roots), including Lady Esquire (which used to be a personal statement for me in my wild youth), TV Blues, Tomorrow’s Girl, CID and finishing off with two songs I love: Warhead (I sang along enthusiastically whilst punching the air) and Stranglehold, which reduced me to a frenzy of bouncing up and down, singing along at the top of my voice and pointing, well, pointedly, at the stage. This is a band I absolutely love, I’ve never seen them play badly and they never disappoint.
After that, it was back to the Pavilion for the last time to watch Neck. This time, they made an appearance, although it was rather fashionably late. Darcy had introduced me to Neck (not literally, just the songs) and I was looking forward to seeing them play live. The lead singer reminded me of a teddy boy I used to know in my mispent youth. The banjo player looked just like a West Ham supporting skinhead, the fiddle player looked like a mad hippie, the bass player looked a bit emo and I couldn’t see the drummer. I just knew we were going to get along. There was some heckling from some unfriendly skinheads for a while but then they found something better to do (presumably go and watch the 4 Skins). There was also a couple of skinheads dancing like loons near the front. It’s a good way to dance to Neck as I discovered when they played Everyday’s St Patrick’s Day and I was unable to contain myself any longer. Before that, they played The Fields of Athenry – a marvellous anthem about the transportation of a man for stealing corn to feed his starving family during the famine. When they finished after a decent length set, it was disappointing to have to set off back home but I was completely drained of energy and I don’t think I could have lasted much longer.
All in all, it was a good weekend, nay, a brilliant weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. What made it even better was having Darcy with me. Music is an enjoyable solitary pastime but it’s so much better having somebody to share it with. I’m now looking forward to Rebellion 2009. Bring it on!