Rebellion 2019Rebellion Festival 2019 – preview

“1, 2, 3, 4” It may well be the start to more songs than any sane person would care to collate, but its also the dates for this years Rebellion Festival.

Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th August
Winter Gardens, Blackpool

The Rebellion Festival 2019 opens its doors in approximately three weeks; 10,000 punks, skins, goths, rockabillies and everything else in between will cram into the legendary Winter Gardens, Blackpool, many there will have travelled from as far away as the USA, Australia, the Far East and across all of Europe.

Rebellion is an all-inclusive festival, renowned for its welcoming atmosphere, the friendliness of the security staff, where else would see security staff helping the crowd to launch inflatable boats to surf to the front barriers!

Across the venue’s multiple stages, there will be roughly 300 bands, artists and performers, then factor in the Punk Art exhibition, the Craft area there is a lot to cram in. Headliners include The Stranglers making a long overdue return, The Damned are back, as are The Skids, also there will be Cock Sparrer, UK Subs and Ruts DC; but Rebellion is also about moving forward; so we have looked down the very long list of performers and picked out a selection we reckon you shouldn’t miss.

Cambridge based Overload are set to appear on the RIS (Rebellion Introducing Stage) lunchtime Thursday; a self- described hardcore band, they released their debut album ‘Lumpenprole’ back in 2017, the album showcasing that there is much more to them than the term hardcore might suggest.

System Of Hate also play on the Thursday, to get to them will require a quick dash from the RIS to the Casbah where they will deliver their own blackened punk, for those unfamiliar they have elements of Killing Joke, but arguably darker!!

KP - Restarts

The Restarts also take to the Casbah Stage, hopefully showcasing material from the as yet untitled forthcoming album, sadly their set clashes with TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers, that said Mr Smith generally makes at least 3 appearances at the festival as he continues in his aim to be awarded the Hardest Working Man in Punk Award.

Slice Of Life return to the magnificent Opera House, for those who saw last years set, you will know this one is not to be missed, particularly as they will be playing material from the forthcoming new album.

Iggy Pop described Queen Zee as “Strange people from Liverpool. I don’t wanna say they’re dirty, they look a little weird, but they rock like crazy”… its clear Iggy has taste, but to my knowledge he is yet to witness Queen Zee live; they make their Rebellion debut taking to the Empress Ballroom (Main Stage) on the Thursday. What Zee will be wearing is always of interest, will Zee remain on the stage is another question, what isn’t in doubt is just how hard QZ kick, a sleazy, warped mixture of Marylin Manson, Perry Farrell, T-Rex, and just maybe a bottle or two of Liquid Gold as they declare “you fuck like a porno movie”


Kirk Brandon is back, this time under the Spear Of Destiny moniker, again delivering tracks from a forthcoming album. However, the real highlight, certainly for Thursday is the return of Goldblade; the gig however is tinged with sadness, Goldblade being asked to play as a tribute to Kathy Rocker. Most people in attendance will be aware of Kathy, the colourful lady who ran Rockers England based in Manchester, who every year also had a large stall on the Rebellion ‘horseshoe’. In late June Kathy passed aware having battled cancer for several years; her last UK gig was to watch Goldblade play the Fuck Cancer 2 gig at the Star & Garter only 6wks before she passed. Goldblade will play The Pavilion on the Thursday night, it will be full to capacity – get there early!

John Kathy

Friday sees a good few gems, personally I mustn’t miss Snivelling Shits, I recall their debut ‘I Can’t Come’ 7” when I was in my teens; the band name, the title, the cover was everything I needed to know about punk back then, yet I have never seen them play live, finally after some 40yrs I will!

dragSTER follow in the Casbah, playing a set from both their ‘Dead Punk’ and 2018’s ‘Anti-Everything’ albums with maybe a new track or two, as ever they will deliver a full throttle set that is sure to pull a huge crowd.

Snivelling Shits

Interrobang take to the Opera House which will suit their complex layered sounds and also provide a stage big enough to accommodate Dunstan Bruce and his loud hailer!

The Opera House is also the setting for The Membranes who are riding worldwide critical acclaim following the release of the ‘What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away’ album in June, the release has seen them be confirmed for numerous festivals and gained BBC 6music sessions. The album essentially looks at nature, yes, it’s a concept album, at a punk festival… surely a crime to some; but that’s the point of Rebellion, its not a retro event.

On the Saturday TV Smith & Friends appear in the Opera House, to date there are no clues as to the identity of his ’friends’ – he knows everyone, so anyone could be up on stage with him!

Ruts DC will be transporting their acoustic set from the usual Almost Acoustic setting to the Opera House, as the last few times they have played the Acoustic stage it has been impossible to get in, the set generally covers all periods of the band and includes hilarious anecdotes and banter; sadly their set directly clashes with The Crows who will be delivering their tales of witches, sorcery and frankly spooky rag dolls on the Almost Acoustic stage.

Ruts DC Acoustic

Another clash will be between HR from Bad Brains in the Casbah and Girls In Synthesis, who will make their incendiary Rebellion debut in the Pavilion; the post punk, art-punk/noise trio have in two rapid years become one of the most important bands in the UK today. Three rapid fire singles came on Blank Editions and all sold out within days, the entire lot plus a download only release was bundled into the Louder Than War Records released ‘Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018’ compilation in April 2019; despite being pressed in bigger numbers this to sold out within weeks. The Pavilion perfectly suits the bands live performance; make space for the band, as they generally play from the audience!

When GIS finish you will have a mere five minutes to get downstairs to the Arena for Paranoid Visions, another band who are currently recording a new album having taken a break from their very successful work with Steve Ignorant. They have been around for three decades, but have never stood still, continually honing their sound, lyrical barbs equalling the taut powerful sound.

Girls In Synthesis Nov 2018 ©Phil Newall 2018 for Louder Than War a

Cock Sparrer will no doubt raise the rook of The Empress, this one will without doubt be a ‘one in – one out’ entry policy, and for those remembering Kathy Rocker, should they play “Us Against The World” then expect tears to flow.

By Sunday, people will be flagging, fear not twisted psychobilly duo Snakerattlers will get the heart racing as they open the final day of the Arena, they finish their set just in time to see the Kopek Millionaires open up the Opera House, led by Johny Skullknuckles the band bang out some fine glam tinged belters, and conveniently you wont have to go anywhere as they are followed by Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies who over the years have I guess played every stage available at Rebellion as they take their ‘kitchen-core’ to the world with the mantra “make Scouse, not war”.

1919 are bringing a welcome goth element to Rebellion; they were there at the start releasing the highly sought after ‘Machine’ album in 1983, sadly, the band collapsed in 1985. Continuing and then increasing interest finally paid off as in 2014 1919 had reformed and performed their first show, headlining Leipzig’s Gothic Pogo Festival on Friday 22 May, since then they have toured Europe, played dates in Mexico, the USA; released the ‘Bloodline’ album in 2017, and then in May 2019 the follow up ‘Futurecide’ via US based Metropolis Records.

King Kurt are back, this time in the Casbah with their ‘Ooh Wallah Wallah’ revved up rockabilly as they look for ‘Destination Zululand’, this is sure to be a full on entertaining set, just what you will need as the Rebellion prepares to close for another year, the only problem is the direct clash with The Skids who again take to the Empress Ballroom, and sadly there is yet another clash with Pauline Murray; clearly someone is conspiring against me ensuring that I do not get to see Pauline this time round!

And then which band to end the weekend with? The Damned in the Empress, Dwarves in the Casbah, Chameleons Vox in the Opera House, or Frenzy in the Arena, depending on how tired I am, it might well be Chameleons Vox as the Opera House has the option of seats!!

Either way, there is an enormous number of bands to see, you can’t see everyone you want, so just go along, wander about, soak up the atmosphere, and most of all enjoy your weekend.

Advance tickets are still available. Louder Than War is an Official Rebellion ticket outlet, we have tickets in stock and all orders are posted with 24hrs.

NB: Saturday DAY tickets have SOLD OUT, Friday DAY tickets are LIMITED stock.

Order TICKETS from Louder Than War.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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