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Published: August 5th 2017
Still not feeling physically great, all this travelling is doubtless taking its toll. But the main aim for my day at Rebellion Festival was to see favourites The Outfit. Anything else would be a bonus.
Woke up pretty early as usual and took it easy in the morning until it was time for breakfast. Found a Vegas-themed restaurant on the promenade and ordered their avocado on sourdough. The avocado was rock-hard so I sent it back. No point paying for something you can't even cut into. And it turned out they did have soft avocado in the kitchen, which makes me wonder why they thought they could fob me off with a hard one like that. Not good, but the banana smoothie was some compensation. Shame because it's a nice-looking American-style diner.
I then got in the festival queue outside the Winter Gardens, the huge entertainment venue in Blackpool. None of my photos do it justice so I'll just post this link and you can see for yourself how stunning it is. http://www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk/venues/ A perfectly incongruous backdrop to the rough and ready sounds of the bands.
After some thorough bag-searching and a bit of general confusion about my
ticket, I was allowed into the punk wonderland that is Rebellion. Think I read somewhere that it's one of the biggest punk festivals in Europe (or was it worldwide?). And it really is huge. Theatre upon theatre (seven in total?) featuring some of the best bands in the business, plus a punk art exhibition and loads of merchandise stalls. You could even get a tattoo or piercing (but I declined). Plus all the food and drink options, including a vegan food truck. Everything you need for a great festival in other words.
It was also interesting to wander around and people-watch. Sadly didn't get any decent photos of the variety of punk expressions but needless to say there were plenty of mohican styles, tats, band t-shirts and black clothing. And punk is beginning to show its age - there was everyone from pensioners to babes in arms, along with many disabled people and folks from all over the world, all with one thing in common: a love of loud, boisterous music.
One thing that really impressed me was the gender equality aspect. There was a huge block of communal toilets for a start, which was a real boon.
And as I hadn't heard of many of the bands, I just picked things to see at random in the early part of the day, most of which were either all-women bands or fronted by (guitar-playing) women. And they were all really talented, not just token women. So the world of punk is looking promising, even if the headliners were probably mainly men. Gave me some inspiration for maybe putting together a band myself.
In late afternoon it was time for The Outfit from Canning Town, East London, a place close to my heart - and roots. The lead singer and long-time frontman of Cockney Rejects, another great punk band, kept apologising for the fact that they weren't really punk as they fuse punk with hiphop. Personally, I thought they were more punk than a lot of the more traditional bands there, as the genre has always been about cutting and pasting and mutating and drawing on diverse influences. I stood right at the front and really got into the gig, despite it being so early. And they were even louder and better than on record, which pleased me immensely.
By then I was wilting somewhat so I
got some food and then saw a couple of bands before capitulating to my need to rest. Had a lie-down back at the hotel (I'm that rock 'n roll) and then headed back for a few more gigs before I had to give up. Had a lovely time and the festival-goers were delightfully friendly and polite. Hope to come back some day. Tomorrow, I'm off to Durham to see the cathedral and possibly an old friend.
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