Wow, maybe one of the most contentious movies associated with rock/metal ever. If you only have a passing interest you will be familiar with Norweigan Black Metal that came to prominence in the early ’90s and what went down. well, music fans, ‘Lords of Chaos: Truth And Lies’ is really gonna split the audience (those who know and those who don’t give two shits). It’s dark, It’s goofy, it’s horrific but most shockingly it was real.

Sure from a movie perspective, it’s Hollywood and glossy and slick which is everything that Norweigan Black Metal wasn’t. It’s not the kind of movie you would want to take that girl on a first date. You wouldn’t want to put on your best Waynes world baseball cap and those high tops and go with your mates to watch a Metal movie especially if they’re true Black Metal and to be honest, it doesn’t paint the community in a very good light at all not to the uninitiated it doesn’t – No sir.

There is a certain authenticity with this move in some of the cast are fans of the genre and knew the story and the Director was an original member of first wave pioneers Bathory so they know their shit before the purists jump on it.

Casting Varg as a larger Jewish actor couldn’t have been a coincidence, Whilst in the main, the acting is excellent its not the most PC of communities to begin with (tolerance wasn’t exactly a motivator) and they generally lived by their own rules (or so they thought) It mostly focusses around Øystein Aarseth otherwise known as Euronymous the leader of Mayhem one of the forerunners of the second wave of Black Metal and the people who circled around his orbit.

Right enough of the back story. One thing I struggled to get my head around was the Americanisation and the accents, that was a shame, seeing as they were Norwegians no attempt to even put an accent on was made which might have added to the whole Bill and Ted goofy-ness of parts of the film. I thought the writers made a good fist of making it unglamorous and painting the main baddie (Varg) in a suitably bad light. The guys political beliefs are extreme as are a lot of the people in this genre they don’t come across as welcoming – accepting people and the whole church burning is dangerous criminality.

There is very little that was cool about what happened back in the early 90s especially to four of these people (one suicide, two murders and a firefighter who died trying to clean up their handiwork) The film doesn’t cover him (Varg) in glory at all and he comes across as an unstable loser and help was what he really needed not women feeding his narcism. The scorpions patch made me giggle as did the fact that one of the most Black Metallers real names is Kristian – and not The Count – perfect. Not the nicest of people and that really comes across in the movie. I also think that needed to be the case you couldn’t make what these guys were doing acceptable and paint them as victims I do think a lot of the time it was one-upmanship that got out of hand and they aren’t really full-on criminals just a bunch of sheep being led by a few truly dark characters and it got way out of hand. If it were a made up story from start to end you’d be commending the writer on such a twisted dark story but the fact that it’s based around true stories is staggering.

The casting is engaging (that’s not to say likable) there is a certain amount of Goofy Bill and Ted about the whole thing (the way its narrated) but that’s the point – its not gone down well within the metal community (was it ever going to?) The thing is there doesn’t seem much inward reflecting going on in extreme metal, quite the narcissists I mean c’mon, to the man on the street kids running round in corpse paint is gonna look a bit goofy and dorkish – its cosplay for extremists isn’t it? Venom took the piss people didn’t really think their misogynist ways were real and they didn’t sleep in coffins and I don’t think they ate sacrificial virgins either.   If you can’t see the humour and piss-taking then you’re maybe a bit of a lost cause. Sometimes its good to take time to have a bit of a laugh at ones self isn’t it?

The church burnings look convincing and the bloody scenes are hard to watch.  It has to be said that the Director has gone the extra mile in the attention to detail especially on things like the record shop ‘Hellvete’ time period t-shirts, patches, the transition from famous pictures from the scene cutting to real-time acting is excellent.  As for the cast,  Rory Culkin is spot on and his portrayal of Euronymous and is really watchable as is Dead and he does make the character engaging and believable.

 

The thing with ‘Lords Of Chaos’ is I can’t say I enjoyed watching it but did find it well done and captivating.  I kept having to remind myself that it’s real and these things did happen. My God (sorry satan or Odin), they barely touched upon the horror of Faust’s murder of an innocent man in Olympic Park and it seemed like it was added as an afterthought and what went down is truly shocking. I find myself questioning whether I should be listening to their music  I know they were kids when all these things happen and you’d like to think that what they did in their teens they’ve learned the lesson that it isn’t acceptable and you hope they are sorry for their crimes and today they are decent humans who aren’t just nice to their mams.

I think since the early ’90s there has been an amount of the rewriting of history and revising of beliefs and the whys and wherefores to justify what happened but at no time does Lords Of Chaos glorify what happened.

The one thing this movie does is it manages to make the main players in the scene look daft as brushes (albeit sinister and unrepentant cold-blooded dangerous people)  They started out a bit childish none of the people come out of it in a good light and there isn’t any back-patting going on in the writing and performing.

Years in the making its a shame that the bands didn’t sign off their music except for the opening bit of ‘Deathcrush’.  Take care kids – treat Black Metal with care and continue dissecting genres into subgenres then subgenres of the subgenres and making the metal more extreme than before but remember, the general public is indeed sniggering behind your backs. and why not look in the mirror laugh at yourself it’s not the be all end all (all the time) so for now party on dudes!

Now let the metalheads bicker over the shape of the actors -the music genre labels and how authentic the metal is. but if you haven’t got a clue about the detail and took the movie for being just a movie as an uninitiated then it makes for a great Horror flick based around a music scene in a beautiful yet dark part of the world – hail Santa! it is Santa isn’t it?  Christmas metal now that’s a genre not investigated.  shockin?  You bet. To unravel what went on is mindblowing for some quite literally – Prepare to be shocked.

Buy the DVD ‘Lords Of Chaos’: Here

Author: Dom Daley

It’s been six years since I last ventured into a Butlin’s holiday camp for one of their boutique music events, and vowing never to return after the last one, it was always going to take something very special indeed to get me hugging Billy Bear once again. So, the first thing that grabbed me about this 2020 Alternative Music weekend event in Minehead was the fact that we could now seemingly get a room for six cheaper than we could back in 2014, okay it’s an entry level chalet (kind of like what you expect when booking a Travelodge) but when that equates to £75 per person sharing (and when you have the likes of The Wildhearts, The Undertones and The Boomtown Rats all playing) you don’t have to be a maths genius to work out this is great VFM. So, just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in for another weekend of great music, chips and Flash anti-bacterial wipes.

FRIDAY

Arriving on site early and then being allowed to check into our room at 2pm means that our bedrooms are allocated out and the cans and vodka are soon flowing warming things up rather nicely for Duncan Reid & The Big Heads who are opening the festival’s Introducing Stage in Jaks bar. The irony of this for such an already established musician is certainly not lost on the great man himself when he declares that in another 35 years he hopes he can make it to Centre Stage, however hearing the likes of ‘Terminal Love’, ‘Brickfield Nights’ and ‘First Time’ being sung en masse by the packed out audience simply reinforces the fact that Duncan Reid & The Big Heads are already way ahead of where the promotor must think they are in the punk rock nation’s hearts, something that must be a very rewarding feeling for the band themselves too.

Wandering around the Skyline trying the find something edible before the evening gets into full swing it’s interesting to observe that there a far less stag/hen weekenders here than during my previous visit. It really does feel much more like a mini Rebellion and of course just like Rebellion I quickly realise (thanks to the event’s very useful mobile app) that I have the obligatory stage clashes to contend with, and this is my only real criticism of how these weekends are run. I realise why it is done, but seriously with a few little tweaks (maybe have venues sub-themed by genre?) I think this could possibly be made a lot easier on the punters many of whom are having to make some tough choices. So tonight, we have to choose between Goldblade who clash with Plague UK and then we have The Wildhearts who clash with Angelic Upstarts. Thankfully having not seen Goldblade live in quite some time my first choice is an easy one and I’m in Centre Stage long before their 8pm start to witness the recently reunited “classic” line up with Johny Vincent returning on guitar. Kicking off with a riotous ‘Fighting In The Dancehall’ and along the way slotting in classics like ‘Black Elvis’ and ‘Strictly Hardcore’ Goldblade simply don’t put a brothel creepered foot wrong during their eleven song set and closing things out with ‘Hometurf’ the guys really look like all conquering homecoming heroes as they leave the stage.

With The Wildhearts up next the crowd in Centre Stage thins out slightly as people appear to opt for the Angelic Upstarts option down in Reds (something Ginger himself later professes to being gutted not to be able to watch), but having sacrificed going to the band’s recent co-headline shows with Backyard Babies safe in the knowledge that I would soon be seeing the band play in front of a largely neutral audience there is only one place I want to be, and that’s pressed up again the barrier ready to immerse myself in the aural delights of the self-styled ‘Renaissance Men’ of British rock.  ‘Everlone’ leads us into a hour long masterclass in how to do this festival malarkey just right with the band mixing old classics (like the opener) with newer tunes (like the amazing ‘Diagnosis’) and in the process winning over a crowd who largely openly admit to having not heard anything by the lads before. It’s heart-warming to see the 7-legged hit machine smiling and enjoying themselves quite so much and when the final chords of ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ ring out I along with many “new” fans simply wish this could go on all night. Please excuse this opportunity to use a cliché but right now The Wildhearts really are on ‘Top Of The World’, and it was worth every penny of my admission money just to witness this performance. In fact, I could almost go home, albeit I quickly remember we have two more days to go yet and Big Country are hardly going to be able to follow what preceded them. So, after a couple of songs from a very polished sounding version of a band I once saw giving the headliner a run for his money when I saw them supporting Elton John in Wembley Stadium, tonight its all about reliving their 80s former glory, something I’ll leave to their legions of dad dancing fans as I head off for a quick night cap ahead of day two.

SATURDAY

Given that a few of our gang had hit the vodka a little bit hard in the wee small hours it’s somewhat remarkable that two of us actually make it to Centre Stage in time for Knock Off to open up proceedings at half-past one. It’s also remarkable just how many others also achieve this feat as the place is packed out for such an ungodly hour on a Saturday afternoon. Knock Off guitarist and singer Andy Town might be unable to down his pint in one but he and the lads are soon ducking and diving their way through a truly memorable set littered with streetpunk/oi! anthems like the always amazing ‘This Ain’t No Love Song’ all spurred on by this early afternoon show of punk rock camaraderie.

As kick-off time comes and goes Centre Stage’s clientele changes from mohicans to mohair as Nine Below Zero play out a set of R&B standards with everyone seemingly waiting (myself included) just to hear ‘Eleven Plus Eleven’ just to see who can do the Rik from the Young Ones dance the best. In many ways watching Nine Below Zero here today was a lot like watching ZZ Top playing a mid-afternoon slot at some metal festival, they both exude coolness and charm that has everyone dancing, and that my friends is the secret to both band’s longevity in the music business.

In the search for something a little bit more frantic I head over to Jaks just in time to catch Nottingham’s Headstone Horrors who are barking out a mixture of hardcore and horror that in many ways has a lot in common with the likes Horrorpops and Dragster, and they go down an absolute storm with those sensible enough not to be watching a Clash tribute band over on Centre Stage. One of the guys in our gang picks up a CD and T Shirt for £15 so at least here in Jaks it’s great to see the bands keeping it real on the merch front. Please don’t get me started on the main stage prices.

After a few more cheeky ones watching the football results come in and then a quick bite to eat we are back in Centre Stage ready to greet Glen Matlock and band featuring the one and only Earl Slick on guitar. Playing a set of tunes mostly taken from his excellent 2019 album ‘Good To Go’ I have to admit I’m more than just a little star struck simply watching Slick do what he does best. The set highlight for me (just like on the album) is Matlock’s take on Scott Walker’s ‘Montague Terrace (In Blue)’ a song that just exudes class whilst finishing with a crowd pleasing ‘Pretty Vacant’ means this band are always going to be one of the most talked about following this weekend.

The clash of the stages is up again next with our gang splitting in half as some choose to stay in Centre Stage for all the fun of The Adicts whilst the rest of us cram ourselves into Reds early doors to catch The Undertones. At the top of this review I specifically mentioned The Undertones because they are a band who I initially didn’t get as a teenager. Now four decades on I absolutely love their back catalogue yet I’ve yet to see them live, until tonight that is. Granted Fergal Sharkey has long since retired from the microphone but I’d heard nothing but good things about his replacement Paul McLoone (he’s been fronting them for just over two decades now) and as the band hit the stage with ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ smack bang  on their nine thirty stage time I can see exactly why people rave about him (and them). Gambolling around the stage like a cross between Brett Anderson and Father Damo, McLoone is the perfect anthesis to Sharkey’s jumper and parka image, and with him singing their canon of hits with just enough of a hint of his predecessor the band achieve what so many other fail to do, replace the almost irreplaceable.

As for those songs its fantastic to finally hear the likes of ‘The Love Parade’ and ‘Here Comes The Summer’ live and when they can play a song as influential as ‘Teenage Kicks’ half way into their set and still not lose a single audience member after that you know you are witnessing something very special indeed. Just like The Wildhearts had done the night before The Undertones deliver an absolute blinder of a set, wrapping it all up with the essential pop punk anthem ‘My Perfect Cousin’, and everything in our troubled world feels right again.

Now shall I go and watch some more live music in the shape of Hung Like Hanratty or The Members or shall I head off into the night and have a few late-night snifters with the lads instead? Wait for me guys…I’ll have a large brandy.

SUNDAY

Waking early to sound of the local seagulls going ballistic over the first proper sunshine of the weekend, there’s only one thing to do to prepare us for our third and final day of live music, and a line up largely dominated by ‘80s UK Mod bands, and that’s to watch Jonas Åkerlund’s ‘Lords Of Chaos’, in fact I’m half toying with the idea of doing the final day corpse painted up I’m not entirely sure how well that would go down with the Ace Faces on camp as we head over to Centre Stage to catch From The Jam.

Breezing into our Sunday afternoon with ‘David Watts’ the sound levels are initially noticeably lower than for other bands and as a result Bruce Foxton and Co don’t so much hammer you to the wall with their energy as politely introduce themselves with a gentile handshake. How very British. It’s certainly great to hear the likes of ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Start!’ live but devoid of the adrenalin kick of the Weller years its all a bit too much like Big Country on Friday night for me and instead I head off to Jaks just in time to catch Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies.

Pete Bentham has been a regular feature at Rebellion for a good few years now but somehow I’ve never actually witnessed him live before today and whilst his band’s brand of artpunk might not be exactly my type of thing musically, what these guys have is set of songs (largely drawn from their ‘England’s Up For Sale’ and ‘This Is Kitchencore!’ albums) that you’d have to be a braindead moron not to enjoy. Easily the surprise band of the weekend for me, and I’ll be interested to see them live once again.

A band I’d been wanting to see live for quite some time now is The Blue Carpet Band so today is my chance to rectify that matter. Mixing pulsating rock ‘n’ roll beats with a garage punk attitude, in many ways The Blue Carpet Band are very much the band The Sick Livers always threatened to be.  ‘Back In The Trash’ sounds absolutely irresistible and ‘I Love The City’ almost wins the award for the best song of the weekend. I’ll hold off on dubbing them the best thing since sliced bread just for now though as I get the feeling the five-piece has even more to offer us via their second album due later in 2020, and I for one can’t wait to hear it.

Returning to our chalet for the last couple of tins we have left ahead of the final night’s stack of bands, and we have the March of the Mods to look forward to split across Centre Stage where The Chords are set to play whilst in Reds I can hopefully finally get to see Secret Affair live. To be honest it’s no contest though as after arriving early doors for Secret Affair they seem content just to be noodling away caught up in some acid jazz odyssey, so I quickly make a b-line for Centre Stage to watch the rest of The Chords who appear to be having the times of their lives and even though I don’t know a single song by them, they are still hugely enjoyable.

With The Boomtown Rats celebrating the imminent release of their first new studio album in thirty six years you can perhaps forgive Geldof and Co for opening with a couple of songs from said album (‘Citizens Of Boomtown’), and whilst drawing perhaps the second biggest Centre Stage crowd of the weekend it takes until the oldies for the floor to really start bouncing. ‘Rat Trap’ still sounds like the best Springsteen song he never actually wrote (or played) and if ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ wasn’t already on everyone’s Spotify playlist before tonight then it most certainly would be come the morning.

It would be oh so easy to take a caustic swipe at Sir Bob especially after his toys out the pram “black t-shirt” episode with the crowd at Rebellion a few years ago, but really (the godawful 30 years too late ‘The Boomtown Rats’ rave tune aside) tonight is a great mix of old and new and the near perfect way to end the weekend. Yup I know The Stiffs and The Rezillos are still to play, but I’m absolutely knackered and need my pit, even if my roommate is already crashed out and is in the process of single handily gazumping all comers in the Butlin’s loudest snorer competition.

Thinking back to the last time I attended The Great British Alternative Music Festival I posed myself the simple question of “would I attend again?” and at that time I suggested that I might if some new bands be added so we could all take a break from the almost relentless emotional tourism of the nostalgia acts. Well, the Introducing stage proved to be the perfect answer to this call, so answering that same question six years on my answer would be a resounding “YES”. Now if only someone could sort out those stage clashes eh!

Author: Johnny Hayward

Black Metal uber lords Mayhem is in the fuckin house!  Hide your bibles, guns, knives, false metal iconography and without question any Stryper albums.  Now on a more serious note the name Mayhem is probably more famous than any of their music that’s for sure and with the recent interest in the band following the movie ‘The Lords Of Chaos’ its fair to say Mayhem has been many things over the last thirty-five plus years and not all of it good but some of it great.  I’ll admit right here that I was always intrigued as an impressionable schoolboy in the whole Venom, Hellhammer first wave of Black Metal and then when I heard ‘DeathCrush’ I was blown away and for me (remember this is pre-internet) there wasn’t a great deal of information about Norway and what was going on over there it was hard to keep up and by the time I had a better idea two of them were dead they’d been through several singers (if singers is the correct term) and by the time the mid 90s had passed I was done occasionally dipping back in from time to time and usually when there was a book out covering the church burnings or a documentary  then I’d dip back in to find out what the hell happened to the likes of Bathory, Hellhammer, Venom and Mayhem.  Id’ say in the last few years I rediscovered ‘Deathcrush’ and latterly ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ I’m afraid to say it was a gradual decline downhill for me as a lot of Black Metal had turned into some classical technical jizzfest and it had lost its spark for me.

With the exception of a few albums here and there the scene was done and then I heard a Darkthrone album and watched a few Mayhem clips on youtube and I was back in and when I read that Mayhem was recording a new album and the band had been listening to live tapes of them playing that ‘Mysteriis’ album and using the sounds to write the new album I was intrigued. Then when I heard some of the new tracks and they were a little slower and more experimental and more akin to old school Mayhem I was pleased, there is an energy about this record that hasn’t been there for a while.

It’s easy to say it’s just a rehash of that first album would be unfair It’s fair to say its more in keeping with it and maybe that’s why I’m excited to hear it. sure Attila’s vocals are an acquired taste at times terrifying and other times so guttural and indistinguishable it would be fair to say scratch some nails down a pane of glass would be more preferable.  This is the extreme end of extreme music no question about it and from the exceptional artwork you know you are in the company of the darkest shade of darkness Mayhem dance only to their own tune they do what they want when they want to do it and this album as a complete piece of work is going to make fellow black metallers sit up and pay attention ‘Daemon’ begins with ‘The Dying False King’ with no spooky intro or long winding lead up – Bosch! they’re off like a salivating three-headed dog barking like fuck until the breakdown halfway through and already this pisses over anything they’ve done for over a decade and a half – make no mistake Mayhem are on fire! ‘Agenda Ignis’ is like shit off a stick as it meanders its way out of Hell poor old Hellhammer he’s drumming like his backside is on fire but again there is a twist after about a minute but worry not you mega paradiddlers its momentary and the thunderous noise continues.

The production is suitably hellish as you’d expect and with headphones, it’s another experience altogether.  In an hour-long bombardment I think I need a lie-down but leave the lights on please I don’t want any more darkness but I do know I’m going back in for some more. ‘Malum’ twists and turns and goes from breakneck to a slower more evil tempo and back and forth we fight.

‘Falsified And Hated’ is almost six minutes of pure darkness its as bleak as the album gets oh no it isn’t ‘Aeon Daemonium’ builds up like a waking Beelzebub before the double bass sparks up I must admit that I’ll have to listen to the middle songs a lot more because currently, they’re blending into one great big dark ball of Metallic noise as Attila growls and belches out his lyrics and the songs meander back and fore in epic fashion but flow over my head a little but I feel they’re dragging me in slooooowly.

I know they’re never going to write a love song or play a soft ballad nor would I want them to but at times the intensity is too much right up to the kettle drums on ‘Invoke the Oath’ along with the military snare beats it’s like a call to satanic arms and the dead are rising to the call.  Cramming so much into five minutes is like ‘At War With Satan’ on double speed but I don’t know what the fucks going on here.

 

There are bonus tracks but they’re long and repetitive and complex-sounding but saying that the final one ‘Black Glass Communion’ sounds fuckin’ thunderous on the headphones a real sonic kick to the temple. ‘Daemon’ is the blackest shade of Black and if anyone tells you that Black Metal is long done then throw this on the stereo and tell them to fuck off.  Mayhem is black metal and ‘Daemon’ is Mayhem job done!

 

Buy Daemon Here

Author:Dom ‘Daemon’ Daley

Euronymous was a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian Black Metal scene. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band’s formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label ‘Deathlike Silence Productions’ and record shop Helvete in Norway.

Euronymous professed to be a Satanist and was known for making extreme misanthropic statements. He presented himself as leading a militant cult-like group known as the “Black Metal Inner Circle”. How much of this was image, bravado, bullshit or just youthful boasting to create a bigger image? We’ll never truly know.

In August 1993, he was murdered by fellow musician Varg Vikernes. Its a complicated and tangled web of who did what to whom and when and staggeringly why but ultimately several people lost their lives in all of this and today we remember one of the pivotal figures of Norweigan Black Metal Euronymous.

Recently the subject of the shocking and true film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ Øystein was one of the lead roles for all of the above.  He was possibly responsible for taking what the likes of Venom were doing in the UK and taking it across the line and making the sounds of Bathory, Hellhammer more extreme more brutal more antisocial. For the pioneering groundbreaking contribution to extreme metal, we remember Euronymous and hope he rests in peace wherever that may be.

The recent film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ loosely tells the story of Euronymous and his inner circle and depicts his horrific and violent demise at the hands of Varg. We reviewed the film Here It does depict their scene as a band of misfits bonded by dark ideals and metal.  It was Aarseth who discovered his singer after his suicide and it was he who took the picture of his dead bloodied body and took pictures and allegedly took pieces of Deads skull. However, he was also the guy who set up his own label, set up his own record shop and pioneered a network of worldwide black metal fans (remember this is pre-internet) he also set up base in his own record store Hellvete.

Its his raw and brutal songwriting that set the blueprint for many others to follow check out the riff on ‘Deathcrush’

 

“Easy Like a Sunday Morning” (like Fuck it is)

Three down and one to go and Sunday is a pretty big deal around RPM HQ as our mates are playing on the Introducing stage later but everywhere we look its clash city.  At one point we wanted to see four bands all playing at the same time across the complex so it literally came down to the toss of a coin where we would go and who we would see. With the venue opening at midday we needed to be in the Empress to catch a band we’ve covered a lot lately and who’ve impressed everyone whos seen and heard them.  Hands Off Gretel take the stage to a really healthy crowd considering the day and time and proceed to entertain with a really tight performance as the band really locked in like their lives depended on it and the audience was right there with them. After catching the first 30 minutes of the set we then had to cross the divide via Almost Acoustic where Ratboy was performing his magic to a full room we managed to catch him driving swords through someone’s arm and a more gentle coin trick but we couldn’t stay as all roads lead towards the Introducing stage where Trigger Mcpoopshute took the stage looking rather splendid in their religious outfits.  I even heard some punter comment that Shovel had a decent set of pins in his sheer stockings! I did turn to see what depraved human had such thoughts on the lords day. To be fair Trigger knocked out a rather impressive set of Welsh hardcore fuelled by late-night kebabs and strong cider whilst entertaining and putting a smile on peoples faces with their tales of everyday folk and cheeky charm.

Having seen the band turn in some loose sets this was a different Trigger with a much tighter sound with Bam at the drum stool.  Songs like ‘Skidmarks and Spenser’, ‘Sheep’ and ‘Drinking With The Big Boys’ were going down a storm in front of a very impressive audience and it was only 1.15pm but the only question people were now pondering was ‘Fish Or Bird’? Fuckin’ loons.  Who writes songs about penguins? Bloody entertaining though.

Right that’s three rooms already and it’s not even 2 pm so it must be time to head to Casbah to see if Dan Banger has turned up this year and low and behold he’s bloody made it and finally, Pizzatramp are in the house and what a fuckin’ beautiful noise they make live.  Regardless of if its some tiny venue in the bowels of South Wales or the cavernous Club Casbah at Rebellion Pizzatramp are on fire right now as Sammy plucks that thunderous bass and locks in with Dan they are a formidable force and their Hardcore is a beautiful thing they open with ‘CCTV’ and its brutal ‘Claire Voyant’, ‘He’s Gone Full Mitchell’ and the quite brilliant ‘Millions Of Dead Goffs’ pretty much make up the opening salvo of their set and I’m happy and it seems like half of Blackpool have gotten the memo and decided to turn up to see Pizzatramp with ‘Grand Relapse’ getting a decent airing their (Brown puckered) Star(fish) is burning brightly. We cut the set short and dash over to the Opera House for Johny Skullknuckles Kopek Millionaires who have just gone on by the time we catch our breath.

‘sometimes (Love Just Isn’t Enough)’ sounds fantastic and the change of pace from hardcore Sunday to power pop punk rock was just what I needed. I love Johnys style of writing and a lot of his material reminds me of early Hanoi Rocks and ‘Tell Me Baby’ sounded great as did ‘1981’ from ‘Dirty Beef Hands’ but the ray of sunshine in what has been a difficult time recent for Johny was his touching tribute to Kathy which touched everyone in the Opera House and got a standing ovation and the track of the set ‘Punk Girl From Another World’ an exceptional set from The Millionaires.

After recently seeing Suede Razors in Bristol Johnny and Darrel urged me to pop into the empress and catch the set so if it’s good enough for those two, of course, I was going to be there. so grabbing my spot on the barrier more for something to lean on than anything else the band duly took the stage and Darrel Wojick fresh from checking out Trigger McPoopshute takes the stage and proceeds to ram down some sweet boot boy rock and roll mixing the best of Slade with Rose Tattoo with a bovver boy take on the Four Horsemen.  ‘My city’ kicked off proceedings and for the next half an hour and some they rammed it down the Empress ‘TV175’ going down a storm and the punters flooded in. ‘Passion On The Pitch’ was dedicated to Blackpool fans and their fight for their club and it was nice to hear some Americans and a Canadian knowing their shit and fuck the Oystens would have gone down well.  ‘Bovver Boy’ was a particular high point of the set.  a band who have the chops and know-how to rock and roll and will always be welcome over here if the USA still won’t let them ply their craft.

One of the must-see bands on the introducing stage had to be Rotten Foxes who turned up looking rather splendid in their double denim, cut off nut huggers and wrestling belts. They really put on a show for those gathered in the sweatbox. As for what they played fuck knows, it was absolute pandemonium and punk as fuck with Charlie Harper whistling on the sidelines whilst members of Zero Zero, Pizzatramp and Trigger knew where the only place to be at half three on a Sunday afternoon was and that was in this very room sweating like Ian Krankie in a wardrobe. The songs came thick and fast, fuck, make that very fast as bodies flew around, Hardcore as fuck. An absolute pleasure to witness such beautiful chaos done so well. True to their single ‘Arrive Raise Hell Leave’ Rotten Foxes absolutely killed it.  I wish it had gone on longer and it would have been awesome to see these boys tear somewhere like Casbah a new one with this racket. Don’t quit it’s only just begun. Rotten Fuckin’ Foxes!

We needed to grab some food so Svetlanas were forfeited as was our planned peek at Teenage Bottlerockets (next time for sure). Dirt box Disco are up next and with a quick pint, we head for Club Casbah. Having Weab quit the band to go his own way it left Spunk Volcano to take over lead vocals and this being the first opportunity for us to see the band we first caught way back when they had no more than a couple of shows under their belt this was going to be interesting but seeing so many people turn up and stay til the end must have put wind in their sails as they knocked out classic Dirtbox after classic dirt box with ‘My Life Is Shit’ seeing a frenzied pit chanting the chorus back to Mr. volcano must have felt good that they decided to carry on post Weab. Something of a Rebellion fixture it wouldn’t be the same without them.

Empress is beginning to heat up again as CJ Ramone takes the stage and for the next hour we’re treated to a whole bunch of classic Ramones tunes and some choice cuts from CJ’s solo records all that was missing was a track or two from Bad Chopper. ‘One High One Low’ from the new album slipped in comfortably alongside classics like ‘Bonzo Goes To Bitburg ‘, ‘Rock n Roll High School’ and ‘Rockaway Beach’. ‘This Town’ also off the new album sounded huge but was the aperitif for Blag The Ripper who entered the fray to creepy crawl around the Empress knocking out ‘KKK Took My Baby Away’. CJ then gave a wonderful tribute to his former bandmate Steve Soto who had been performing with him and who died only little over a year ago as last year Adolescents gave a tearful tribute to Soto ‘Rock On’ was apt. the next special guest happened to be Blags bandmate Nick Oliveri.

as if the Empress wasn’t hot enough ‘Warthog’, ‘Commando’, ’53rd’, ‘Sedated’, ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ and to wrap it all up why not go over the top with a sparkling version of ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S’. Thank you and goodnight.  Fuck me that’s how to do a festival – No bullshit – no fucking around just bish bash bosh!  It reminded me of Buzzcocks who were mentioned several times over the weekend and amusing stories were regaled they were a band who got festivals and usually just blitzed it – well, CJ Ramone just did that – 29 songs in an hour, Smart!

We’re in the home straight now and it’s still pretty full-on We toyed with the idea of going into Empress for The PRofessionals but it was too hot so we went for a wander around the bizarre and dipped in to catch the start of The Skids who weren’t mucking about and once they’d put up the correct graphic giving away the fact that The Damned were indeed playing the Machine gun Etiquette set later gave the game away, oh well the rumours were true. Doh!. ‘Of One Skin’ followed by ‘Charade’ it looked like they were playing the same set they were dishing out around Europe which is fine I’ve not seen the band since they reformed and by the sounds of it they were bang on form. Knowing I had one last lap to complete the heat upstairs on the balcony was almost unbearable and it literally felt like the ‘Saints Were Coming’ if I’d have stayed up there so back to Club Casbah for a glance at Conflict and DOA then settled for a few tunes from King Kurt a band I’d not seen for over twenty years hoping to catch some ‘Destination Zulu LAnd’ but alas it wasn’t to be as I had to venture via the backstage bar for some refreshments before making my way down the front for one final hurrah.

The Damned doing ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ although I’d seen them several times on the last MGE Anniversary tour this time it was with added Paul Gray who always did justice to the Algy bass lines.

As the band took to the stage and Captain offered up the introduction of “Ladies And Gentlemen, how do?” the place seemed to be absolutely rammed and didn’t need an invitation to go nuts as the album was unfurled in sequence well,  up until ‘These Hands’ that seemed to have been left off.  Again not quite its entirety but it would have been fun to hear it for us anoraks. Man The Damned are on fire at the moment and seem to be really enjoying their time on stage. Vanian being quite animated tonight taking the lead with amusing anecdotes whilst Sensible being, dare I suggest it, quite restrained.  Maybe the Wintergardens heat was taking effect whereas we all know Vanian has spent the day relaxing in his air-conditioned crypt so would be fresh as a daisy.  Once they wound up MGE also missing ‘Liar’ as well I might add. They then proceeded to indulge a few extras like ‘Street Of Dreams’ and a rather splendid ‘Ignite’.

I guess they had to play ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ before hitting the home straight with ‘Wait For The Blackout’ followed by the anthemic ‘New Rose’,’Neat Neat Neat’ and ending the set with ‘Jet Boy Jet Girl’ and the curtain was brought down on another exception headline set from the original punk rockers and still the best there is. Don’t let Hayward and Sutton tell you otherwise 😉 (DD)

With Dom over in the Empress watching The Damned for the bazillionth time it was left to yours truly to witness rock legends The Dwarves, big dicks swinging, give Blackpool’s punk rock community the bloodiest nose of the weekend. With HeWhoCannotBeNamed back in the fold, there is that added sense of danger and anarchy about the band as they launch straight into ‘Way Out’ and the Club Casbah mosh pit goes suitably apeshit. ‘Sluts Of The USA’, ‘Devils Level’ and ‘We Only Came To Get High’ follow like repeated punches to the face and just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier a minor drunken skirmish breaks out in front of me during ‘Speed Demon’ and the sight of a topless female pit member sends Blag and the boys off into a world where there ‘Better Be Women’ and ‘Free Cocaine’. ‘We Must Have Blood’ sees He Who and Blag demolish the drum kit, and in a shower of beer, they are gone. Wow! Band of the weekend for me and many others. Don’t agree? Go fuck yourselves. HA! (JH)

Rebellion Sundays are real hardcore as the body is usually wondering why it is being subjected to continued alcohol, dehydration and stairs, stairs and stairs. So having an unbelievable line-up makes it all worthwhile and following playing another set I shot across to the acoustic stage to catch Catlow (of the Poly Esters) set the afternoon on a great footing. A Pizzatramp, Suede Razors 1-2 gets me right in the mood to swing by the Arena to catch Birmingham’s utterly brilliant The Liarbilitys.  Their Antagonisms record sounds fantastic live and Birmingham’s Bleeding is surely one of the best punk rock songs of recent times.  I made a point of popping into the Introducing Stage at numerous points throughout the weekend, sampling some really excellent bands (that Rotten Foxes set was something else!!) but one that really stuck with me was Tequila Mockingbyrd. The female quartet were devastating and really should be checked out, as their Hanoi Rocks meets L7 swagger is infectious.  This led me nicely into catching something very familiar but no less good in the shape of Welsh stalwarts Foreign Legion. Marcus Howells might have led the band in its many forms for decades but they show no signs relenting in any way and are on top form with a set of old standards are spot-on new songs.  With the finish line in sight, I head back to join the hordes watching the Professionals before watching The Dwarves deliver the ultimate coup de grace.  What a weekend?  When can we do it again? (DS)

 

 

Rebellion 2019 was an absolute pleasure from the superb company to the many bands I met shook hands with, had conversations with to the work colleagues also covering the festival to the incredibly hard-working and always smiling staff keeping the bars stocked to make sure everything was hunky-dory.  The bouncers who did their jobs well especially the guys n gals in the Empress who did amazing jobs and always with a smile to the catering staff and stallholders to the people like Darren Russell Smith and Jeannie Russel Smith, Stu Taylor and Daryl for putting this incredible Festival together keeping the prices real. Dod and the photographers who do such an excellent job in capturing it all, the stagehands and sound and light guys for doing such an amazing job under so trying circumstances and the good people of Blackpool for being so welcoming time after time and all the band we saw turn in such awesome sets and the bands we didn’t get round to seeing maybe next year. The PR people for running such a smooth operation you all make this festival lark look like a piece of piss.  The artists upstairs along with the people who were interviewed and interviewers and finally all the punters who love alternative music and keep the scene ticking over buying the music and the merch.  I have a list of bands who should play next year who would go down a treat if anyone wants to know.

Rebellion is always a pleasure and never ever a chore. Now can I go to bed and get some sleep please?  Same time and same place next year? Fan-Fuckin-Dabi-Dozy!

Authors: Dom Daley, Johnny Hayward & Darrel Sutton

Happy Birthday Brian James the guy who kickstarted punk in London –  Hell he Invented UK Punk for God’s sake even The Captain says as much. Brian was the force behind The Damned who were the first to do this first to do that – The FIRST! remember that.

It didn’t end there for Brian Who when he left The Damned (the band he started) he went on to play for Iggy Pop then put together his own supergroup – The Lords Of The New Church. Before heading out under his own name.

Born in In Hammersmith in 1955.  Brian Robertson as he was christened first came to prominence when he picked up the guitar alongside fellow punk icons Mick Jones (the Clash) and Brady (Hollywood Brats) under the banner SS London, he then formed The Damned and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don’t think Brian or The Damned ever got the props they truly deserved and history has ushered The Pistols and The Clash to the top of the pile yet it was The Damned led by Brian that reached all the firsts and has remained punk to the core until this day where he still writes and occasionally plays.

 

If you don’t know Brians style then you’ve not really heard real punk rock from the first chords of ‘New Rose’ to his unique style on ‘Grand Cru’ or ‘The Guitar That Dripped Blood’ Brian has always done things on his own terms and stayed true to himself.  He has an impeccable CV and a list of albums he’s played on that can go toe to toe with any of his peers no question about it.

Buy Brian James: Here

Brian switched from his Les Paul to the Telecaster and that drag as seen on the Lords footage is what sets the great from the good.

Ten years after Brian James popped into the world Ray and Dave Davies as The Kinks were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’, the group’s second UK No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for ‘Tired of Waiting for You’ was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session. So let that be a lesson pop pickers last minute changes can work.

On a sadder note on this day in 1995 Replacements guitarist, Bob Stinson passed away. Stinson was found in his apartment in Uptown Minneapolis. Bob was only 35. He founded The Replacements with Chris Mars and His Brother Tommy and later roped in Westerberg. He lasted up until the sessions for ‘Pleased To Meet Me’ before leaving due to creative differences Now this stacks up more than for his drug or alcohol use C’mon this was the Replacements.

The band headed down a more commercial route after Bob left but he hadn’t finished with music quite yet as he Went on to form Model Prisoner with Sonny Vincent, Static Taxi who recorded two albums.  In a rather amusing anecdote, Vincent remembered a time when former Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome relocated to Minneapolis to play in shotgun rationale “quite insane for a while… You have to imagine a band consisting of both Bob Stinson and Cheetah Chrome playing and working together.. then add to that I was no angel and you start to get a glimpse of the mercurial energy and intense chaos that we lived in, it didn’t last long but it was like living in a constant lightning storm and the sound was the same, tight and concentrated but always exploding over the edge”. Stinson didn’t die of a drug overdose but the frequent drug use caused his overall health to diminish, resulting in organ failure. So if you get the chance put on one of those early Mats records or Model Prisoner and toast a life most certainly lived. Rest In Peace Bob Stinson.

Buy Bob Stinson Here