Saturday has always felt like the most popular day over the Rebellion weekend and this year is certainly no exception with day tickets selling out a full four weeks before the event (at the time of writing day tickets for the other three days along with full weekend tickets are still available here).
The main draw this year is without doubt the return of the legendary Cock Sparrer to a UK stage following their back to basics club tour of 2017 which they undertook to promote their awesome ‘Forever’ album, and looking at the quality undercard that is also on offer this is definitely the day to get your cherry reds out of the cupboard and buffed up ready for.
When the Saturday was first announced I did detect an excited squeal originating from within RPM towers as Editor In Chief Dom Daley saw that a band called Spider are opening the Empress Ballroom at 12:35 without first realising this four-piece are gothic-tinged punk rockers from Long Beach California and not Sniffa’s straight edge boogie metallers from the eighties. This is something of a get out of jail free card for yours truly so I’ll be raising my first Dark Fruits of the day to this Spider safe in the knowledge that they don’t sound fuck all like Status Quo. Result!
With the Introducing Stage once again showcasing a further thirteen bands over the course of the Saturday our old chums and graduates of the rock ‘n’ roll high school Brocker make a very welcome early appearance at 13:15. So if high octane rock ‘n’ roll music delivered with plenty of punk rock attitude is your bag then I suggest you add this one in your laminated gig planner too.
Returning to their second home of the lavish Opera House stage glam punkers The DeRellas are next up for me at 14:20. Last year Joey, Luca, Timmy and Billy took the capacity crowd on a non-stop Rock n RollerCoaster Ride, without even playing the song by the same name that first got me into them. This year I expect more of the same insanity with the new boys now fully gigged in across sold out European shows.
After a weekend of full force punk rock (whatever your choice of sub-genre) if you are looking for a place to chill out on a Saturday afternoon then Club Casbah from 4:20 onwards is going to be your ting as Rebellion celebrates the influence dub, reggae and ska has had on punk rock via a four hour four band line-up that kicks off with The Rhythm-ites and also includes sets by RDF, Citizen Fish and HR from Bad Brains.
The lure of Alvin Gibbs and The Disobedient Servants in The Opera House (kicking off at 5:15) where the core trio of Alvin, Leigh Heggarty and Jamie Oliver are no doubt going to be joined by a huge array of guest guitarists is always going to be enough to tempt me away from an afternoon of skanking plus when you also add the return of the mighty Giuda to the Empress Ballroom stage at 17:50 its safe to safe I’ll be doing the ‘Space Walk’ down the front ready for some ‘Ravers Rock’.
With Club Casbah celebrating all things reggae the Empress Ballroom meanwhile takes a trip down the skinhead/Oi! route with Lions Law kicking things off at 4:45 with sets following from the likes of Giuda (who I’ve already mentioned), Evil Conduct and Cockney Rejects along with a special set from The Business celebrating the life of Micky Fitz set to feature special guest vocalists (with Al Barr (Dropkick Murphys) and Roi Pearce (Last Resort) are already confirmed) all singing the songs of their fallen brother. There won’t be a dry eye in the house that’s for sure, and all of this is before Cock Sparrer hit the stage at 11pm to deliver what has become THE definitive Rebellion set of punk rock music, delivering classic tune after classic tune into the wee small hours.
Of course, if Oi! isn’t your thing then there’s still plenty to see elsewhere with Duncan Reid & The Big Heads delivering the powerpop goodies in spades over in the Opera House from 7:25 and then in the very same venue from 10pm onwards there’s the back to back awesomeness of Walter Lure’s LAMF and The Godfathers to revel in. Proper low-slung guitar punk rock ‘n’ roll just how RPM loves it, and I must admit this stage clash is one of the biggest of the weekend even extending to a third stage for me as I’d love to also be catching Wonk Unit over at Club Casbah from 21:50….and then there’s The Exploited at 11pm back to headline the Club Casbah after Wattie’s umpteenth bout of fisticuffs with the Grim Reaper, surely that alone is reason enough to raise a pint and celebrate the band’s back catalogue?
I’ll openly admit I’m really not sure how I’m going to fit all of this in folks but I’m certainly going to give it a try…ahhh you know fuck it I might just spend all day watching new bands over on the Introducing stage and say “what the hell.”
One things for sure though and that is Rebellion Festival is the place to be from the 1st to the 4th of August 2019 and you can get your tickets RIGHT HERE!!!!
IT’S WONKFEST, it’s the funnest, craziest day in the punk rock calendar. The best in music, the best in atmosphere, the best in people.
LINE-UP ANNOUNCED SO FAR:
GUNS AND WANKERS
MAID OF ACE
YOUTH KILLED IT
THE DUB RIGHTERS
SECRET GUESTS NUMBER 1
SECRET GUESTS NUMBER 2
SECRET GUESTS NUMBER 3
THE HUMAN PROJECT
2 PEAS FROM THE POD
plus loads more xxx
We’ve got new bands, we’ve got buffet, T-shirt screening, badge making, BBQ, all included in the price of a ticket.
Please grab advance tickets ASAP. It really does help with the financial worry of staging an event like Wonkfest. Doors 11.15am – come for breakfast
At the tail end of last year Wonk Unit sneaked out an all acoustic live performance recorded at the Brook in Wallington which to those who don’t know is also the place where the band recorded their last couple of albums with Andy Brook which funnily enough is what the venue attached to the studio is called no not Andy Brook but The Brook. Even though it’s now relocated this was thought lost until now that is. Wonk Unit electric are an eclectic collective so acoustic I wasn’t quite sure what would come out of Alex’s mind for this one but by the time you are halfway through you forget it’s unplugged anyway such is the quality of the songs and the performance and after Alex introduces the tunes there’s nothing like sitting back and giggling to yourself as to where ‘Lewisham’ came from and what inspired the majestic ‘Kings Road Sporting Heroes’ (one of the finest tunes penned by anyone in the last decade) The band have been busy as fuck since this was recorded and I can’t fathom why they’ve not done this more often because quite simply its a blinder. The songs lend themselves to this format and style as each one takes on a new spin and from ‘Tortured Genius’ through ‘Horses’ it’s worth it for the spoken intros from Alex alone. ‘Je Mappelle Alex’ is blindingly good but then you knew that didn’t you.
The song selection is most excellent tracks like the somber ‘Bin Him’ are dark as fuck but work superbly well acoustically and one of my favourite Wonk songs ‘Go Easy’ is another dark tune but again sounds great and I have to chuckle as Alex gees the band on to ‘lock-in as they absolutely kill it. The ‘Guts’ intro is brilliant if this punk rock lark didn’t work anymore for Alex I guess there’s a career on the stand-up circuit his stories are compelling and relatable but his music is top notch and who would have thought ‘Guts’ would have worked in this format? not me for one but boy it works like a dream.
There is a slight drop in the mix on the intro of ‘Kings Road’ but that’s a small distraction and it takes nothing away from this performance from Wonk unit. Electric or acoustic they are a force of nature and your life is a darker place without them in it that my friends is a fact. Go check it out pronto!
What with the madness that is the end of the year there were some EP’s and some pretty good singles that hit us late on that we didn’t want to ignore and so we are here with a little extra crimbo treats for you good people who still believe in Rock n Roll. So as 2018 fades into the distance and we all look forward to 2019 we leave this neat little pile under the tree for your listening and viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Darrell Bath & Los Tupper – Rocking The Streets (Sunthunder Records) Alright let the festive season begin. Sneaking in at the last knock of 2018 this cheeky three-track CD single hit the doormat just in time. Featuring Los Tupper & Mr Bath recorded in Spain it’s exactly what it says on the tin – ‘Rocking the street’. it’s just a very handsome 12 bar rock ‘n’ roll number done with style and a touch of class which we’d expect nothing less from Bath and Los Tupper.
Some lovely slide walking right over this bit of boogie it’s what every Crimbo party needs. It’s loose and sleazy and an excellent tune. Whilst ‘Hand Of Mercy’ is a different beast altogether, a more laid back track with Bath crooning on top of some lovely swirling Hammond courtesy of the Tupper boys. I wouldn’t want to give Mr Bath a big head but this could easily have fallen off a Ronnie Wood record when he was at his peak and be one of the standout tracks for that matter. Then tucked up nicely is ‘Hold Me Close’ is loose and a lovely tip of the hat to the one and only Mr David Essex. What a cool record glad it got to me in time. Cheers me dears! it’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll but I do like it. www.sunthunder.net
Lester Greenowski – let’s Get Fucked Up (Tornado Ride Records) songwriter Lester Greenowski, he of The Crybabys and Honest John Plains band is coming out with a brand new single “Let’s Get Fucked Up” on the 25th of December 2018. The single will be available on all the major web stores and precedes the release of his second solo effort “Out of Tune, Out of Key” out in 2019 on Tornado Ride Records. You know its gonna rock you know it’s gonna roll you know you want it so when you’ve finished stuffin’ the bird go online and click the links to pick up this festive cracker.
The Rizzos / Top Nachos – Split (King Pizza Records) Of course they’re from Brooklyn NY. They ply their rock n roll trade on the mean streets of the big apple and turn in a melodic garage slab of rock n roll where the amps are set to howl and the vocals courtesy of Meg are sugar sweet and lull you into a false sense of security before the noise breaks through. Two tracks are on offer from The Rizzos and pretty damn good they are too. ‘Bless This Mess’ leading the way with a thumping bass line and a neat tempo – pick of the pack for me right there.
As for Top Nachos contribution, well, ‘Fast’ is um, fast. It’s tuneful and rapid and LoFi and then it’s gone. Noisy and punk as fuck. I like it. The pick of the two is ‘Getcha’ with its Misfits like melody and a top tune it is too. rounding off a really good split EP and another two bands we’ll put into our little black book to remember to check out over the coming months and weeks to see if they have anything else released and we feel you should follow suit.
The Night Screams – Stuck EP (King Pizza Records) Wow another day another new band hits the RPM death decks and this time The Night Screams also on King Pizza Records and also from Brooklyn NY are down and dirty scuzzing around in the whole garage punk action rock scene and writing some really impressive tunes. Five song EP in less than ten pulsating minutes we absolutely endorse that and from the moment ‘The Road I Run’ crashes in we nod our approval. The sound is like these were recorded in a garage from the primal stomp of ‘That Look’it’s not about a slick production job its all about the tunes and there are five of them to band against your eardrum right here. ‘Big Picture’ sounds like the Hives without the sharp suits and the closing song ‘Freedom Of Choice’ is the longest and possibly the pick of the bunch here as it drives past some Devo meets Iggy and ends up with some duelling guitars through the feedback its a really good song and the more I play it the better it gets so why not take a chance and check out The Night Screams I’m glad I did.
Demons – ‘Bad Neighbourhood’ (Lux Noise) Wow another we didn’t see coming. Hot on the heels of their collaboration with RPM fav Jeff Dahl Demons knock out two new songs on our favourite Swiss label. Its a strong song that leads the way and packs a pretty mean punch from the barking guitars on the riff to the solo that leads into the gang vocals on the chorus its street punk rock and its an excellent single. The B side is a bastardised classic ‘I’d Much Rather Be With The Girls’ and we like that – of course its good, its sloppy rock n roll kids and it’s gone. Two songs one single just pick it up folks you know you want to! its only rock n roll and we like it!
PELLE MILJOONA OY – Anna Soihtusi Palaa (Stupido Records) I apologise in advance as my Finish isn’t as good as it should be and neither is my translator anyway, there are a couple of names connected to this that made us sit up and take notice and we think therefore its only fair that we should tell you good folks out there all about Andy McCoy and Sami Yaffa playing on some excellent new songs together. the lead track ‘Anna Soihtusi Palaa’ is a banger – we kid you not. McCoy’s guitar noodlings are all over this and it sounds fantastic. I haven’t a clue what its about but rock n roll doesn’t have barriers with language because we should all be singing off the same page and this lead track is most excellent.
‘Hei Hei Hei’ has a familiar feel to its opening riff that will be music to many peoples ears and the song has a bag of energy all the way to its rocking chorus. On closer inspection of the CD I did ask myself wow, could I pull off those strides Andy is wearing? I came to the conclusion that apart from Andy and possibly Ali ba ba nobody outside of Alladin could and that’s what makes him so special. The closing song ‘Olen Unessa’ is a fine way to finish a curious EP that I rather enjoyed to be fair despite the language barrier. Check it out folks.
OK seeing as its Christmas we thought we’d treat you all to a couple of festive related videos that have just been released for the Holiday season. We begin this visual wormhole with Mad Caddie and their seasonal offering out on ‘Fat Wreck Chord –
wonk unit – Christmas in a crack house (Cadiz Music) it doesn’t really need an explanation does it? its Alex Wonk and the rest of his unit with their seasonal offering from the most excellent ‘Terror’ album seasons greetings to you all and as a gift from them to us to you here is the rather soppy video for their limited edition red vinyl single ‘Christmas In a crackhouse’ don’t do it, kids, they did it so we don’t have to’
How about as its the season of giving we point you in the direction of some Free music? Yeah! can I get a Hell Yeah? well click the link and pay the Rum Bar a visit and let Lou introduce you to some of the excellent bands he has signed up on his rather splendid label. this free track is Nat Freedberg and the track ‘Devil Rockin Man’ you know it makes sense and it’s going to be good so what are you waiting for?
Kris Rodgers & The Dirty Gems – Every Little Crack (Wicked Cool Records) some of you will be familiar with Kris when he toured the UK as part of Scott Sorry awesome band and he also helped tinkle the ivories with Rich Rags on some Role Models tunes and also his album released on rum Bar records. Well, Kris is back in the hood with this spellbinding slab of rock and roll complete with some Stones like riffage and horn stabs that lift this belter into the realms of if the house party needs spicing up this Christmas then put this on and let’s trash the place. Its only rock n roll folks but boy do I like it. flip this bad boy over and those ivories get tinkled as Kris dishes out some mighty fine Rock n Roll in the shape of ‘All I Wanna Do’. Hey, Rodgers, we salute you-you rock my friend and this is a big as possible smiling slab of good time music that makes you glad to be alive.
Midnight Towers – All The Songs (self Release) Well this one slipped through the cracks released back at the end of October it will interest quite a few of you readers I guess if we mentioned Ex-members of The Black Halos, The Spitfires, Darlings of Chelsea, Kill Cheerleader, Die Mannequin, Wasted Again, Electric Blood, CJ Sleez, Red Hot Lovers, and more. you might be sitting up right now. well, this is a four-track EP full to bursting with plenty of Action Rock and Roll and right from the opener ‘Heartbreaker’ you know what you’re getting here. Zero bullshit just straight up punk attitude rock and roll. ‘Ride WithMe’ is a departure, Nah, it’s not, of course, it’s not. It’s more on the money riff-a-rama rock with added one-fingered piano tonking that would make Iggy and The Stooges blush seeing as they invented it. They even turn up the heat on ‘Crazy For You’ this would be the dogs danglies live I bet. Beefed up 12 bar riff all the way to the chorus and then you’re done. Oh, they do cram in a brief breakdown before the soaring solo – wickedly good rock n roll folks trust me. Just click the link and make the purchase they even saved the best til last as ‘Stuck In My Brain’ comes out swinging. Love it!
To finish off the singles and EPs of 2018 we thought we’d leave you with this lovely slice of punk.
Rat Cage – Night Of The Rat (Kids Of The Lughole) Every now and then its good to cleanse the soul with a slab of hardcore that just kills it dead. No fucking about just blunt trauma force that hits you square on the head and doesn’t relent for its short lifespan. Well, Rat Cage will certainly fit that bill two tracks on this single ok so they’re no Pizzatramp potentially prog in length compared but they more than make up for it with their attitude and delivery as they absolutely pulverise you with punk rock hardcore. Fucking champion stuff. ‘Night Of The Rat’ lulls you in then Bang! we’re off! just pick it up its angry – shouty and fantfuckintastic.
It would also be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t give you the new video from Jayne County to round up an awesome 2018 so as one year ends we sign off with ‘IgenderTy’ and look forward to what 2019 will offer in the 45rpm catagory and what great videos will also get delivered. Chow for now
It seemed normal service had resumed and the UK was no longer under thread or code red because of the weather and the armed forces were asked to stand down from the impending doom that was heading our way if the week-long snow caused the country to slide into the Atlantic. April would see the customary Record Store Day madness that had clogged up pressing plants and caused delays right across the board as the majors jumped the queue with their plethora of reissues and one direction picture discs ready for the record buying public readily camping out on high streets across America and the UK hoping to get their hand on the Bowie seven inch that would only set them back £20 but hey if we didn’t buy into this it wouldn’t happen.
I digress. April was to be the month The Damned would finally get around to unleashing their new long player on the public after something like a decade since their last long player but this time they’ve gone all out to impress with Tony Visconti taking care of the production and in my humble opinion making it more about him and his knob twiddling duties than The Damned and as a result, an album that promised so much, in reality, delivered so little and won’t feature as anyone’s album of the year even though its not without merit as there are good songs on board but where is Paul Grays signature sound thumping its way through the songs? Did I not mention Gray was back in the fold? Oh sorry, how rude of me. yup Paul Gray was back in the fold and ‘Evil Spirits’ expectations hit the roof. It is certainly one of those albums you so desperately wanted to love but couldn’t quite convince yourself it was up there with some of their back catalogue but hey ho onwards and upwards and any Damned record however bad is still better than most other bands good albums. Fact. And the live dates were as expected – superb.
As far as other records to come out in April well, there’s always the ever-reliable Wonk Unit and this time out they’re unleashing ‘Terror’ upon us all. Once again it was recorded at the Brook and producer Andy Brook brought the best out of Alex and all who sail or should that be ride on the back of this thoroughbred stallion. it featured some classic Wonk none more so than this festive banger ‘Christmas In A Crackhouse’ but remember this is April. Nice one Alex.
On the 7″ front there were a few notable entries with the top of the pile being The DeRellas with the fantastic ‘High Rise Supersize’ seeing the recording debut of their new frontman and excellent fit Joey DeRella former frontman of the excellent Breakdowns.also on the singles front The Hip Priests released an excellent split with Demons and young upstarts The Kenneths put out a really excellent single in the shape of ‘Favourite Ex’ from the E.P ‘EX’ and hopefully 2019 will see RPM hear more from this most excellent of noise makers.
Onto the live front and a few notable entries would have to be when the country went RSD nuts – south Wales upstarts and ne’re do wells otherwise answering to the name Deathtraps played at what was a marathon of live shows all over Newport which began with Mike Peters of The Alarm playing the towns best venue the rather splendid Le Pub on the Friday night. It then spread to other venues throughout the day keeping live independent music alive and well in this corner of the world.
Also on tour in April was the splendid reformation of Thee Hypnotics who impressed Ben so much he went out and picked up a copy of their box set and Dom and Johnny also parted with some folding money for copies of their documentary when they rolled through Newport south Wales to play Le Pub (once Again). April was really hotting up as some mighty fine new bands rolled into town as part of tours to promote their new records two notable bands were Cabbage who were promoting the excellent ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ and Trampolene who also played Clwb Ifor Bach and both shows were sellouts and both ended in hot sweaty messes just like the best club gigs should.
The only death to report in April would be that of Jesus Christ but that for another website and not here. Keep it RPM as we roll into May…
Well hello and thanks for checking in. Your Monday just got a whole lot better as Stiv Bator hits the screen. Seeing as it would have been Stiv’s birthday last week it seems only fair that we air this classic and I make no apology for the shitty quality of the footage. R,I.P Stiv we miss ya
No Monday morning middle finger would be complete without this classic single from the mighty Wonk Unit and RPM would like to offer our congratulations to Alex and his wife on the birth of their Daughter.