Punk’s back again

The Rebellion Punk Festival is at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

The Rebellion Punk Festival is at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

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The punks are back in town... with the world’s biggest punk festival returning to Blackpool from Thursday until Sunday this week.

Organisers claim it’s the best bill yet for the annual event – with around 200 bands and other acts taking over the entire Winter Gardens complex.

And with a line-up including punk legends Cock Sparrer’s only UK appearance this year as well as The Adcits, Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys, Toyah, Pennywise, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and The Damned heading to the resort, the Rebellion festival is as diverse as ever.

Proving that punk rock is a varied genre linked by a common cause, Rebellion is the only punk festival which sees 1977 legends sharing the stages with the likes of Rancid member Lard Frederiksen’s new side project Old Firm Casuals and a whole raft of young up coming punk bands – and even Eric Faulkner’s Bay City Rollers.

“After last year’s sell out this is the most ambitious bill yet that whilst keeping the punk flavour that has made it an international success also sees some interesting additions,” a spokesman said. “It’s impossible to pinpoint the highlights but the atmosphere in the legendary and packed grandeur of the Empress Ballroom when the UK Subs and Cock Sparrer play will be something special and Jello Biafra making his first festival appearance with his new band will be a key moment as will be American punk legends Pennywise.”

With nearly 200 bands on the bill and 8,000 tickets sold, the festival also boasts fringe events like former Blackpool musician turned rock pundit John Robb’s literary stage where he will be introducing punk authors reading from their books and interviewing key names on the punk scene like Vi Subversa, Toyah, Cockney Rejects and Cock Sparrer.

There is also an acoustic stage, punk art exhibition and even a beauty contest.

“Punk in the 21st century is in rude health,” the spokesman added. “Worldwide a whole new generation of teenagers has been celebrating the scene making the old bands legends and bringing a whole new wave of punk action to the fore. Rebellion is the perfect reflection of this.”

Punks will be flying in from all over the world for the biggest punk festival in the world.

This year’s Rebellion punk festival after shows will all be at Beat night club above The Rose and Crown pub on the corner of Corporation Street and Birley Street.

A pre-show kicks off proceedings tomorrow with a seven band line up starting from 7pm. The bands playing include festival favourites Drongos For Europe, Chief and Inner Terrestrials.

Thursday, Friday and Saturdays after shows commence at 10pm and end at 3am.

The line ups are:

n Thursday: Cyanide Pills , Litterbug, Ufx , Tight Finks

n Friday: The Dead Class, Population, Radio Dead Ones, Billy Liar

n Saturday: Senton Bombs, Monica and the Explosion, Peter Bentham and the Dinner Ladies, The Duel

n Sunday: Church of Confidence, Sedated (Ramones covers), The Blame.

Sunday’s event starts at the slightly later time of 11pm.

There will also be bands playing at the West Coast Rock Cafe including Crackshot, Choking Susan and The Ceramic Hobs.

“The networking of the punk scene across Europe and America now sees bands from New York, Detroit, Berlin and Zurich performing in the town’s one remaining live music venue,” said after show organiser Stuart Diggle. “Beat will be rejuvenated for the festival by other UK bands including local acts too. Inbetween you can hear all the punk and ska classics plus contemporary sounds too.”