It’s hard to write about Blackpool and Rebellion festival from the point of view of visiting with a band, it’s more like a mini holiday than a festival. The best bit is that it’s almost all inside the Winter Gardens so it doesn’t matter if the weather is shit. You get to go back to a B&B or room somewhere near and aren’t in a muddy field plus you should have your own toilet that isn’t a portabog. Mind you, Debs and I stayed in a fantastic B7B which you couldn’t fault, while two hundred yards down the road there was rumours of bed bugs, broken locks and doors falling off, so you have to choose carefully.
Its five days of pure punk madness, bands, chips and gravy, nocturnal chip guzzling gulls and booze; oh and did I mention the booze.
It’s now day three, Saturday, two days have already gone down in the rock n’ roll Rebellion marathon. Where are days one and two I hear you ask? I don’t know and I can’t remember, which is a good sign I think! Highlights that do filter back were drinks on the pier with old friends and watching a man manipulate his huge organ, a walk on the beach, and seeing some great bands.
This year something had poisoned the North West water supply so you couldn’t drink any of the local water. This was only a real problem for those dehydrated dancers leapers and moshers who could no longer rely on the handy jugs of water previously available on the many bars throughout the venue.
Saturday meant The Pukes workshop, but this time with a twist. All acoustic instruments were welcome to this one to make one huge pop up band. First of all we had to get the entire collection of various instruments assorted other bits and pieces and the merch (of course) that we had brought along, upstairs into the Spanish Bar. So it was round to Chris and Clara’s gaff to give them a hand. Deb and I got there first which meant we could have tea and argue amongst ourselves about the colour of a tea mug. Was it orange, peach or puce? That’s rock and roll for you, right there!
With the colour still undecided we begin to load the van. Clara nearly falls into the basement when she leans on a dodgy gate which comes open; I have a chat to the house cleaning lady who remembers me from last year because I am wearing a ‘skirt’ again! Bloody hell it’s a struggle to hump all the gear upstairs in the venue with a hangover. That done all the spare ukes have to be tuned and the area set up, merch put out and first drink of the day consumed. Lots of people turn up for a chance to be a ‘Part Time Puke’. Members of Brunk bring a brass section along there is even a Kazoo; god knows what this will sound like! Happily it sounds great due to some fine instruction. All participants get a Part Time Puke badge and seem really chuffed with the whole experience. Then they all disappear and we have to clear up, boo. We then have to take everything back to Clara and Chris’ again, double boo.
Saturday night is good and the bands I saw were great. I was back stage when a lot of disgruntled people started arriving back early from a certain band’s (BTR) set. Unfortunately the lead singer’s comments about his audience upset a lot of people, and I was pleased I hadn’t bothered. Look it up on You-tube if you haven’t already and get upset if you weren’t there/upset all over again if you were.
Sunday was gig day for The Pukes. We had a merch table booked for the day, so here we go again! It was great to see such a lot of people I knew again and get to know some new faces as well. One guy from Ireland had brought over a large collection of singles that his pupils had painted for a Pukes based art project; all with various slogans on them such as “I wish I was a Puke”. All of them were fantastic and showed that a great deal of artistic skill and thought had been put into them. We’ve got one on the wall at home, I love it! I didn’t see The Pukes play (again) as I was outside the venue but they sounded great and the room was stuffed to bursting again, from what I could see when I popped my head in for a quick peak. On the merch front it was really busy again and the new design t-shirts designs were very popular.
We all had a fantastic time at Rebellion as always. I missed the after show parties but there were rumours of Pukes dancing on tables at one. I couldn’t possibly comment on who it was but for a beer I will. See you next year Blackpool!
Photos by Dee Dee Puke
The Pukes video diary of Rebellion 2015
Last Train to Sheffield presents: Musical journey in pictures and video featuring fans and bands at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, England. 6th -9th August, 2015.