The Rebellion Punk Festival 2018 was a resounding success. This event is totally D.I.Y. and family run which is unique at this level.

I’m still trying to take in the many highlights of an extended weekend of music in Blackpool. The question still to be answered is how many bands actually played? Was there 200, 300 or even 350 bands? I have no idea and haven’t had time to physically count them over the four days or so but believe me you’ll never see half the bands you would like. That’s the beauty of Rebellion or is it the downside (a band clash nightmare), I will leave that for you to decide.

Strange Bones

Strange Bones came highly recommended so that was my first port of call. The Empress Ballroom filled up quickly as the group kicked off the proceedings. They’re a local band so they’d brought their own army of supporters. I really did enjoy their distorted bluesy riffs and they put on a very confident energetic set. If you like The Cramps this is the band for you.


Having made my way over to the Pavilion Stage, I witnessed an incredible set from Klammer; a post-punk outfit who are from Leeds/Huddersfield. Steve Whitfield (guitarist/vocals) spoke with us after their gig and I asked him his thoughts about their set and the whole Rebellion experience. He went on to say that “We really enjoyed our 2nd trip to play the Rebellion Festival. There’s always such a great atmosphere about the whole place, and it’s so well organised. Although Punk is a broad church, we aren’t that punk in sound but more in attitude. So it’s great that some post-punk music also gets put on at Rebellion. We really enjoyed The Cyanide Pills set, this lot definitely have the spirit of ’77 in them. I know we can’t expect or guarantee we’ll be on next year but I really hope so. And where else could we meet a guy from Argentina that had just watched us and then bought the new album.”

The Kut

Still, on the Pavilion Stage, all-girl London trio, The Kut lit up the stage on the opening day of the festival. I first saw the group play Rebellion on the Introducing Stage back in 2016 and later at Camden Rocks earlier this year.  It feels as though this group continues to get better with each time I see them. At this year’s event, they blew me away once again. The band are on tour across the U.K. promoting their new album Valley of Thorns and are not to be missed.

The Boys

By later in the day I was looking to see something different, so I opted for The Boys unplugged, but by the time I got to the Opera House they had already begun and the room was at capacity with the temperature soaring which made it very uncomfortable.  I knew I had another opportunity to catch The Boys later as they were playing an electric set on the Friday in the Empress Ballroom and was looking more forward to that. Punk rock legends The Buzzcocks rounded out an action-packed first day of Rebellion at the Empress Ballroom.

Rebellion Festival
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Words & Photos: Garry Urwin

Event Date: 02-Aug-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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