Highlights of Day 3 at Rebellion included the likes of Choking Susan, Stiff Light Fingers, Spider, Vice Squad along with Peter Hook & The Light.

There are bands playing at Rebellion from just across the street or from the other side of the World. I spoke to Jonny Wah Wah (Rebellion Introducing Stage Organiser) and he told me there are now more bands from the likes of Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and so I think it makes it more of an International event than in previous years; or even more of a cultural experience seeing other countries embrace the punk music genre.

Choking Susan

Choking Susan are from Detroit USA and were in the process of completing a 2 week UK tour to coincide with their dates in Blackpool to finish the tour off.

Lead vocalist Colleen Caffeine has made this journey numerous times with her band and has now played the festival a staggering 12 times; she’s a very popular acquisition and typifies what this festival is all about. She always adds energy to the proceedings by continuously running and using every inch of the stage.  Her show consists of dramatic, fast Detriot punk rock. Colleen gets her message across with ferocious vocals and using every inch of her contorted body. Colleen loves performing at this festival and you will find her at the front supporting all the other bands over the course of the 4 days.


While at the Introducing Stage a friend was recognised by Spider from a recent show in Berlin, so I was made to stay and have a chat with them and watch their set. I asked them are you a hard and fast band and they said hell yeah! They didn’t lie.

LA hard-hitting rock band Spider hits the stage at full speed and were relentless throughout their whole set never pausing for breath. I would describe them as a hardcore thrash metal punk band.  Lead Singer Hector Martinez spent most of his time balanced on or bouncing off the front monitors and nearly had them off the stage on a couple of occasions. Awesome set by these LA punk rockers.

Vice Squad

Becki and Co. powered through their set with thumping drum and bass lines with Rooney lead guitarist continuously generating raw riff magic with tracks like “If I Knew What I Knew Now”, “Out of Reach” and an extended version of “Last Rockers” with Beki bursting into Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies Night”. The latter was because some of the guys had taken off their shirts and was referring to that humorously. I last saw Vice Squad a couple of years ago at the Tower St Arena (Rebellion’s outdoor stage) and they always put on such a great, overcharged performance.

We nipped out to our local food haunt in between bands and witnessed something so beautiful. The Square erupted with cheers as a guy went down on one knee and proposed marriage to his blushing bride to be as she hung onto her carrier bag. It’s not every day you see something like that and I did manage to get a few pictures.

Peter Hook and the Light

The ballroom was packed and the audience was waiting in anticipation for Hook to walk out onto the stage. Peter Hook got into music by going to see the Sex Pistols back in 1976 and the following day borrowed £35 and purchased his first bass.

Their set list consisted of “Shadow Play”, “Transmission”, “She’s Lost Control” and finishing off his set in fine style with “Love Will Tear Us” apart, which was a little poignant as I had only just visited  Ian Curtis’s grave a few weeks ago, which made it a bittersweet end to Hooks show. The crowd sang the song word for word long after its conclusion.

Stiff Little Fingers

Fresh from playing Wacken Open Air Festival, Belfast’s very own Stiff Little Fingers were the perfect headliners for the Saturday night bringing a capacity crowd into the Empress Ballroom. Frontman Burns was wearing a black polka dot shirt as he strode onto the stage to loud cheers of approval. There’s always a large Irish contingent with Blackpool just a few miles across the Irish Sea. They sang all the SLF classics like “Tin Soldiers”, “Barb Wire Love”, “Suspect Device”, and “Alternative Ulster” and threw in “Tilting at Windmills”. The evening was coming to a close but the crowd chanted “Alternative Ulster” in unison not wanting the night to end. Another perfect day of live music comes reaches its finale at Rebellion Festival.

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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