Time drags whilst waiting for Rebellion Festival to come back around, but the UK’s premier punk festival makes a return to the North West this weekend. 

This year’s lineup features bands from the U.S.A., Europe and all over the world making it an International event with punk rock aficionado’s flocking to Blackpool from all corners of the globe. Rebellion is a unique festival that never fails to deliver.

Detroit based outfit Choking Susan will be making their incredible twelfth appearance at this year’s festival. National Rock Review recently caught up with the band’s lead vocalist Colleen Caffeine to find out why Rebellion Festival is so special to the group.

NRR: Hi Colleen, could you tell a little about yourself and the band? Some interesting facts?
CC: We all have something in common that is unique but I just can’t remember what it is. I blame the delicious cold ones at Rebellion. It might be that we were all born in the same hospital? Or was it that we all ended up at the same juvenile criminal facilities together? Or was it that we all have a burial plot for just next to each other? I just can’t remember so I’ll let you decide which is true:)
NRR: Who are the main influences in your life and your music?
CC: My main influences are The Ramones. They are the best band ever to me and give me great life advice! Like when I think what should I sniff, I go for glue. Or when I wonder what I should beat on the brat with, they give me the answer! It’s a baseball bat.
NRR: Are you originally from Detroit/Michigan and have you lived there all your life?
CC: Yes Detroit all my life. But I think my spirit home is Australia. Maybe one day I’ll find out if that’s true.
NRR: What’s Detroit like and is there a good music scene there?
CC: Detroit is like one big smelly toilet but occasionally someone flushes and it gets a little better.
NRR: How was your journey to the U.K. and did it take long?
CC: This time we are over in the UK for a little under 2 weeks. It’s truly the best time of our life’s. We wait all year to do this and are never disappointed.
NRR: How many times have you played Rebellion now because you are no stranger to this festival and seem to be one of the first added to the line up every year?
CC: This is our 12th glorious year playing Rebellion Fest. I think we get added early because I ask early so I can have something to be excited about.
NRR: Are you looking forward to playing Rebellion Festival and who do you most want to catch this year?
CC: I get so excited about it, I hardly sleep. I’m really excited to see Michael Monroe because I never have but I’m also excited to see hundreds of other bands !! You will find me there every day from open till close dancing at every stage because I love it so much I love everyone there.
NRR: You had really bad news! Your bass player Eric passed away quite suddenly not so long back, was it a shock and how have you all coped with the loss?
CC: Yes this has been an awful year. The previous year our longtime bass player Paul died of a horrible illness and this year Eric.
NRR: Will there be any surprises at this year’s show and will you be doing anything special for Eric?
CC: Eric took his own life a couple weeks before we were to go on tour so coping with it has not been easy. We aren’t planning on doing anything here at the fest for him. Honestly, I’m still upset angry and very hurt.
NRR: Why do you always tour in the U.K. What’s the attraction and do you like being on the road?
CC: I hope we always tour the UK. The friends we have made here are family, better than family sometimes. That’s the attraction. love, friendship, acceptance, great music. Being in a Van with 3 other people that you really like for a long period of time is a great experience. To be part of a tribe and to be childlike for that long is the greatest escape.
NRR: What do you do in your spare time because you always seem to be concentrating entirely on your music!?
CC: Music is my spare time. I’m always playing something and dancing around my home. There is music on everywhere that I go except when I’m working as a hairstylist then I just rewind it in my head. I mean really, is there anything better than music?
NRR: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with NNR Colleen!
CC: Thank you!

Choking Susan will be performing at Rebellion Festival on Saturday 4th August. Tickets for the festival are still available but are going fast. Make sure you download the festival’s official smartphone app to keep up to date with everything that is going on throughout the course of the event.

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Words: Garry Urwin


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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