Ray's Gigs

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Thursday 10 August 2023.

Wed 02 Aug 2023 to Wed 09 Aug 2023 - I will be up in Blackpool for a week. Thursday 03 August to Sunday 06 August 2023 - REBELLION FESTIVAL is held in Blackpool. The UKs biggest punk festival , which features over 300 acts over multi-stages. Old and new punk , but also lots of other genres catered for. Along with on stage interviews with many of the artists. Along with lots of stalls selling punk vinyl , cds , clothing, art etc. I have been many times before , and i was at all four days in 2022, and it was totally excellent. I will be putting daily updates on my Facebook page with photos and videos of Rebellion. Reminder that Blackpool has got hundreds of great value accommodation bed & breakfast hotels. Also great value drinks and food offers outside of the venue. No need to worry about scorching heat or if it is raining, as all the stages are indoors. Thurs 03 Aug - Cock Sparrer have replaced The Damned due to band illness. Penetration have replaced The Descendents due to band illness. Big Country + UK Subs + The Members in Dub + Slady + Menace + plus many more. I have seen The Damned over 40 times since The 100 Club Punk Festival in Sept 1976. Fri 04 Aug - Henry Rollins + Neville Staple Band + Spizz Energi + Vapors + Mick Rossi's Gun St + The Exploited + Anti-Nowhere League + Jo Jo & The Teeth + Desperate Measures plus many more. Sat 05 Aug - New Model Army + Die Toten Hosen + The Only Ones + Rezillos + Ruts DC + Bad Manners + The Meteors + Duncan Reid & The Big Heads plus many more. I would say The Only Ones are the band i am looking forward to seeing the most, as they rarely play. Saw them several times over 40 years ago, when they released three great albums before splitting up. They have reformed for only odd shows every now and then. I saw them in 2007, 2008, 2009, Rebellion Blackpool 2012 , and a short set free festival gig in 2019. The Only Ones (1978) Even Serpents Shine (1979) Baby's Got a Gun (1980) Sun 06 Aug - Steel Pulse + Dickies + Bob Vylan + Republica + Gaye Bykers On Acid + TV Smith + Blue Carpet Band + Brix Smith + Tom Spencer plus many more. TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW for Aug 2024 at an early bird reduced price ticket price. www.Rebellionfestivals.com - Visit their website here. --------- Thursday 03 August 2023. A lovely sunny day in Blackpool, despite the gloomy weather forecast. Quite an amazing sight to see several thousand punk rockers take over Blackpool. A fantastic , friendly everyone here for a good time vibe. Bumping into lots of friends here was great. The organisation and staff were all top notch. So many bands on different stages , so there is always a few clashes. Sometimes when my old legs felt whacked, i would watch a few bands in the Opera room seats. LAMBRINI GIRLS arrived on stage at 4.15pm and played for 35 mins. This all girl band were first on at the recent Dog Day Afternoon concert headlined by Iggy Pop. Again the singer is giving it 100% with her shouty punk attitude, as she jumps in and sings in the crowd. MENACE arrived on stage at 5.50pm and played for 40 mins. A really good set that included 'Screwed Up' and everyone singing along to their classic 'GLC'. DAVE ROBINSON from Stiff Records interview was from 6.50pm to 7.35pm. A very entertaining interview where Dave talked about promoting gigs in Dublin in the 1960s and then setting up the legendary Stiff Records in the 1970s, whose releases included The Damned. UK SUBS arrived on stage at 8pm and played for 60 mins...BEST BAND TODAY FOR ME. UK SUBS pulled a massive crowd. and played a totally excellent set. The Godfather of Punk, Charlie Harper on vocals is now aged 79, and everyone loves him. All their classics played including ' Tomorrow's Girls', a mega 'Warhead' with everyone singing along, and ending with 'Stranglehold' and 'Teenage'. EATER..i saw the last 35 mins of their 50 mins set. I saw Eater during the punk heyday back in 1977 and 1978 and singer Andy Blade is still on vocals. A good set that included their classic single 'Thinking of the USA' THE MEMBERS IN DUB arrived on stage at 10.10pm and played for 55 mins. The Members are joined by Richard England from Cadiz Records on second guitar. Lots of great gems played with a reggae tinge including 'Offshore Banking Business' , 'Solitary Confinement ' and their classic hit 'The Sound of the Suburbs' . BIG COUNTRY arrived on stage at 11.30pm and played for 60 mins. I saw Big Country several times with Stuart Adamson (RIP) in the late 1980s and 1990s. Bruce Watson has taken over lead guitar duties and he does a very nifty job on those great riffs. Lots of their hits played including 'Look Away' , 'Harvest Home', 'Chance', 'In A Big Country' and 'Fields of Fire' SLADY arrived on stage at 12.45pm and played for 45 mins. All female tribute to those 1970s glam rock legends You cannot go wrong with all those Slade anthems. The singer does a good job of sounding like Noddy , and they go down a treat. A great opening day of bands. --------- Friday 04 August 2023. Another sunny lunchtime in Blackpool , and great to see the trams running along the prom. MICK ROSSI'S GUN ST arrived on stage at 4.40pm and played for 45 mins. Original Mancunian punk rock guitarist Mick Rossi was in Slaughter & The Dogs back in the 1970s. Another band I saw back then. They played tracks from their album and SATD classic 'Boston Babies' and a neat cover of that punk classic 'Born To Lose'. THE OUTCASTS arrived on stage at 5.40pm for their 40 mins. Belfast punk band who formed in 1977 played a good set. SPIZZ ENERGI arrived on stage at 6.45pm and played for 45 mins. Always good to see Spizz Energi who had some great singles on Rough Trade back in the late 1970s. We get pukka versions of 'Soldier Soldier' and 'Where's Captain Kirk ?' and his neat cover of 'Virginia Plain' that was on the b-side of 'Soldier Soldier'. THE VAPORS arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 45 mins set. A nice collection of their new wave/power pop tunes. NEVILLE STAPLE FROM THE SPECIALS arrives on stage at 8.55pm and plays for 50 mins. All those classic Specials gems played one after the other , with a band that featured sax and trombone. An excellent set to a huge crowd , that had them all dancing compulsively to the mega ska sound. Neville was the best band today for me. ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE arrived on stage at 10.10pm and played for 50 mins. Lots of good tracks played including 'For You' , 'I Hate People', their cover of 'Streets of London', 'So What' , 'Woman' and ' We're The League'. DESPERATE MEASURES arrived on stage at 11.15pm for their 35 mins set. They are fronted by Vive Le Rock main man Eugene Butcher. His band started up around 40 years ago back in his homeland of New Zealand. His look and vocals and presence reminds me of Bon Scott...a good rockin' set. THE RAMONAS arrived on stage at 1am and finished at 2am...yes 2am. I have seen these all girl Scottish Ramones tribute the once before. Sooo many great Ramones classics played , along with 15 mins of their own material in the middle. I was lucky enough to see the real Ramones over a dozen times including their debut London show in 1976. Day 2 at Rebellion was another corker. --------- Saturday 05 August 2023. EUGENE BUTCHER interview was from 1pm to 1.30pm....Eugene was interviewed by John Robb. Eugene talked enthused about his love for British punk rock and British classic rock. In his native New Zealand he would get the music papers, six weeks after they came out. He had his own band there, Desperate Measures, and he now performs with them in the IUK. He started up the great mag Vive Le Rock in 2010 , even though magazines were dying a death. He is helping with the Charlie Harper docu film that is gonna be out in 2024. DUNCAN REID AND THE BIG HEADS arrived on stage at 2.15pm and played for 40 mins. Lots of catchy pop songs played from their upcoming album. He was in The Boys many years ago , and we had a nice version of their 1977 gem ''First Time'. Duncan said this was to be their third last ever gig. PROTEX arrived on stage at 3.15pm for their 35 mins. They were part of the first wave of punk bands from Belfast in 1978. TV SMITH & FRIENDS arrived on stage at 4.15pm and played for 40 mins. A really good set played including a pair of Adverts classics 'Gary Gilmores Eyes' and 'One Chord Wonders'. BAD MANNERS arrived on stage at 6.30pm and played for 60 mins. Singer Buster Bloodvessel is still a very oversize chap. He had a great band, that included a four man brass section. Lots of bouncy ska hits played including 'My Boy Lollipop' ,'Lorraine' and 'Lip Up Fatty'. BAR SCHOOL PREACHERS on stage at 7.35pm for their 40 mins. Didn't know much about this band, but they were better than expected, with a great singer. RUTS DC on at 8.45pm...I saw the first 30 mins then dashed to where The Only Ones are playing, Great versions of ' Kill the Pain ' and 'Jah War' were played. THE ONLY ONES arrived on stage at 9.35pm and played for 60 mins. Not really a punk or ska band, but for me they were the best band of the day. It helps I have their three excellent albums all at home, so I know most of the tracks. Here is the full setlist for their excellent set.... Miles From Nowhere Programme As My Wife Says Why Don't You Kill Yourself? Flaming Torch The Big Sleep The Immortal Story Inbetweens Prisoners Trouble in the World From Here to Eternity Oh No I'm Not Like Everybody Else (The Kinks cover) Another Girl, Another Planet The Beast THE REZILLOS arrived on stage at 11.05pm for their 60 mins. Scottish new wave band who I saw back in the late 1970s. They are still fronted by Eugene Reynolds and Faye Fife. They had a big hit with the classic 'Top of the Pops' in 1977, which went down well tonight. Other goodies included 'Destination Venus' and 'Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in 'Tonight'. Day 3 at Rebellion was another corker. --------- Sunday 06 August 2023. BLUE CARPET BAND arrived on stage at 1.30pm for their 30 mins set. Not sure why they are on so early, as they are more well known than others on this stage. A great set of uptempo garage rock n roll , with a hint of The Cramps. ANDY ELLISON interview was from 2pm for 30 mins. Andy was the singer with Johns Children, Jet and Radio Stars. I saw him with Jet in 1975 and twice with Radio Stars in 1977. Jet released an album on CBS Records in 1975, toured as support to Hunter-Ronson and then became Radio Stars,who had one UK Top 40 hit, "Nervous Wreck" in early 1978. It peaked at No. 39.The B-side to the single was a cover of Marc Bolan's "Horrible Breath", a John's Children staple. Andy was a very lively stage performer , which included doing somersaults on stage. This got Johns Children thrown off a German tour supporting The Who in 1967. Andy finished his interview with an acoustic version of 'Nervous Wreck'. CHARLIE HARPER interview was from 2.40pm for 40 mins. Charlie confirmed there is an autobiograhy and film docu on his life due out in 2024. He said he now resides in the sleepy town of Seaford, near Brighton. Now aged 79, the punk legend confirmed their UK tour in Sept will be their last ever proper tour, as Charlie is fed up with being in a van for up to six hours a day, but there will be odd gigs. He said some squats in Europe they played and stayed in , were better than some dodgy hotels. THE STITCHES arrived on stage at 3.45pm for their 35 mins set. The Stitches is an American 1970s-style punk rock band formed in 1994 in Orange County, California. Uptempo fast punk tunes , with a great Stiv Bators type singer throwing himself into the crowd. Good songs played included 'My Baby Hates Me'. RUTS DC ACOUSTIC arrived on stage at 4.50pm for their 50 mins set. I see them for the second time in two days, and it's another great show. Gems played included 'Something That I Said', 'Babylons Burning' , 'In A Rut', 'Kill The Pain', a cover of 'Police and Thieves ' and 'Staring at the Rude Boys'. For me RUTS DC and TV SMITH were the highlights of today , as they both played brilliant sets. TV SMITH AND THE BORED TEENAGERS PLAY THE ADVERTS on at 5.50pm for 50 mins. TV Smith and band played an excellent set based around The Adverts debut album including 'No Time To Be 21' , 'Gary Gilmores Eyes', ' Bored Teenagers' and 'One Chord Wonders'. WASPS arrived on stage at 7pm for their 50 mins set. This London punk band were one of the lesser known bands from the 1970s punk heyday. They played a good set. BRIX SMITH and her all female band arrived on stage at 8.10pm for their 50 mins set. Brix is happy to be here and is looking great for her age. They played a bunch of good tracks from their album. GAYE BYKERS ON ACID arrived on stage at 9.30pm for their 60 mins set. Shall I call them pyschedelic dance rock punk? ...they played a decent set. REPUBLICA arrived on stage at 11pm and played for 50 mins. Republica sold 3 million albums worldwide between 1996 to 1999. Some hilarious microphone problems during the first two songs were rectified. Saffron on vocals with her happy to be here and her bubbly Lewisham accent is nice to hear. They played 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' and their big hit 'Ready To Go'. ---------------- Four long long days of watching bands at Rebellion was tiring , but totally excellent. Reminder that early bird special price tickets are now on sale for Rebellion August 2024.