11 bands you can't miss at Rebellion Festival

Keith Morris of FLAG
Keith Morris of FLAG
(Image: © Jason Kempin\/Getty Images for Coachella)

Back in 1996, Holidays In The Sun festival rolled into Blackpool for the very first time. Twenty years later, the festival’s name, location and modus operandi has changed a number of times, but one thing remains the same: a bill packed with good, old-fashioned punk rock. Back in Blackpool and celebrating its 20th year this weekend, here are the 11 best bands you simply can’t miss at this year’s Rebellion Festival.

Descendents

These punk legends recently sprang back into life with a critically-lauded new album Hypercaffium Spazzinate – their first in 12 years – so their summer festival appearances are sure to be packed with the same rejuvenated energy. Their live sets are generally chock-a-block with old favourites including Everything Sux, Clean Sheets and Coolidge, making them well worth your time and attention.

Dwarves

If you’re hoping to catch some full-frontal male nudity this weekend, you may well be in luck here. Punk rock’s enfant terrible, Dwarves have delighted in pushing buttons for over 30 years, and their stage shows have become legendary as a result. You might be treated to the odd song, too.

FLAG

Including former Black Flag members Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson, Flag function as an unashamed tribute act… to themselves. Their setlist includes literally every Black Flag song you could ever want to get drunk and sing along to, making these a festival must see.

Buzzcocks

These peerless pop punk originals need no introduction, and judging by recent setlists from the Buzzcocks40 tour, this set could well be the jewel in this weekend’s crown, with punk rock standards Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get, and – of course – Ever Fallen In Love all making an appearance. Miss it at your peril.

Discharge

The world is in a terrible place right now, and Discharge are just the band to help you rail against it. While Buzzcocks might have had a hand in inventing d-beat, Discharge are the genre’s originators – it’s named after them, after all. This year’s comeback album End Of Days was widely considered a return to form, channeling all the visceral bile and spit of their 80s incarnation – head over, soap up your hair and ready yourself for their unrelenting thrash punk blast.

The Damned

The Damned have been punk-rock constants since 1976, so by now their back catalogue is packed with enough quality and variety for there to be something here for everyone. On the back of a triumphant turn at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall (totally not punk) these will surely be the weekend’s hot ticket.

Ruts DC

John Peel-endorsed UK punks Ruts D.C.’s original tenure was relatively short-lived, but hugely influential to the music that followed in its wake. Reuniting for the first time in 27 years in 2007, they’ve been playing a mix of old and new material since, and their reggae-infused riffs will provide some variety in a hardcore-heavy bill.

Adolescents

Veterans of the LA hardcore scene (and including ex-members of Social Distortion and Agent Orange), Adolescents were responsible for producing one of the best hardcore records ever made when they released their self-titled debut album. They tend to play most of it live, too, so catch this set for a blow-by-blow account of how hardcore punk should be done.

Stiff Little Fingers

See if you can find yourself a spot in what will assuredly be a packed-out crowd for Irish legends Stiff Little Fingers. These punk rock stalwarts should feel well at home among seasoned heritage acts like Buzzcocks and The Damned, and have hits to rival them both, with fan favourite Alternative Ulster still guaranteed to get the barrier security working overtime.

Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine

It’s Jello Biafra – you shouldn’t really need any more of a reason to go and check this out. Since Dead Kennedys took aim at global corruption and bigotry in the 80s, Jello Biafra has been the go-to guy for no-holds-barred, anti-state sentiment. His newest musical outfit is no exception, and given the state of the US at the moment, we’d reckon on a fully updated, 2016 version here.

Dag Nasty

This isn’t just a festival set – it’s the sound of history being made, as this set of dates marks the first time Dag have ever toured in the UK. Back in their original formation, their recent setlists have included fan favourites including Can I Say and Circles, plus the odd Swiz and Minor Threat number – as well as a couple of new songs which you can just nod and smile through.