Your ultimate guide to Rebellion Festival 2017, from the bands who will be there

a collage of rebellion artists

If you listen very carefully you can hear it – the sound of Elnett Super Hold being sprayed liberally into mohawks, tartan trousers being zipped and dogs being harnessed by ropes – because, you guessed it, Rebellion Festival is upon us once again!

The festival – now in its 21st year and widely regarded as the Shangri La for thousands of punks across the land – is due to crank into gear at the start of August. With an ever-expanding line-up stuffed to the brim with must-see punk bands young and old, navigating the festival can seem like a daunting task – but that’s where we come in. We’ve assembled a crack team of expert guides to talk you through the festival’s most essential viewing.

So, grab a tinny of cider and make yourselves comfortable, as here we hand over to members of Ruts DC, The Adverts, The Professionals, Evil Blizzard, The Vapors, Cock Sparrer and Louise Distras to take you through your ultimate Rebellion guide.

Alternative TV

Stoko (Evil Blizzard): “Everyone knows Mark Perry as the bloke who wrote Sniffin’ Glue fanzine, but he was also part of this brilliant band. Two great albums and a series of amazing singles, I used to sneak into my elder brother’s room to borrow their singles when he went out. He used to batter me, but it was worth it!”

John ‘Segs’ Jennings (Ruts DC):ATV is a big tune for Ruffy and I, we loved it. Of course, Mark Perry had printed up the Sniffin’ Glue fanzine and Ruffy had a copy in his record shop – exciting times. Then I did my first ever gig supporting ATV and Wayne (pre Jayne) County.”

Angelic Upstarts

Chris McCormack (The Professionals): “Angelic Upstarts were from my home town, South Shields, so a big inspiration for me growing up. Mond Cowie was a great guitarist and became good friends with my mum after I left for London. She was a terrible influence on him however!”

Anti-Nowhere League

Chris McCormack: “My brother Danny got me into Anti-Nowhere League. They did some really cool and interesting things after all the early punk stuff, but Streets Of London is the classic for me. They still seem to upset a lot of people after 40 years, which is a great achievement. I had them on at Camden Rocks this year and we had bands pull out as they refused to play on the same bill as them!”

Attila The Stockbroker

TV Smith (The Adverts): “Rebellion’s not just about punk bands. Attila’s a great example of how diverse it can be; he can have you howling with laughter with his always-relevant satirical poems and songs, or reduced to tears with some of his highly personal poetry, such as Never Too Late, which is about healing his dysfunctional relationship with his stepdad.”

Booze & Glory

Daryl Smith (Cock Sparrer): “A band that have a number of songs that I wish I’d written. Good melodies and great crowd sing-a-longs. The scene is really healthy with newer bands coming through, [and] I could have chosen anything by Arch Rivals, Angry Agenda, Crown Court, Grade 2 or more to go in this slot, but Booze & Glory just pip them to the post.”

The Crack

Daryl Smith: “A really underrated band that write great tunes, and another band with a guy called Steve Jones in them! This [Steve] has got one of the best voices on the scene – sounds like Noddy Holder after an all-day session! [They have] so many songs to choose from, but My World always gets the crowd going.”

Department S

Steve Smith (The Vapors): “These guys played with us at Dingwalls last year. Top blokes, top band.”

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Louise Distras: “Making their name with full-bodied, hard-hitting punk rock reinforced with a hard rock undercurrent, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes formed in 2015 by Carter, former lead singer with the successful UK punk band Gallows.”

Chris McCormack: “I’ve known Frank a while now, [since] early Gallows days, and I love the way he’s progressed as an artist. [New single] Lullaby is like nothing he’s done before. He’s not afraid to move forward. He hid that great melodic voice for years! I genuinely think he’s starting to come into his own with [second album] Modern Ruin.”

Johnny Moped

Steve Smith: “I saw these guys supporting The Damned at their first anniversary show at The Marquee in 1977. It was supposed to run for five nights but curtailed after one due to audience riot.”


Louise Distras: “Fast and rough around the edges, this London trio celebrate nu-punk in its scrappiest form.”


John ‘Segs’ Jennings:Where Were You? is another big tune – I still play it out now when I DJ. I remember playing with them in Chapeltown, which was a pretty rough part of Leeds back in 1978. Dick Taylor used to play with them. We were always impressed as he used to be in the Pretty Things (and the original Stones!).”

The Members

Steve Smith: “Blistering show at The 100 Club earlier this year!”

The Membranes

TV Smith: “I was completely blown away when I saw The Membranes perform on stage with a 20-piece choir at the Strummercamp festival recently. It’s a completely entrancing genre-busting sonic assault. They’re doing it again on Sunday at Rebellion and it’s not to be missed.”

Misty In Roots

John ‘Segs’ Jennings: “I’m so pleased that Misty are playing Rebellion this year. Looking forward to catching up as we’re on just before them on the Casbah stage. Both bands have lived a lot of life since we did so many gigs together and they released our first single, In A Rut, on their own People Unite label. It is still our message to this day.”

Stoko: “As a young punk, I was always listening to dub through The Clash, The Ruts, etc, and so Misty and Steel Pulse were as much part of the punk scene as any ‘rock’ band. Poor & Needy has as much a punk sentiment as anything The Clash ever wrote. Dub has always been a big part of Evil Blizzard, though you may not realise it!”


John ‘Segs’ Jennings: “[1981 single] I Am The Bishop was produced by Ruts guitarist Paul Fox (RIP). What a great record. Fond memories of very amusing days. I still like hearing this live, too.”

Paranoid Visions

TV Smith: “This fantastic Dublin band are always worth watching. Singer Dekka is what you wish Johnny Rotten had become. I made a guest appearance on their single Outsider Artist and would probably be up there singing it with them at Rebellion on Friday night if I didn’t have an early morning flight from London next day so I can go and play the Wacken festival in Germany.”

Peter & The Test Tube Babies

Daryl Smith: “I’ve got other favourite Test Tubes songs, but the guitar intro/riff on The Jinx is so iconic. Del has a unique sound and you know it’s him as soon as he hits the strings. Die Toten Hosen have just covered The Jinx on their Speaking English album and it’s currently at number 1 in Germany, so they must know a thing or two!”

The Professionals

Daryl Smith: “After the demise of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook started The Professionals. Without the baggage of safety pins and cartoon character punks, for me this was the real deal. They just sound like a working class punk rock band playing anthemic songs. I could have chosen from a whole host of underrated classics – Just Another Dream, 1-2-3, Join The Professionals, The Magnificent – but I love Mods, Skins, Punks and have been nagging the band to play it as it’s not currently in the set! Great thing is, the band aren’t just relying on back catalogue, and with a new frontman in the excellent Tom Spencer, they’ve just recorded a new album. Although Steve isn’t doing the live shows, he is playing on the album. Can’t wait to hear it.”

Ruts DC

Stoko: “I learnt to play by playing along with The Crack as a kid. Ruts DC have managed to survive two members dying and still produce great new music, but their set of greatest hits is pretty much unmissable. West One is such a sad song – released just after singer Malcolm died, the lyrics became very poignant.”

Chris McCormack: “Such a great band. I covered Something That I Said in 3 Colours Red when I was starting out. They were smarter than most bands around at that time, [and] they weren’t ashamed to take influences from all over the place unlike a lot of the bands that came after the initial wave of punk.”

Sham 69

Chris McCormack:Angels With Dirty Faces is the classic track from the That’s Life album which I played on repeat as a kid, and it still sounds good today. Jimmy Pursey had a great energy on that album.”

The Shrives

Louise Distras: “The Shrives are a four-piece rock’n’roll band from Lincolnshire who have been kicking up a fuss with their Billie Joe Armstrong-produced debut, Back In The Morrow. They sound like The Clash-meets-Johnny Cash-meets-Violent Femmes and they are brilliant. Viva La Shrivalution!”


Stoko: “My first experience of The Skids was them performing Masquerade on Top Of The Pops. My Granny put down her knitting and watched open-mouthed for the whole song, before declaring them ‘utter rubbish’. That was good enough for me. Can they cut it without Stuart Adamson? We shall see…”

TV Smith: “One of the best comeback bands, I was very impressed when I played support for them in Bristol recently. They have a fistful of great tunes, the band play them brilliantly, and singer Richard Jobson still has a commanding stage presence and vocal delivery. And there’s a new album on the way!”

Steve Smith: “We played with them recently at The Roundhouse. Richard Jobson’s a great frontman, and [an] all-round nice guy.”


John ‘Segs’ Jennings: “For us, it’s never just about the past, but remove nostalgia and I become a very harsh critic. Slaves cut it though, and we need the youth. I will try to see their show if I can. It’s worth mentioning Criminal Minds too. Go see them both.”


Daryl Smith: “One of the only bands at Rebellion that still get me in the pit like an excited teenager again!”

Super Fast Girlie Show

Stoko: “One to watch, this lot! They’re one of the best live bands about at the moment. They describe themselves as ‘Big Black playing Motorhead songs’. They’re not lying.”

TV Smith (playing The Adverts)

Louise Distras: “The original punk rock troubador! Don’t miss your chance to see The Adverts’ frontman live in action.”

UK Subs

Louise Distras: “2017 will be the UK Subs’ 40th anniversary, as they remain one of the most respected and revered bands on the punk scene. Emerging as a high-speed R&B band, the Subs formed in 1977, with ever-present vocalist Charlie Harper, now 72 years young, rightly venerated as the godfather of UK punk. 2010 marked the fifth decade in which the band had continually graced stages worldwide, as 2016 saw them release their brilliant, critically-acclaimed final album Ziezo; completing their quest to release each album alphabetically. Widely-recognised as one of the most consistent and successful touring punk bands ever, they maintain the true spirit of punk rock. With a powerful line-up in place (Steve Straughan - guitar / Alvin Gibbs - bass / Jamie Oliver - drums), they continue to thrill, entertain and enthuse wherever they play.”

TV Smith: “What would Rebellion be without the UK Subs and their frontman Charlie Harper, one of the most experienced and nicest men in punk rock? If you’re not down the front singing along to Warhead, you’ve not understood what the festival is all about…”

The Vibrators

Steve Smith: “I did front of house sound for these guys back in the 80s when I was house engineer at the Fulham Greyhound. They were great!”

Rebellion Festival is taking place between 3-6 August in Blackpool. Weekend and day tickets are available.

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