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John Robb: Rebellion Festival Preview
The Quietus , July 26th, 2012 14:58

Brother John extols the virtues of Blackpool bash

The Rebellion Festival, which takes place between August 2nd and 5th, has a really strong line-up this year, with the best of the punk rock underground joined by big names like the resurgent Public Image Ltd, Rancid and The Buzzcocks. 150 bands will play at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, and there'll also be an art exhibition along with live onstage interviews and spoken word hosted by our friend and Louder Than War founder John Robb. We dropped John a line to find out more. So, John, what does Rebellion Festival mean to you, and why do you think it's important?

John Robb: The best modern festivals represent the diversity of modern music, then there are the niche festivals. The big sprawling dino-festivals only work if they're Glastonbury. That's why I love Rebellion. It has a real sense of what it is about. It's oddly similar to ATP in that it deals with a specific type of music that has many subdivisions. Where ATP is based in post punk onwards, Rebellion is based in punk onwards with aspects of post punk. Rebellion also has a younger audience, in that punk has gone through many waves since it's initial explosion. The youthful new recruits are very well represented as well as the old timers. This year's bill is the best yet, really strong and underlines the festival's importance and its status as the biggest punk festival in the world.

What will you be doing this year?

JR: I will be playing with Goldblade and I will also be interviewing many people from the punk scene including Gaye Advert and Viv Albertine. I will also be hanging around and speaking to 5000 people!

What's your best Rebellion memory?

JR: It's always great to playing the legendary Empress Ballroom and pack it out - such a great atmosphere, it was great to see Killing Joke in there a couple of years ago. The Empress Ballroom is the greatest venue in the UK, and what a history from George Formby doing a residency in there to the Rolling Stones 1964 riot to the Stone Roses classic 1989 gig and now loads of punk bands... and it's always great to go back to the old town!

What are you most looking forward to?

JR: Rancid will be legendary - they are amazing songwriters - every song is brilliant and PiL will be interesting and Bow Wow Wow will be really good especially as original drummer Dave Barbarrosa is playing with them at the gig and he is one of the greatest drummers...

Find out more at the Rebellion Festival website

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