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Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:00

Highlight of the year for the punk rockers out there

Arts
by Attila the Stockbroker

Greetings from Rebellion, the annual four-day festival of all things punk rock, held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

There are thousands of us here from all over the world, heartily welcomed by the local economy since Blackpool is one of the hardest-hit areas in the country right now.

And this year has the best line-up ever, I reckon. My favourites so far have been New Model Army (and singer Justin solo), The Adicts, The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Patrik Fitzgerald, Blaggers ITA, Zounds and the hilarious Hardskin.

But band of the festival so far must be Ruts DC, with their fantastic and uplifting punk/reggae crossover and this is some achievement when you consider that singer Malcolm Owen and guitarist Paul Fox sadly died long before their time. Bassist Segs and new singer Molara have taken their place on vocals, and along with my old mate Leigh on guitar they are still one hell of a band.

As I watched them I was thinking of when I saw them for the first time - playing off the back of a flatbed truck with their reggae mates Misty in Roots at the Rock Against Racism festival in Victoria Park, Hackney, in 1978. Conclusive proof that I am now officially an old punk rock git.

And I have to say that my gig on the acoustic stage last Friday was one of my most enjoyable ones this year. It says a lot for the diversity of this festival when I tell you that afterwards I chatted to people from eight different countries.

Amid all the punk Rebellion, I took time off for a bit of football rebellion too and saw history being made as 1874 Northwich, the new fan-owned club formed from the wreckage of my wife's home-town team Northwich Victoria, won their first ever league game at the evocatively named Daisy Hill FC near Bolton.

This slightly softened the blow of Brighton's third defeat in a row - not a good start this season.

And talking of my beloved Seagulls, I'll finish this week with the poem I wrote to welcome the annual Pride celebration to my home town.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the way to tackle homophobic chanting at football matches. Because of our large gay community, we Brighton fans are the recipients of 95 per cent of it - normally the same two chants, both very dumb - and this poem explains how we deal with it. I think we win this particular contest hands down!

A pride of Seagulls

You flood our friendly city's streets
In a flamboyant tide
We welcome you and celebrate
The glory that is Pride.

Yes, we can see you holding hands.
It's not that hard to tell!
Your boyfriends know that you are here -
Because they're here as well.

We're in the twenty-first century.
It's all quite normal. Yet
Some sing such chants at Brighton fans
And think we'll be upset...

Oh, Oscar Wilde! Such cutting wit!
No need to have them muzzled.
It's far more fun to fling 'em back
And see the morons puzzled.

Thus: 'You're too ugly to be gay'
We sing. They are perplexed.
And 'One nil to the nancy boys'
Just leaves them doubly vexed.

Yes, we are Brighton, from the South.
I'm sure that most will say
Proud of our city and our club -
And proud for you today.

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