Punk Online



Angelic UpstartsWith just a few weeks to go until Rebellion 2018, we caught up with Angelic Upstarts guitarist Neil Newton for his thoughts on the iconic punk festival.


How many times have you played Rebellion?

I think, around six times in all (That includes Holidays in the Sun, Wasted, Rebellion) and enjoyed every one of em!


It’s by far the biggest punk festival, what makes it so special in your opinion?

The same as what makes any punk gig special…. Being back in the loving arms of your family! Yes, it has grown to be a major league, professional event but at its heart it is still very much a DIY event, one organised superbly by Daz, Jennie and the Rebellion team.


Rebellion is getting bigger every year & also punk has made significant strides back into the limelight in recent times. Why do you think this is?

Both the punk attitude and its music are durable, timeless, relevant and have huge appeal that spans the generations. This is because, I believe, there are no barriers to being accepted as a punk. It doesn’t matter how young, old, fat, thin, rich, poor, bald, hairy, abled, disabled, religious, non-religious, black, white, sky blue pink you are, you’ll be welcomed.


What’s your thoughts on the venue and location of Blackpool to hold the event?

Just like punk, what you see is what you get, warts and all and I love the tackiness of Blackpool, it’s all part of its charm. The venue itself is excellent, with lots of character in its design. Marvellous!


Do you watch any other bands before and after your set? Who do you think puts on the best show?

I watch fucking loads of them, it’s the perfect place to catch as many bands as you can. I especially like watching the introducing stage, as many of the known bands on the bill I have seen/heard before, so I prefer to watch bands I’ve never seen before. That said, I saw The Svetlanas last year and they were fucking brilliant, what a show.


Do you prefer festival or individual gigs?

We don’t mind either, we’re musicians who love to play music, be that in a room no bigger than a broom cupboard to an audience of one, or a big festival in front of thousands it really makes no difference as EVERY show is fucking important and it is an absolute PRIVILIGE to perform for people who have invested money and more importantly THEIR TIME, to come see a show, they are beautiful diamonds every one and deserve nothing but the very best performance from us.


Is Rebellion a ‘sell out’? Is it really ‘punk rock’ to have such a commercialised event in the calendar?

What a load of fucking shite. Success always breeds jealousy and you will always get bitter cunts who will criticise anyone or anything that achieves any measure of success. It should be remembered that anyone who achieves anything in their life, has worked their fucking arses off and gone through some very rough times, before they got their rewards for their endeavours.


What is it that keeps you going after all these years?

The sheer pleasure and enjoyment that comes from being involved in music and the beautiful diamonds who come to our shows, it’s that simple.


What can we expect from your set this year? Mixture of new and old etc.?

We’re looking to tear peoples’ faces off with a relentless set. No fucking about just bang, straight in with the boots on!


Do you have any stories from previous years at Rebellion?

Yes, loads and they usually involve the antics of guesthouse owners, who are a psychiatrist’s case study in themselves. One year we stayed at a B&B whose owner even managed to out Fawlty, Basil Fawlty himself. He welcomed us by threatening to have security come and “throw you all out, at your expense”! We replied – “Can you actually let us check in first before you do, mate”? The bloke was fucking deranged, I swear. Funny as fuck though!


How has it changed since the early days when it started out as Holidays in the Sun festival in 96?

It has certainly grown in both size and reputation, that is obvious but in essence it still remains the same, a festival for punks by punks. Splendid!



Note: many thanks to Neil for taking time out to answer our questions and to James Sherry from Division PR for organizing it all.