Rebellion London - The Damned, Penetration, 999, UK Subs + (A review in pictures) - Forum London

Rebellion Festivals promote Punk music around the World.
Their events last up to three days and include line ups featuring the best Punk and New Wave bands from the late 70's and early 80's and the cream of the crop of new talent too.
It may come as a suprise to some that Punk is still a going concern. However it's still alive and kicking, with the majority of bands on offer plugging current albums or singles, all featuring new material.
London's Forum was the venue for Rebellion's annual one day Christmas event.
The show kicked off around mid day but I couldn't get there till two, just in time for The Shapes.
After a 28 year absence the band have reformed for a handful of shows.
Coming from the funnier side of Punk, the Leamington based band were a real Peel favorite.
I remember as a youth being poised over the pause button recording one of their sessions and later purchasing their EP featuring the all time classic "Wots for lunch Mum? (not beans again!).
The band were entertaining live, with their rendition of "Batman in the laundrette" a stand out.
I never thought I'd ever hear "Beans" live, with it's legendary final cry of "Give us something decent Mum!".
It wasn't exactly a life changing moment but it was extremely enjoyable!!

Adverts frontman TV Smith was next up with a solo set.
Bashing out tunes on his acoustic guitar he managed to deliver Adverts tracks like "Gary Gilmore's eyes", "Bored teenagers" and "No time to be twenty one" with the same energy the band had, slipping in a moan about Christmas in the shape of single "Christmas bloody Christmas" and rounding the set up nicely with the Adverts debut release "One chord wonders".

Radio Stars were another recently reformed act on the bill.
Fronted by Andy Ellison, the band released two albums in the late 70's, grabbing a top 40 single with "Nervous wreck".
I've never classed them as Punk myself, just a "good time" rock band.
Having never seen them live before I was suprised how entertaining their set was as Ellison had tons of onstage energy, falling to his knees several times, so it was lucky he was wearing knee pads as he could have done himself a mischief!
Ellisons onstage antics didn't just consist of knee drops as he also managed to drape himself over a bemused security lads shoulders, making him go for a bit of a walkabout and managed to clamber his way to the balcony for the band's final song too!
I had fun watching their set, especially as I wasn't expecting much from them in the first place!!

Things took a complete turn for the worse the moment The Yobs took to the stage.
The Yobs are a side project from Pop Punkers The Boys, offering "comedy" Punk piss takes of Christmas songs including their version of "Oh come all you faithful" - "I'll cum on your face girl".
Seriously, that's as good as it got!
Their set was utter drivel and I breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
Even the appearance of Boys classic "First time" didn't save the day as it was way too little far too late.

I perked up immensely when 999 appeared.
With a couple of stunning singles under their belt in the form of "Nasty nasty" and "Emergency" I was looking forward to their performance and they didn't disappoint. I even warmed to the tracks from current album "Death in Soho" so I may try and catch them playing a headliner in 2009.

By the time 999 took to the stage the venue was heaving, with the majority of the crowd looking as if they had turned up for 999 and the following band on the bill, Punk veterans the UK Subs.
Subs front man Charlie Harper formed the band in late 1976 and he's been gigging round the World and releasing albums ever since!
From where I was standing the sound was a bit muddy but I recognised numerous Subs singles, including the sensational "Stranglehold" and tracks from debut album "Another kind of blues".
The band also performed material that was far newer, probably from recent album "666 yeah" but I can't say I'm an expert where Charlie and the boys are concerned!
The audience loved the set anyway, with numerous aged Punkers going completely mental.
The Forum crowd seemed to thin out a bit after the Subs finished. Although The Damned were headlining they weren't taking to the stage till around 10.45 pm, potentially putting people off staying as it's sometimes a struggle getting home in London after midnight if you don't fancy night buses.
It may all have been about Anarchy and Chaos down the Forum but I'm sure a few crowd members had to make sure the babysitter got home at a decent hour!

Penetration were the band on the bill I was looking forward to most.
I had caught Pauline and the boys when they first reformed, playing the Underworld in London a few years back but hadn't had an opportunity to witness them live again.
The band's album "Moving targets" still gets regularly aired in the Thomson household, especially after changing the unplayable luminous 12" for a shiny CD!
Penetration suffered from a hideous sound mix for their first couple of songs, with opening track "Shout above the noise" extremely appropriate.Eventually things settled down, with the band sounding great.
Alongside stunning renditions of Penetration classics like "Life's a gamble", "Lovers of outrage" and their cover of Patti Smith's "Free money" the Forum faithful had the opportunity to sample new material, including two tracks from their current single "Our World" and "Sea song".
Normally when I attend a gig in a decent sized venue as a photographer we're booted out the photo pit after three songs. There were no such restrictions at the Revolution show so I could cover as much of each set as I needed.
I tended to leave the pit after three or four songs anyway as the light wasn't great for pictures but decided to stay for the duration of Penetration's set as I was enjoying it so much.
I still didn't get any amazing shots but I had fun trying!

I was beginning to get tired by the time Johnny Moped took to the stage.
I had been at the venue for over seven hours and had zero interest in listening to Mr Moped grunting his way through tracks from his album.
I watched Johnny supporting Buzzcocks at Indigo in London a couple of years back and thought he was decent enough at the time but just couldn't be arsed with his Forum set!
He certainly deserved his place on the bill though, with numerous people shouting along and dancing like madmen down the front throughout his performance.

I was lucky enough to attend The Damned's recent London show at Islington Academy showcasing their current album "So, who's paranoid? ".
It was a great gig so I knew what to expect from their Forum performance, especially as I sneaked a peak at the band's set list, noticing it was fairly similar to the previous gig.
The Damned seem to be in a good place at the moment. With their current album receiving acclaim in numerous reviews and live shows gaining praise from broadsheets they truly deserve to have their profile raised a lot higher in 2009.
As expected, the audience erupted when the band took to the stage, with numerous abuse thrown at Captain Sensible, who kicked off proceedings.
As soon as the first note was struck pints off beer were sent skywards, crashing down on the stage and the numerous photographers and security in the pit.
The music came to an abrupt halt while the stage was cleaned up slightly, the band crashing into "Neat neat neat" shortly after.
The band were on excellent form but I was wary of the time as I had to catch a train and had an early start the next morning.
After sampling a few new songs and first album classic "Fan club" I decided to call it all day, picking one of my Damned faves "Under the floor again" as my exit music.
I know I'll see the band live again soon, hopefully in 2009, so I wasn't that distressed that I was going to miss the majority of a decent set.
Although I had a great day out I was glad to be heading home with the sound of The Damned ringing in my ears, with thoughts of hot food and clothes that didn't stink of beer firmly on my mind.
Punk may not be have been dead but I was certainly feeling a bit worse for wear at the end of the evening!!

Last updated: 18/04/2018 21:22:29

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