‘Something with fire, vitality’

Garry Bushell

Garry Bushell

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“It was going to be us, versus Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats, but he bottled it,” Garry Bushell said of his band’s slot at this year’s Rebellion Festival in Blackpool.

The annual punk celebration continues at the Winter Gardens today, and former The Sun columnist and pop culture commentator Bushell is a big fan of the event.

We’re up against Buzzcocks now, which is a shame as I’d have been watching them

Garry Bushell

More than 9,000 people will attend events this weekend with Buzzcocks and The Damned headlining almost 300 acts across the four-days.

As well as his own band’s midnight music slot, Bushell hosts various talks on the literary stage and expects to catch up on bands new and old.

“We’re up against Buzzcocks now, which is a shame as I’d have been watching them,” he said.

“I’ll be looking out for the Bar Stool Preachers who are a new band I really like. Rebellion’s always had the new bands stage, it’s like a break-through springboard for them.

“And it’s not just pure punk, there are many different styles, ska and two tone. I’m looking forward to seeing Roy Ellis, from Symarip, play and to speaking to him on stage too.”

Also on his wish list are The Sweet, Less Than Jake, and Argy Bargy – who he describes as ‘if The Jam had been punkier’.

Bushell hails the atmosphere of the 19-year-old festival, having ‘never seen any problems’ in all the years he’s attended.

“One of the happiest audiences I’ve seen, ever, in my life was last year – maybe the year before – 2,000 people going barmy to Chas and Dave.

“You could have grilled toast on the warmth of that crowd.”

Garry hails the festival as a chance for anyone who enjoys live music to see acts on stage, as a counter to The X Factor culture of chart pop.

“I find X Factor and the old Simon Cowell thing of what he’s done to pop music a bit obscene,” he said.

“It’s nice to see something with fire and vitality. His vision of music is so narrow.”

Day tickets £65.For further details/gig times see www.rebellionfestivals.com

Anna Cryer