Wednesday 3rd August 5pm, all aboard the Blackpool North bound Northern Fail stopper for my 19th (nineteenth!) trip to Rebellion Punk Festival (previously of Morecambe and known as 'Holidays in the Sun' and 'Wasted') but for many years now, based in Blackpool Winter Gardens.
This time though, it was a bit different. Like most BRAPA trips, I was travelling solo. Billy No Mates. The solid gang of six or seven us who used to go couldn't make it for a variety of reasons. Luckily, I'm used to keeping myself amused!
So I did something incredibly 'ticker-esque' and devised a challenge to try and watch a band beginning with each letter of the alphabet! Punk effin' rock! I'd done similar at Manchester where I'd achieved 16/26 letters, but with an extra day in Blackpool, could I get a clean slate?
Well no, cos there was no 'Q' or 'X' bands, unless I cheat and go and see 'Xploited'. Just like BRAPA, I had to strategise when there was say, only one band playing beginning with a certain letter.
No sooner had I arrived in the Tangerinest town on earth, walking down to the Travelodge next to the football ground, when I had to be diverted down a side street cos some punks had set their B&B on fire .....
I'd done the same in 2011 so couldn't say much (a faulty toaster at 3am meaning the whole building had to be evacuated, fire brigade called, people carrying crying babies outdoors in the middle of the night, gosh I felt guilty even though it wasn't strictly my fault!)
And then it came into view, the one thing in Blackpool which makes me more nostalgic for the town than anything else .... the camp parrot at Coral Island. The day they remove him, the day Blackpool has lost all trace of itself.
I checked into my hotel and then was straight back out to Tesco for a giant bag of food to sustain me for the next few days, trying to some extent to stick with my quite successful recent Keto diet. Jimmy Armfield didn't condone it, but he went along with it .....
|I'd be happy with this carpet in any pub|
The former Almost Acoustic stage is selling some keg Sharp's Atlantic which I see as a win so I grab a pint and go upstairs to the Spanish Hall where the current Almost Acoustic stage is (little do I know until the final day that a brewery called Farm Yard or something have a stall selling proper powerful crafty stuff - epic fail on my part cos the Sharp's keg soon runs out and I resort to stuff like Worthington Creamflow which is ugggghhhh).