REBELS “SUICIDE / LEADER OF THE REBELLION” 7″
(SUNDERLAND, U.K.- RIGID, 1978)
The credits on the label are for Gary “Gaz” Stoker (guitarist)
and Tom Von Spencer (bass player). Only 250 copies (all sleeveless)
were pressed of this rarity and the price on eBay spiked at 537 GBP
(nearly $900 US!) back in August of 2010- ouch!
Both sides of this 7″ have a nice, tough-guy, thug punk-ish vibe, and one of the highlights for me is the strong, thick drumming and bass playing. I first heard “Leaders of the Rebellion” 15 years ago when it was on the GREAT Bloodstains Across The UK 2 comp LP. Of course I was intrigued about hearing the flipside and, two years later, in 1999 the ever-reliable P.R. taped it for me during one of our big cassette tape exchanges. This was before ripping tracks onto the computer, cleaning up the sound and then burning them onto CD-R’s was around so the sound quality is not the best on “Suicide”, ya hear. But Mr. Wild Devil Rules had this 7″ on his want list recently so here you go.
The 15-song Misspent Youth reissue LP came out in 1995 on the Knock Out label and contains what appears to be all of the Rebels’ old demos, but does NOT contain the Suicide 7″ for some frustrating reason. In putting this post together, I remembered that I had a vinyl copy of this reissue that I bought about 15 years ago (probably after I bought that aforementioned Bloodstains comp!). I found it packed away in the basement and dusted if off- inside of the nice-looking sleeve I found an insert which contains a lot of info about the band so here goes:
The Rebels were formed in 1977, and the average age of the founding band members was only 15. They were the first punk band from Sunderland (which is the Northeastern region of the UK and is more than 250 miles away from London).
This was the initial line up of The Rebels:
Tony Van Frater = vocals (he later went on to Red Alert)
Gary “Gaz” Stoker = guitar (he later went on to Red Alert and Red London in which he played bass instead)
Tom Von Spencer = bass
Keith “Sticks” Warrington = drums (he later played in the Angelic Upstarts)
Deano Scranton replaced Tony on vocals and Billy Kish (ex-Ultimate) replaced Sticks on drums in the Summer of 1978. During that summer they went into Impulse Studios in Wallsend and recorded their rare-as-shit single, which was apparently played on Radio 1 by John Peel.
There were some more line-up changes at the end of 1978 and the band recorded several tracks at Metro Radio Studios in Gateshead. A few songs from this session which were apparently played on Metro Radio in the Summer of 1979.
Near the end of 1979 they recorded another demo at Guardian Studios in Durham which was released in 1994 as the 4-song “Digging Up The Dom” 7″EP on the Knock Out/Nightmare labels. All 4 songs from that EP are also on the Misspent Youth LP.
Apparently Jimmy Pursey from Sham 69 was interested in The Rebels, but they split up in early 1980 when “the big record deal” never happened.