Searching For The Young Rebel Set

“How can a small town big shot boy get enough to eat?” (I’m just Looking; Dexys Midnight Runners 1980)

A few weeks ago I trod the murky streets of Stockton (Teesside) to find out about the new noise in town. Well it’s not really new, these boys have been around for quite a while now. I remember seeing a ramshackle bunch called Billy the Kid exactly two years ago (Summer 2008). They were  making big waves on Scarborough beach as the tide slid slowly in. I made enquiries and eventually procured an 18 song demo. I loved it. I still love it. Songs of drinking, lost love, fights on the streets of Stockton and the Yorkshire bank!! Then nothing. I waited and waited. Then a bunch called Young Rebel Set emerged phoenix like from the flames of Billy The Kid. I caught them at Middlesbrough Music Live and at The Deer Shed Festival but I was looking forward to seeing them in their home town. And on Sunday 1st August I got my wish. As part of the Stockton International Fringe Festival they appeared on the main stage in a great tea time slot.


This piece is about that gig but also about the band themselves. Where they came from and where they are going. They have that same outlaw, gang mentality of early Dexys Midnight Runners where I assume they took their name from. (Dexys debut album in 1980 Searching for the Young Soul Rebels) Their us against the world stance and their hook laden songs also bear some gratitude to Kevin Rowlands boys. They hail from Stockton a town in the North of England on the north side of the Tees as opposed to Middlesbrough on the south side. A town that judging by the comments made by Matthew Chipchase (lead singer) the boys are not that fond of. In fact he says the day of the Stockton Festival is the only day of the year that he actually likes Stockton. This may all be tongue in cheek or they may be follow on from a long list of bands who do their best to escape the struggles of their homes. A few of their tunes also cast a dark shadow about their home town; “The council and their pirates”. It doesn’t take much to work out what thats about. Their tales of drunken nights out and the violence that this sometimes brings paints a picture of the town they hail from. It also paints a picture of a great number of northern towns! Their clothes and attitude probably sets them out as outsiders in their own town but this is partly their own choice. Tracksuits and burberry hats would probably see them get into a lot less scrapes!

They certainly keep themselves busy with their touring schedule. They seem to be playing somewhere almost every night. This attitude to playing live serves them well as they are building up a solid following and a lot of it is down to their tight live performances. It also gets them out of Stockton on a regular basis! Like The Clash or The Pogues before them they are much better suited to the live arena than to vinyl. (Funnily enough their next release is actually going to be a mini album on vinyl available at their up coming gigs; ).



Back to that sunny Sunday in Stockton. Well, their set was full of potential hits. Songs that any crowd could sing-a-long to at any of the big festivals. Soon I imagine we will be singing, dancing and whooping along to “Down the Line”, “If I was”, “Walk on” and “Won’t get up again”. The band, and especially Matthew with his friendly jokey banter, hold the crowds attention for the whole of their set. Even when they throw a few new tunes into the mix of old favourites. I am sure it wont be long before they are gracing bigger stages. They have a full tour coming up soon (see dates below) and we here at The Northern Line are aiming to catch them in Stockton, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Where they will be joined by our other favourites; Cattle & Cane. I suggest you get to one of these gigs and see if  they are really worth searching for. I suggest that they are but I will leave you to your own conclusions….

18 Aug 2010                 Bar 1, (Acoustic Show), Sunderland

20 Aug 2010                 Castle Calling w/ The Futureheads

03 Sept 2010                Ku Bar, Stockton-on-Tees

30 Sept 2010                Oporto, Leeds (Free show)

01 Oct 2010                  Plugged Inn, Sunderland  

02 Oct 2010                  Cluny 2, Newcastle  

04 Oct 2010                  Forum, Sheffield (Free show)

06 Oct 2010                  Mojo, Liverpool  

08 Oct 2010                  The Box, Crewe   

09 Oct 2010                  Empire, Middlesbrough 

14 Oct 2010                  Bodega, Nottingham

15 Oct 2010                  Fibbers, York 

16 Oct 2010                  FAC251, Manchester

20 Oct 2010                  Borderline, London

21 Oct 2010                  Moles, Bath

22 Oct 2010                  SWN Festival – Dempseys, Cardiff

23 Oct 2010                  Cooler, Bristol

28 Oct 2010                  Electric Circus, Edinburgh

29 Oct 2010                  Hootanannys, Inverness (Free show)

30 Oct 2010                  King Tuts, Glasgow



By peter on August 16, 2010

Check out all the pics

No Comments » RSS Comment Feed

No comments yet.

Leave a comment