PREVIEW: The Rebel @ The Castle Hotel | 30.11.18

WORDS BY OLLIE PLUMB

Ben Wallers AKA The Rebel is a decidedly prolific songwriter, set to take on The Castle Hotel in November. Initially finding cult fame as the frontman of art punk outfit The Country Teasers – a band Fat White Family cite as key inspiration – he’s additionally been involved with at least eight different musical projects. Under his solo moniker The Rebel, Wallers has released an estimated thirty records since the early 90’s.

Musically it is impossible to pigeonhole The Rebel into one genre. While some tracks resemble the desecrated country music of The Country Teasers, most branch out to incorporate post punk, electronic and even pop elements. It seems that with The Rebel, that Wallers is able to diversify and experiment. Interestingly however, much of The Rebel’s discography is inaccessible to fans. Only three albums appear on Spotify, with a couple more available via iTunes. A deep dive of YouTube uncovers a few additional tracks, demos and live performances.  Physical copies of The Rebel’s releases are also hard to come by – mainly owing to them being published by independent labels and Wallers habit of self-releasing music. A tempting feat for many artists that feature on many a lineup supplied by the notably independent Interior gig promoters.

It seems apt that an air of mystery surrounds much of The Rebel’s discography, for Wallers himself is seemingly an enigmatic and contradictory character. His music is divisive, for some Wallers is inherently provocative and offensive, while for others he demonstrates a type of dark satire and irony. This is because in his songs, Wallers will often assume the role of characters with abhorrent beliefs, for example misogynists and racists and ultimately sing from their perspective. In doing this he attempts to satirise hatful belief systems. Though thought provoking, it can be a problematic approach, and is certainly a controversial one.

Sonically varied and lyrically provocative, Ben Wallers brings his solo act ‘The Rebel’ to The Castle Hotel on Friday 30th November. MCR Live can exclusively announce that support on the night will come from Manchester’s own Swedish Magazine. Find your tickets HERE.

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