The last time Sham 69 visited Brighton it was on the hottest day of the year. This year not so warm outside, but inside the generated steam heat was running down the walls. SHAM69 were back in town!
The band took to the stage, promptly followed by Jimmy Pursey hot on their heels. The guys took up the positions as Jimmy grabbed the mic stand, his eyes staring into the crowd, surveying the crowd. He drew a breath “1-2-3-4” and we were off!
The classic What Have We Got once again got the set under way. The crowd surged forward to be met with a blast of pure punk rock turned up to 12!
Please note – There is only one SHAM 69:
Jimmy Pursey on vocals,
Dave Parsons: guitar,
Dave Treganna: bass
Robin Guy on drums.
Tear Gas Eyes – a newer addition to the set was up next. A pumping track with a powerful chorus and guitar riff from original member Dave Parsons.
I Dont Wanna and Ulster Boy – up next. The SHAM 69 machine was roaring at us at full tilt. Following nearly forty years of performing, the original three members in the form of Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons and Dave Tregunna are doing it right. You cant get it much bigger, louder and balls to the wall than SHAM69.
When these guys are in full flight they are magnificent to watch. I never saw them play back in the day, but have made up for it since. I would go see these guys play again and again. Rip Off, Bastille Cake and the awesome George Davis Is Innocent flew at us. The sound mix in Concorde 2 was spot on and the band were truly buzzing tonight.
Robin Guy is a star drummer, make no mistake. I love this guy as he is one of the top drummers out there. He plays – but he puts on a show and then some. He just doesn’t stop – he adds power and fills to each track and works in perfect punk unison with Dave T and Dave P. (He also plays with another Scene Sussex favourite outfit – The Fiascos). Music needs personalities and talent – he has both in bucket loads and he is part of SHAM 69 as do the entire band, as they bring their larger than life personalities to each set they play. The mix of these three musicians, and Pursey up front, go together to make SHAM 69 one of the best live bands you could wish to see on the circuit.
Borstal Breakout and Thats Life were lobbed up at us next along with a barrage of water from Jimmy Pursey as he sprayed the front rows with bottles of water. Absolutely hilarious watching the photographers dive for their cloths to wipe away the water off lenses and equipment- me included! Yeah, he got me this year!
No Entry was up next, which I think was the B side on the vinyl release of Hurry Up Harry. And, again, a fine slice of punk delivered with such power and feeling. A song from back in the day documenting the early days problems faced by SHAM 69, and one of my favourite SHAM 69 songs. I would love to hear Sunday Morning Nightmare live! A lovely guitar fill from Dave breaks out for No Entry as the American anthem rocks out. Nicely done. Appropriate pauses from Jimmy allowing the crowd to join in.
White Riot and If The Kids Are United heralded the end of the set.
Throughout the set, you could feel it, everyone was waiting for what was about to be served up. Jimmy gave a shout out to his hometown, and with a ear shattering guitar intro and a “yeeeah” next came Hersham Boys. Ignition! injecting the now bouncing crowd with the addictive chorus of ‘laced up boots and corduroys…..they call us the cockney cowboys.’ This is always a set highlight, and that is without detracting from the full on, tight and totally on point performance so far.
Sham closed with Hurry Up Harry for the lively Brighton crowd. They closed proceedings on an absolute high. The band had worked their tails off tonight! The crowd also have to be applauded – they were in fine voice. Great job SHAM 69!
Just a brief glimpse into the SHAM69 gig. Lets all enjoy!
And the original trio of Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons and Dave Tregunna still possess as much spirit as they did in the 70’s and early 80’s. Robin Guy on drums adds a new element and dimension and I hope that this legendary outfit may have more in the tank and that they are not done just yet. Come back soon!
Supporting SHAM 69 were the magnificent Angelic Upstarts.
Angelic Upstarts are an English punk rock band formed in South Shields in 1977. Allmusic calls them “one of the period’s most politically charged and thought-provoking groups”. The band espoused a working class philosophy.
The band released eight studio albums in their first decade. After a brief split they reformed in 1988, and a number of times subsequently, with new albums appearing in 1992, 2002, 2011, and 2016. More than two decades after its release, their debut single, “The Murder Of Liddle Towers”, was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time.
They last played Brighton with Sham 69 a couple of years ago. They have lost none of their power or performance prowess since then. They blasted Concorde 2 with songs from their catelogue for an hour. And interspersed with some fine banter and stories.
The Upstarts hit us at full tilt. A mini-mosh pit started created within seconds of the band starting up and punks young and old threw themselves around for the set. This ladies and gentlemen is how a punk rock show goes! Music, heat, alcohol and fans slamming into each other at a rate of knots. Lots of bruises to show off in the morning no doubt. Mensi center stage fronted a great line up tonight and performed a set of songs and singles that today sound fresh and most certainly stand the test of time as punk classics.
Last time the guys played Mensi had said he was thinking of stopping the live shows – not yet by the look of it or indeed any time soon!Teenage Warning and I’m An Upstart both served to stir up the crowd and invite some shouts and participation from the bubbling bodies in front of me. It was crazy for a while!
Well played Angelic Upstarts! Thanks guys and to NEWTS.
What a night!
Please note all original images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2018.
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