SHAM 69 are back!
Last time the SHAM 69 guys dropped into Brighton I cheekily asked they not leave it so long ’till they come back! That wish was answered – almost a year to the day, Mr Pursey led the band back out onto the stage of Concorde 2. Welcome back SHAM69!
Lights dimmed and out came the lean, gaunt frame of Jimmy Pursey. Sweat already running down his face – did I mention it was hot? He was wearing a hoody that covered most of his face – but no mistake, it was Jimmy Pursey. He grabbed the mic stand and stood motionless, his eyes staring into the crowd, surveying the crowd. He drew a breath “1-2-3-4” and we were off!
And not to be confused with other versions are:
Jimmy Pursey on vocals,
Dave Parsons: guitar,
Dave Treganna: bass
Robin Guy on drums.
“What Have We Got” kicked the gig off. “Ulster Boy” and “Tell Us The Truth” came at us hard and fast. The crowd were well up for it tonight. Some serious air pumping and singing from the packed out Concorde 2!
I was pretty sure the same three songs started up the last gig back in 2016, ahhh so what – its SHAM 69! We then had “RIP OFF”, and the mighty fine anthem “TELL US THE TRUTH” which Mr Pursey reminded us was even more valid today. George Davis is innocent came at us. The song still full of passion and heart, it was originally released in 1978. I will leave it to you to google it if you want to find out more. This track was swiftly followed by”Borstal Breakout” and then “That’s Life”, the title track from the sublime album of the same name. Pursey bumping across the stage holding out the mic to the crowd who, true to form, joined in with the chorus. when prompted.
Last time the guys played Brighton I couldn’t get sight of Robin on the drum kit. The pit was full of speakers, monitors and water bottles and my view was obscured by a huge light. Not this time! I Met Robin pre gig and he is the most charming and enigmatic man you could want to meet. A real delight to meet up and have a quick chat. I asked about the recent shoulder op and he showed me the scar! Robin – you really have to take it easy and take care of your self. When you see him in action and I do mean action! You will understand that concern. He is a world class drummer, he is a world class performer, and music needs personalities and talent – he has both. Tonight, after an invite to go stage side, I had hope to put that right – and I did! I think I went overboard and got more shots of Robin than anyone else – just in case! I couldn’t get out of the press pit to get onto the stage as a huge moshing pogo pit had opened up.
Mr Pursey growled “who’s got a dirty face then”… Dave Parsons kicked his guitar into overdrive and “Angels With Dirty Faces” was next up. There were plenty of Sham69 fans here tonight to raise a loud, sweaty, rousing singalong! Pursey and Treganna grinning from ear to ear as they witnessed the frenzied Brighton crowd.
More classic songs came our way including “Questions and Answers” – loved it! No time to breathe, no time to wipe away the sweat – here comes SHAM69 performing an incendiary, face melting cover of the Clash’s ‘White Riot’. I remember they tore into this song last time they played, and it was again a white hot blistering cover.
The singalong continued as the set closed with “If The Kids Are United”. Jimmy Pursey was jumping over the stage. Robin Guy and Dave Treganna providing a now deafening barrage of bass and drums as Dave pierced the sound with the famous guitar riff. This is one of those class anthems that closes the set, leaving the few hundred people desperately wanting more, and damn near brings the house down!
Watch Sham 69 belt out If The Kids Are United at Concorde 2
Sham 69 were tight as, pumped and running on adrenaline and the legend that is Jimmy Pursey gives a punk rock performance of snarling pure class. The encore came at us with “Hersham Boys” and of course the timeless classic “Hurry Up Harry”. Set over!
Wow! That was loud and over too quickly! I certainly hope I get a chance to see this line up again. They are great live and I have to say that as live bands go, I’ve rarely seen many do better. They are a great punk/rock and roll band and I finally got to see them and able to photo the set, including Robin!. Great songs, Tons of energy and a top front man supported by a class act.
Thank you Sham 69. You are a great rock’n’roll band, just don’t stop and come back to see us soon!!
Catch up on the Dirt Royal and Criminal Mind sets here
A huge thanks to Robin, Mick R, Dirt Royal, Criminal Mind and SHAM69.
Also a massive thanks to the Concorde 2 management, security staff. Concorde 2 is one of my favourite venues and the brilliant staff are just fabulous – thanks guys!
Please note all 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 – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.