SHAM 69 – Brighton Concorde 2 12 November 2021, with guests Criminal Mind.
The last time Sham 69 visited Brighton was back in October 2018. Tonight, after several re-bookings due to the pandemic and restrictions, the Hersham boys were back in town. SHAM69 were back in town!
The band took to the stage, promptly followed by Jimmy Pursey hot on their heels. Bending over facing the drum kit as the guys took up the positions. Jimmy whirled around, 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!
Sham 69 are an English punk rock band that formed in Hersham in Surrey in 1975. They were one of the most successful punk bands in the United Kingdom, achieving five top 20 singles, including “If the Kids Are United” and “Hurry Up, Harry”. The group’s popularity saw them perform on the BBC’s Top of the Pops, and they appeared in the rockumentary film, D.O.A.. The original unit broke up in 1979, with frontman Jimmy Pursey moving on to pursue a solo career.
Please note – There is only one SHAM 69:
Jimmy Pursey on vocals,
Dave Parsons: guitar,
Dave Treganna: bass
Robin Guy on drums, who was unable to play for this set – so Spike stepped in.
The all out rocker, the classic What Have We Got got the set well under way. The pretty full audience at Concorde 2 surged forward to be met with a blast of pure punk rock turned up to 12! Tear Gas Eyes – a more recent 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 – both up next. The SHAM 69 machine had fired up and was now 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 or more balls to the wall than SHAM69. Awesome firepower!
I admit to not listening to Sham 69 for a while. I dug out a greatest hits CD and also Thats Life to prepare for this. It was marvellous. What I remembered and loved from the hey days was, well, a stripped back and powerful primitive rock. What I had forgotten on some of those tracks was the skilful R ‘n’ B linked with that raucous rock ‘n’ roll sound that drove the Sham 69 anthems.
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 and it was loud! Perfect. The mix of these three original musicians, with Pursey up front, go together to make SHAM 69 one of the best live bands you could wish to see on the circuit. Tonight Spike did a great job filling in for Robin Guy ( Sending our love to you Mr G).
Borstal Breakout and Thats Life were lobbed up and served at us, along with a barrage of water from Jimmy Pursey as he sprayed the front rows with a bottle of water. Absolutely hilarious watching the photographers dive for their cloths to wipe away the water off lenses and equipment- me included! He almost got me again this year! Pursey did it again later and made sure I had a dowsing! Oh yes, Jimmy Pursey is a magnetic frontman and lethal with a full bottle of water.
The band were a bit late on stage and so changes to the set-list were adjusted, No Entry was a victim of the reshuffle, the B side on the vinyl release of Hurry Up Harry. I would love to hear Sunday Morning Nightmare live! Bastille Cake and George Davis is Innocent still get an airing tonight.
White Riot and If The Kids Are United heralded the end of the set. Nicely done. Appropriate pauses from Jimmy allowing the crowd to join in. A huge mosh pit opened up and thankfully the fella in a wheel chair, who was in the thick of it, was ok and grinning from ear to ear.
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 set seemed shorter, but you know what every minute of the set was adrenaline packed. All the songs we wanted to hear were there! The crowd also have to be applauded – they were in fine voice. Great job SHAM 69!
And the original trio of Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons and Dave Tregunna still clearly possess as much spirit now as they did in the 70’s and early 80’s. I hope that this legendary outfit may have more in the tank and that they are not done just yet. The crowd left, hot and sweaty having just enjoyed a pure punk riot. Lots of folk smiling and some nursing a new bruise or two. Come back soon!
A VIDEO! Sham 69 LIVE: White Riot
Turn it up! You might be in it! ” We are in Brighton with the lunatics!”
A huge thanks to Paul Sham for letting me!
Guests of Sham 69 were Criminal Mind. Hell! These guys were loud, really loud and rocked us hard. Seen these guys a few times now, the sound they produce is still very much punk based, but tucked in there is some heavier tones. These sounds are melted together to give an extraordinarily tasty live sound and give you, the audience an unforgettable slice of what they do.
They are a band from Bristol and marking themselves as hard core street punk – yep! I’d agree to that. Criminal Mind formed in September 2008 in the middle-of-nowhere-Bristol (UK). Inspired by The Ruts & Black Flag, Criminal Mind will play play until death, which judging by the energy put into tonights show, that could be any time now!
The Bristol 4 piece hit you hard with a mix of down to earth hardcore punk rock, but as I mentioned before these guys know what they are doing and produce barb laden riffs and even, at times, some lifting melodic undertones.The guys hit us up with Neva to open and then No Social and the superb Dirty Tricks.
The guys bounce around the stage as if their lives depended on it. The energy which is also transmitted through their music is on another level. They take no prisoners, they just hit the crowd with their sounds.
Criminal Mind have released 2 albums and shared the stage with acts such as The Ruts, The Exploited, GBH, Discharge, Buzzcocks, UK Subs, Sham 69, H20, Cockney Rejects. I think I last saw them with Alvin Gibbs & many more across the world. We were treated to other tracks such as 3 Days and Strides.
Night In Hell
They put across their own style pulling influences from many bands, not copying anyone. It is a unique sound, it is their sound. And yes, hands up reader, I was a fan first time I saw them. They were just as I remembered them. A barn stormer of a set, just over 50 minutes of pure energy, buzzing guitars, bandanas and drums all backed up and armed with a bag full of great tunes.They finished their set with a real anthem stormer of a song Night In Hell. Nice job Criminal Mind. I recommend going to see these guys if they play anywhere near you.
Its not going to be long before these guys are headlining and playing those larger stages. You want excitement? Criminal Minds have it! Now go and check them out!
Criminal Mind are on Facebook
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