Sham 69 – Newport, TJ’s - 5th February 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Munro   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 08:36

Sham_PosterLast time I witnessed Sham 69 live they were utter shite but tonight, some seven years later, I'm left gob smacked, as they are quite literally a different band.

Since that incredibly tedious show way back in 2003, only original Sham 69 guitar player Dave Parsons and drummer Ian Whitewood (who's been in the band since their reformation in 1986) remain from that line up. The band's erstwhile frontman of days gone by Jimmy Pursey having been successfully replaced by Tim V, a name you may already recognise as the man behind the 'Punk Aid' events.  And it's left to former UK Subs and Marky Ramone sideman Al Campbell to complete the line up stepping in as he does on bass guitar.


Sham's songs have always celebrated the ordinary, giving normal life the romantic glow that only a band born in the London council estates of Seventies Britain really could.


That's why TJ's is rammed to the roof as the band tears through a set that includes both sides of their first four singles. 'I Don't Wanna', 'Red London', 'Ulster', 'Borstal Breakout', 'Hey Little Rich Boy', 'Angels With Dirty Faces', 'Cockney Kids Are Innocent', 'If The Kids Are United' and 'Sunday Morning Nightmare' all turn the place into a forty somethings sweat bath, and when you add in crowd pleasing anthems like 'Hurry Up Harry' and 'Questions & Answers' you know it's all going to go a little bit ...well mad, right?


Sham_1And that moment of madness comes as the show closes with the band's classic 'Hersham Boys', which sends the crowd of old punks into a state of euphoria going mental. Proper mental!


Since Pursey's departure, Sham 69 live have become a far more direct and engaging musical force. They play exactly what the (grown up) kids want to hear and, with a new album (the third without Pursey) about to be released, are well worth checking out.