REVIEW: Punk wins tonight with a high energy hat-trick

Jimmy Pursey
Jimmy Pursey

Sham 69, Angelic Upstarts and Dirt Royal, Concorde 2, Brighton, June 11

Decisions, decisions!

Angelic Upstarts

Angelic Upstarts

Do I watch England vs Russia on the big screen on Brighton beach or do I go further along to the Concorde 2 and watch three great punk bands?

Punk wins, unlike England this evening...

Tonight the roadies have their work cut out by getting three punk bands ready to go in just three hours. They probably have to work as fast as the music.

A trio of local lads going by the name of Dirt Royal kick off proceedings (a rather long set for a support act) with their blend of accessible, melodic punk from their Dr Weekend EP and albums.

If you like bands on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations record label – such as The Moondogs and Rudi – then Dirt Royal are for you. I’m glad they’re based in Brighton, as I’d like to see them again soon. Nice one lads!

Next up are socialist, South Shields, punk rock legends the Angelic Upstarts. Never ones to shy away from politics this lot. Tonight singer ‘Mensi’ is sporting a bright yellow T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘resistance is not terrorism’ and a Palestinian lady carrying a gun topped with her country’s flag. They’ve always highlighted their denunciation of racism, unlike certain right-wing skinhead bands of the time.

Okay, time’s had its inevitable effect on Mensi and the boys. But, if the gig goers tonight shut their eyes the Upstarts sound exactly as they did back in 1979/80 when they were riding high in the Top 40 charts.

Highlight songs this evening are ‘Two Million Voices’, ‘The Murder Of Liddle Towers’ and new track ‘Give The Fox A Gun’.

Headliners Sham 69 top the very sweaty evening off with a fantastic nostalgic set. With Jimmy Pursey now back with original 1977 band members Dave Parsons and Dave Treganna this was always going to be very in-your-face.

Jimmy Pursey always reminded me of a wayward Tucker Jenkins (ask your parents). It must be those eyebrows or menacing eyes. He still has loads of energy and really engages with the crowd. Every track is enjoyable but, if pushed, I think ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’ is the best one tonight.

To find out more about these bands visit www.facebook.com/sham69.net, www.officialangelicupstarts.com or www.dirtroyal.co.uk.

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