I could never have believed that this new incarnation of the legendary SHAM 69 would kick so much arse in 60 mins. Smash it up attitude and the power vocals of the new singer Tim V takes me back to my youth. The album is by true definition the taste of the old SHAM 69 which we knew and loved. The vocal talents of Tim V and his ‘genuine’ Cockney accents rather bizarrely put Jimmy Purseys to shame. The talents of Purseys old songwriting partner Dave Parsons have been sadly overlooked in the past, but with classic tracks like I WANT GLORY and WESTERN CULTURE their soon to be Euro release, we can only say that the good times are back. This line of SHAM 69 has truly put the past 10 years behind them and have found a new cause for the kids of today. LONG LIVE SHAM 69!!!
Freddy Hillman BOSTON HERALD & FREE PRESS MUSIC
When you reel off the list of punk bands who were there from the start, Sham 69 don’t get many mentions. Formed in 1975, the same year as the Sex Pistols, and despite having very little influence on hardcore, or modern punk, or just about anybody else for that matter, they’re probably the group who’ve stayed truest to their belief in punk these last thirty years. They still don’t sell too many records, they still write big, dumb rock songs and they still don’t give a f**k.
On their first new album in ten years then, and aside from the line-up, little has changed in the Sham 69 camp. None of these songs re-invent the wheel, and compared to what any gangsta rapper will put out on a daily basis nothing here is anywhere near as offensive in modern context as it would have been in 1977. However the modern political and social commentary, whilst clumsy on ‘Medic’, is enticing and funny on the likes of the brilliantly titled ‘ASBO Sports Day’ or ‘Here Come The Lies’. Plus, they willingly incorporate the major-key euphoria of pop-punk on the likes of ‘Hollywood Hero,’ adding a much needed new angle on their sound.
So not exactly a classic album, but still a return to form for a band most people will have forgotten about, but will probably be here along with the cockroaches when the world finally ends.
These guys are of course legends, formed in 1975/1976 they were one of the first real Punkbands and probably the first Oi! band, because a whole new subgenre followed after they had released classic Oi! singles like “Borstal Breakout”, “Angels With Dirty Faces” (reaching number 19 in the UK charts in May 1978), “If The Kids Are United” (number 9 in July 1978) and “Hurry Up Harry” (number 10 in October 1978). With that much success the band performed at famous TV shows like ‘Top of the Pops’ back then and their popularity began to rise until Punk was starting to die. Around the early 80s the band split up, but towards the end of the 80s they reformed and in the 90s new albums were released, although they never reached the level of their classic 1978 debut ‘That’s life’. In 2006 there was a new highlight in the career of SHAM 69, because they recorded a song to support the England national football team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The song was based on the classic SHAM 69 hit “Hurry Up Harry”, with the lyrics “We’re going down to the pub”, changed to “We’re going to win the cup!”. The resulting single “Hurry Up England” reached number 10 in the UK Top 40, becoming the
2007. 30 years ago the Sex Pistols took the world by storm putting the world of punk rock on the front pages of the international press. 30 years of mohawks, of safety pins, of bondage pants. 30 years ago Sham 69 released their debut ep “I Don’t Wanna”. 30 years of work shirts, of cropped hair, of Dr.Marten boots. Taking the elitist, middle class punk sound and style, and taking it to the streets and the roots level. 2007. The new Sham 69 album, “Western Culture” is released. With a line-up change bound to surprise many, they are sounding fresher than they have done for a long, long time. Their first real record for over ten years, proving that the band is back to stay! In this day and age of processed plastic Punk SHAM 69 has laid dormant and inactive. Once the forerunners of what we now call the street punk movement, SHAM 69 has been hailed by 100’s of bands worldwide as their biggest influence. The ONLY British punk band to have had 8 top ten hits in the UK and 5 top 10 hits on USA’s Billboard it has come a long way. The SHAM 69 album “Western Culture” is a by-product of doing what SHAM 69 used to do and that’s listening to the fans. The fans want good real ‘meat and potato’ music that reflects how they are and feel.