Sham 69 have announced a tour featuring their original line-up from 1977 including an appearance at The Assembly on 13th September. Jimmy Pursey and Dave Parsons will be joined by Dave Tregunna on Bass and sham 69 will be supported by The Angry Bombs and Pint Shot Riot.
The November 12, 1976 issue of NME notes that Sham 69 was rehearsing in 1976, although only Pursey would remain from this early line-up twelve months later. Sham 69 released their first single, “I Don’t Wanna”, on Step Forward Records in August 1977, produced by John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground), and its success in the independent charts prompted Polydor Records to sign the band. The line-up at this time was Pursey/Parsons/Slider/Cain, but Albie Slider was replaced by Dave Tregunna in 1978. Their major label debut was “Borstal Breakout” in January 1978, followed by UK Singles Chart success with “Angels With Dirty Faces” (reaching number 19 in May 1978) and “If the Kids Are United” (number 9 in July 1978). The group had further chart success with “Hurry Up Harry” (number 10 in October 1978), which came from their second LP and first full studio album, “That’s Life”. The band’s popularity was enhanced by their performances on Top Of The Pops, and the band performed in the 1980 film, D.O.A.
The band eventually started to move away from punk rock, to embrace a sound heavily influenced by classic British rock bands such as Mott the Hoople, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Faces. This was demonstrated by their third album, “The Adventures of the Hersham Boys”.
In 2006, listeners to Christian O’Connell’s Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio voted overwhelmingly for the band to record a song to support the England national football team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Released under “Sham 69 and The Special Assembly” (O’Connell and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon the song was based on the Sham 69 hit “Hurry Up Harry”, with the lyrics “We’re going down the pub”, changed to “We’re going to win the cup!” The resulting single, “Hurry Up England” reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band’s first such hit in 26 years.
In 2011 Jimmy Pursey and Dave Parsons were reunited after the 2007 split, and the original 1977 line-up was reformed for a gig in Brixton. Following on from the success of this the original Sham 69 has continued to perform to packed audiences. Sometimes part of the line-up may change due to other commitments but founder members Pursey and Parsons are always present.