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Sham 69

Formed in Hersham, Surrey in 1975, Sham 69 was the ultimate “lads” band. All pints of lager, football terrace chants and menacing cocksure attitudes.

Jimmy Pursey (pictured above) was a fierce, working-class idealist and avenging angel of the unemployed. Ironically, he sacked most of the original line-up of the band within a year due to their lack of commitment.

A streamlined aggregation featuring Dave Parsons (guitar), Dave Tregunna (bass) and Mark Cain – aka Doidie Cacker (drums) helped Pursey reach the UK charts with a series of hits including Angels With Dirty FacesIf The Kids Are United and Hurry Up Harry.

Pursey’s idealistic working-class warrior philosophy backfired however as the air-punching Oi!-by-numbers began attracting more and more face-punching neo-Nazi skinheads causing wary promoters to shun the band.


In 1978, the band was sacked from the film Quadrophenia. A spokesman for the film company said it was because the groups two numbers were not satisfactory for dancing.

After a troubled couple of years attempting to reconcile his ideals and their results, Pursey finally disbanded the group in the summer of 79 – announcing he and bassist Dave Tregunna were joining Pistols survivors, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, in a new supergroup – only to reform a couple of months later with a final album, The Game.

This failed to chart and Jimmy subsequently pursued a low-key solo career.

In 1987, he resurrected Sham 69 releasing a largely ignored LP, Volunteer. Their sound ultimately softened – and went a bit weird, adding a saxophone to their line-up.

The band revisited the TOP 10 in summer 2006 with their World Cup anthem Hurry Up England, a reworking of their 1978 Top 10 single Hurry Up Harry.

Jimmy Pursey
Dave Parsons
Albie Slider (Maskell)
Neil Harris
Lead guitar
Johnny Goodfornothing
Rhythm guitar
Billy Bostik
Dave Tregunna
Mark ‘Doidie Cacker’ Cain