Birthday Bash for Sham 69 – Original ’77 Line Up in Dundee
Beat Generator is the venue for what Jimmy Pursey announces is Sham 69’s first ever gig in Dundee. Hard to believe this “City of Discovery” has waited all this time for a visit from this long standing band and it’s on Jimmy’s birthday! Will it be one to remember, or just another gig, just another birthday. With tonight’s show being a sell out, there’s definitely an expectation it’s the latter. Having played to a sell out venue the night before, Sham 69 have certainly drawn the crowds in Scotland.
Shock and Awe
Formed over 15yrs ago and with over 100 gigs under their belt, the band kick off with a frantic version of Loud, Hard and Fast which sets the tone for the evening. This 5 piece punk/rock’n’roll band bring a flavour of the mid 70’s New York CBGB’s era. The band are a homage to the bygone days of New York Dolls, Television, Heartbreakers, Velvet Underground/Lou Reed but with a twist. The fact that they play a cracking version of “Sweet Jane” later in their set was rather fitting. Tommy “Shock” and Bobby “Awe” introduce the band, which includes Paul Research from the seminal scottish post punk band “The Scars” on guitar.
The balance of chaos and cool is maintained throughout the set as they address a wide variety of modern day subjects set to the background of the 70’s glam/rock soundtrack. Songs titles like “IRAQ”, “We Love the Chaos” and “White Male Privilege” show the diversity on offer tonight. There’s even a tongue in cheek reference to them playing a “disco” number but it sounds more like a song from the “postcard records” era of 80’s Edinburgh. As the set progresses, there’s some great banter between the band and the audience. The self proclaimed “World Famous Shock and Awe” have left their mark on the appreciative diverse Dundee audience, who are primarily here for some ’77 punk rock from Sham 69, but they have set the stage for whats to come.
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Shock and Awe– FACEBOOK
Last minute addition to the bill, but no stranger to the Beat Generator stage. The no frills approach from The Eddies will stand them in good stead tonight. They take the stage after a quick turnaround from the opening band and after no soundcheck, they hit the ground running with “No Way”. The energy is building in the room as “My Game My Rules” is up next, one of the newer tracks from the band which has seen them bring out some explosive new songs in the last few months much to the delight of their faithful following. The new EP “Still Takin The Mick” is well served tonight as the band rip through some of the songs from the 5 track EP.
There’s still plenty room in the set for the old favourites as “10%”, “Punk 4 Life” and the rousing “Streetlife” get their usual airing. “We are the boys from the back streets, this is the sound of the suburbs, we are the boys from The Eddies, punk rock for life” screams Lee Guthrie (vocals) as the band hit top gear. After a blistering performance of “Taking The Mick”, the title track of their recent EP, the band close with “Lost Years” as they sing of the hey days of punk rock. “Punk rocks not the same, same as it was years ago…….” sings Lee. Well, we’ll certainly find out pretty soon! It’s Sham 69 up next.
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The Eddies – Facebook
The room is bursting at the seems as Pursey, Parsons and Treganna, three original members of the ’77 line up, take the stage. Unfortunately, due to illness, Spike T has been a late replacement for drummer Robin Guy. The band have travelled across Scotland to Dundee from Paisley after a sold out show last night. For a band that’s played on and off together for 40 years, the set list was always going to have a greatest hits feel about it but tonight, the band play some of their early material. First up, “What Have We Got”, it doesn’t come any earlier than that! The band practically run through their 40th Anniversary tour set with a few additions. Right from the off, Pursey is in the face of the crowd and launches into every song like his life depends on it. Treganna bounces through the set like he’s turned back the clock to ’77 and Parson’s guitar cuts through menacingly on every track. The Gibson SG delivers the perfect power chords.
Pursey is in a playful mood as he has a pop at the riots in France, commenting they only riot on the weekends, as the band crash through a cracking version of “Bastille Cake”. It’s mid-set and here come the hits. “George Davies is Innocent” has the crowd singing along before they raise the roof with “Borstal Breakout”. Pursey asks if The Clash ever played Dundee, well Sham 69 now get the chance to emulate their peers with a riotous version of “White Riot”. With barely time to recover, the capacity crowd sing “If The Kids Are United”. The band take a brief break before they return with their three biggest hits. “Angels With Dirty Faces”, “Hersham Boys” and the cheeky “Hurry Up Harry” bring the chaos to an end. The venue may have sold out, but these guys played tonight like it was ’77 and they’d never sell out! Jimmy Pursey leaves the stage and celebrates his birthday backstage. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it.
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