Night Music: Sham 69, “Hurry Up Harry”

After the initial rush of great punk UK bands there came a cascade of second-wave punk bands that were so clearly copping punk rock’s simple structures that there should have been outrage about the copying (and there was), but who brought catchy tunes and direct subject matter and filled a hunger for new material that the best bands alone couldn’t keep up with.

Sham 69 was one of these bands. A party band, to be sure, with the deft cartoonishness of the Ramones filtered through the eyes of English estate lads, with just enough outrage to seem politically relevant and enough sense of the drinking song singalong to touch all the bases. In other words, strong attitude and solid execution trumps any type of originality.

Oi! These guys were fun.

One thought on “Night Music: Sham 69, “Hurry Up Harry”

  1. Loved this album, “That’s Life” as well as their debut (can’t remember the name) at the time, but never got their stuff on CD and don’t listen to them anymore. Even back then, after the first two albums, the rest weren’t so hot.

    I’m struck by:

    a) how they seemed so rough and tumble back then, but they’re obviously trying real hard to be commercial in this video,

    b) as much as I liked the “we’re goin’ down a pub” chorus back then, the repetition started to remind me of that horrible “Highway To The Danger Zone” song this morning.

    Jimmy Pursey is the anti-Freddie Mercury.

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