Punk History: [14/7/78]

Sham 69 have released their new single “If The Kids Are United”. It would go on to reach #9 in the UK singles chart for July ’78. The single’s style is considered Oi or Street punk.

Sham 69 were a band from Hersham that started in the mid 70’s. The core line up of the band consisted of Jimmy Pursey (lead vocals), Dave Parsons (guitar), Dave Tregunna (bass) and Mark Cain (drums). The band got tagged with the Oi term for their style of music well after they were an established band. Oi bands fairly or not were labeled racist by some critics because of the crowd that would come out to the shows. This would include members of The National Front and The British Movement. Sham 69 stopped playing live shows in 1979 because of National Front violence in the crowd. Pursey is on record about his feelings about the violence.

Pursey was also involved with Rock Against Racism along with bands like The Clash, Tom Robinson and others. Rock Against Racism really took off because Eric Clapton was drunk at a show and went on a racist diatribe saying things like Britain is being overcrowded and becoming a black colony.

The band would break up in 1980. Jimmy Pursey would try his hand at a solo career and Dave Tregunna found success with The Lords Of The New Church. They would reform in 1987 with various line up changes through the years and are still performing.

We’ll end with the “B” side. Sunday Morning Nightmare.



  1. Awesome stuff Keitel, love Sham 69 but never knew any of this.  My friend used to give me shit about loving Murphy’s Law saying they were Nazi skinheads but they definitely were not!  I would say, have you ever listened to the songs?  They preach more Rastafarian than Nazi!  Anyways, this is my favorite Sham 69 tune.

  2. Sham 69 was great. I love the Oi sound and working class sensibilities. It was a shame that it got co opted by the white nationalists because a lot of the bands were opposed to that scene.

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