Like most bands SHAM 69 has had its fair share of ups and downs. Formed in 1975 by local lads Jimmy Pursey and Neil Harris, along with John Goode, Albie Slider and Andy Nightingale aka Billy Bostik. Doing shows and gaining rave reviews from the likes of Julie Burchell the then NME's columnist, the band had already established itself playing songs like BORSTAL BREAKOUT and HEY LITTLE RICH BOY up to it's first line up change in late 77, when Dave Parsons and Dave Treganna joined the band.
It was during the period between 2000 and 2006 that the band had entered its worst phase, where 'no shows' and the lack of band activities sounded the death knell. At that time the band entered a period of questioning its role in the scene, with momentary reflections on the current events at the time. The band had a brief return to success with he reworking of HURRY UP HARRY into HURRY UP ENGLAND for the World Cup and the song entered the charts. The band had, in essence, exposed its weakness's and the topic of internal affairs and band management raised its head.
The band in 2006 made the dramatic but much needed decision to sack Jimmy Pursey following an altercation, and this led to the discovery of a far greater mishandling of the band's business both internally and externally. Both Dave Parsons and Ian Whitewood decided to carry on and find a new vocalist.. Tim V. He had come from a long history of Punk, and having toured many times with his own projects, he was taking on a huge task. With the support of many friends such as 'Sniffing Glue' Mark Perry and others within the scene he overcome this. With his tenacity as a Londoner with street attitude, this fitted in well with what needed to be done. The band then released its first original album in nearly 8 years WESTERN CULTURE and due to pressure from the newly gained fans a new Greatest Hits album SERIOUSLY ULTIMATE was released.
The guy's set about rebuilding what had become a shell of a band by starting from scratch playing shows around the UK, alot being bridge builders for the upset that had been caused previously. It was following that success, that enquiries into the band from fans and promoters that a tour of Europe was to follow. The band then completed a successful tour of the USA followed by a sell out tour of Japan.
The band then acquired the Bass skills of Al Campbell in 2009, who himself had played with UK SUBS for 13 years, as well as playing with Marky Ramone and the legendary Jayne County and The Electric Chairs. This was the bands most successful period with demand at its highest in the last 20 years, the band toured the world and played countries that it had never done previously. The line up had worked wonders by rebuilding a band from scratch and more importantly rebuilding an ethic that was in effect non existent. The band went on to perform to over 440,000 people at Poland's biggest festival Woodstock and followed that up by being the first major Punk band to tour China. This adventure was filmed and is shortly to be released worldwide on both TV and Cinema, entitled THIS BAND IS SO GORGEOUS.
The band then released its new original album WHO KILLED JOE PUBLIC to great reviews. In 2011 Dave Parsons after 5 years of touring the world with great success decided to leave the band for more lucrative offers by rejoining Jimmy Pursey and again opening the band's history up to ridicule. The band then found itself having to answer to many fans worldwide why things happened and why after such a hard earned campaign. The band carried on as before and with great support for their sincerity and sticking to their roots as true Punk intended.
The band's passion for doing the right thing led them to replace Dave Parsons with guitar stalwart Tony Feedback formerly of ANGELIC UPSTARTS and founder of the Mod band LONG TALL SHORTY. For Ian Whitewood it see's him in his 32nd year as the SHAM 69 drummer and it also sees a return to the 2 guitarist set up as it was from the beginning. Its was the noticeable shock at what many fans saw as a sell out by Dave Parsons that the founder member of SHAM 69 and original Lead Guitarist Neil Harris got in contact with Tim V and a new page in SHAM 69s history was formed. Neil Harris who formed the band with Jimmy Pursey in 1975 has brought what was in essence the foundation of its existence to the table. The band went on to again perform around the world clocking up more shows and gaining more fans both young and old. The band released another original album in 2013 called THEIR FINEST HOUR which charted and featured their much loved single SING WHEN YOUR WINNING that is featured on the soundtrack of Brit Gangster film ST.GEORGES DAY.
In 2014 the band started their much acclaimed World At War Tour in reaction to the Worlds current state. This again took the band to over 3/4s of the world and included a successful sell out tour of the USA. Much in demand the band carried on sweeping across Europe to conclude back in UK. Paul Brightman jumped on lead guitar following Tony Feedback who has took a well earned retirement, but has since been replaced by Al Campbell and John Woodward ex Long Tall Shorty on Bass. The band smashed their way around the World again in 2015 with another sell out tour of the USA and the release of their album 'IT'LL END IN TEARS'. Again in 2017 the band released 'IT'LL END IN TEARS to much acclaim...with more on the way.
The band of course has its cynics and though some people may talk down about it, some will say to the 'so called' fans 'where you in the last 30 years'. It's become highly noticable that SHAM 69 and its history is something to talk about and to honour, share and rip it up. But the most major thing is that this line up has maintained a course that has seen them honoured with respect and though many may stay silent they know whats right. At last with a line up that has earned its right to perform both morally and what has become legally.
The band since then had many line up changes, with all members at one stage leaving and coming back, and during that time the band released such singles as BORSTAL BREAKOUT, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, HERSHAM BOYS and the anthemic IF THE KIDS ARE UNITED. The band fell apart in 1979 following Jimmy Pursey's departure to front the Sex Pistols/Sham Pistols. During his absence the major song contributor Jimmy Edwards was drafted in as his replacement, only for Jimmy Pursey to return and try to overcome what was to many by then, nigh on the end. The band split in 1983 and after fairly unsuccessful solo careers the band was reformed in 1986 by Ian Whitewood, Dave Parsons and Jimmy Pursey. It was then decided that the band should enter a new creative phase, but this alienated many of their old fans and for the next two decades the band rarely played, the fans becoming more and more alienated to the new SHAM 69 style.