Sham 69 were a British punk band from Hersham, Surrey, a suburb of London. Deriving their name from a piece of graffiti that singer Jimmy Pursey had seen on a toilet wall, they were known for being the first punk band with a truly suburban style, lacking the art school background of many British punk bands of the time, and brought in football chant backup vocals and a sort of inarticulate populism in politics. The band were notoriously plagued by violence at their shows, and helped set the tone for the Oi movement. In fact the band ceased doing live performances after one of their concerts was famously broken up by fighting National Front skinheads in 1978.
After being the first punk band with a Top 10 UK single, "Hurry Up Harry" from their second album and first full studio album, That's Life, they started to move away from punk into a sound heavily influenced by classic British hard rock such as Mott The Hoople, The Who and The Faces, on their third album, Hersham Boys. They broke up after their fourth album. Singer Jimmy Pursey moved in a heavy metal direction afterwards, and bassist Dave Tregunna joined the pioneering 1980s glam-punk-Gothic band, The Lords of the New Church with Stiv Bators from The Dead Boys and Brian James from The Damned.
Pursey resurrected Sham 69 in the 1990s with a different lineup, with indifferent success.
- Tell us the truth (1978)
- Thats life (1978)
- The adventures of Hersham boys (1979)
- The Game (1980)
- Information Libre (1995)
- Soapy Water & Mr. Marmalade (1995)
- Kings & Queens (1995)
- The X Files (1997)
- Direct Action: Day 21 (2001)