Sham 69
Tell Us The Truth



by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
October 7th, 2005 | 10 replies

Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Sham 69- Tell Us The Truth

The band gets onstage, and a riot commences on the audience floor. As violence and battery carries on in the unforgiving crowd, faint distortion lights up the stage, and “Borstal Breakout” arises into the stale air that creates the ambience that sham 69 was originally born into.

Sham 69 originally hailed from Surrey, London. Populated by Jimmy Pursey (Vocals), the original founder of the band, Dave Parsons (Guitar), Dave Tregenna (Bass), and Mark Cain (Drums), the band got their name from an entry of graffiti that Pursey spotted out in a bathroom stall. Sham grew to later be one of the most influential punk bands of the 70’s, and while they brought the style of nasty violence and illegal happenings to most of their shows, they are also the founders of the famous OI! football punk chant that was later used by countless bands. The band is also famous for being the first punk band with a top ten U.K single, “Hurry Up Harry”). While sooner or later, after their first 4 or 5 albums, the original Sham lineup split up, the band’s first 4 albums are the ones that really count, and the ones that would later cause big influence in the genre. In their first full-length debut LP, Tell Us The Truth, the band includes a strange mix of live tracks and recordings that add up to be one of the best by the band.

Pointing out that the first six tracks are all live, the other eight are brilliant recordings, of which the band is surely proud of, and got them out to the public. To start out the ‘show’ or track one, Pursey announces the band and starts off with one of his best tracks, which shows the great ability of what the vocalist of a more harsh british punk band could achieve. We Gotta Fight also features some of the best guitar-work on Parson’s part, and ends with Pursey carrying on a bit about the rest of the tracks, with a bit of talking in the middle of each track. His vocals are something special, because while most of the time, they aren’t very easy to catch, the provide everything that the band stands for, and ever did. Pursey also shows his grand ability in Ulster, and Borstal Breakout, which shows that he clearly does better off at shows than in recordings. To carry Pursey on a bit farther, guitarist Dave Parsons holds another great talent to add to the lineup. While his solos stand out in nearly every bridge in the album, it’s his other work in the rest of the composition that’s really interesting, because while all his riffs sound pretty much the same, and really hold no talent whatsoever, the click with the others with such fashion, that it just makes the album that much more interesting. His tracks on here are We Gotta Fight, George Davies Is Innocent, and Hey Little Rich Boy.

The rhythmic portion on here stands out a lot more in the recordings portion of the album, and is very faint and unrecognizable in the live tracks. Bassist Dave Tregenna and Drummer Mark Cain duke it out to provide us with even more beyond the energy going on in the front of the stage. Tregenna also plays more simple lines to add and backup Parson’s material, and plays something more than decent rarely on a few choice tracks (Hey Little Rich Boy, Tell Us The Truth). Cain on drums also has much more noticeable material on the recordings, and most of all, his mid-tempo beats are the ones that really stand out a lot, while he uses the hats to great extent, and uses just two toms for fills in perfect areas that actually need it. Cain also has his few actual shining tracks, (Family Life, It’s Never Too Late) and never really gets his way at shows.

As far as the album goes, it is an excellent experience for fans that somehow haven’t heard it, or for fans of the genre that never got a chance to. It has great progression from the short, but sweet six track show, and then eight recordings that stand out as well. As the live tracks are the highlights on the album, and really hold the potential of the band, the recording are also great listens and show different looks at the band from more angles. Get a look at the album that started off one of the greatest names in classic punk and what triggered Sham 69 as we know it.

Stand Out Tracks:
We Gotta Fight (Live)
Ulster (Live)
Borstal Breakout (Live)
Tell Us The Truth
It’s Never Too Late



Recent reviews by this author
Roger Miret and the Disasters My RiotStreet Dogs Back To The World
Flogging Molly Whiskey On A SundayMad Sin Survival Of The Sickest
The Tossers The Valley Of The Shadow Of DeathThe Unseen State Of Discontent
user ratings (27)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 7th 2005


Great review, I've just heard like 2 songs by this band and it look good.

October 7th 2005


Borstal Breakout is the sheeeeeet.

October 7th 2005


Good review as usual. I miss the top 15 tags :upset:

October 7th 2005


So do I! Now I'll never be up on the latest movements.

October 7th 2005


Err, Surrey isn't in London. It's a county outside of London and some of its northeasterly towns are encompassed by Greater London.

But I never knew nonetheless that Sham 69 came from my area :O

EDIT: Holy cow they were formed a few miles from hy home!This Message Edited On 10.07.05

December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

This review deserves a decent bump. :upset:

Most of the site's general public didnt notice this fine review.. ;)

December 10th 2005


everyone has read it, they've been just thinking of a polite way to say it sucked. ;)

December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

I dont like cheeto anymore.

December 10th 2005



March 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Solid album. This and That's Life are both really good. Hey Little Rich Boy is one of my favorite sham 69 songs.

Digging: Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy