As the voice of the proletariate in the 1970s, Jimmy Pursey's Sham 69 created the soundtrack to the first wave of British punk.
Now, 40 years later Jimmy and the gang are still banging the drum for the concerns of the working class through their music, and on Saturday, May 20 'angels with dirty faces' will be heading to the One Faith Punk Festival at the MECA in Regent Circus, Swindon to see their idols.
In the autumn the band played to a sell out crowd at the MECA, drawing fans from all across the region, with support from Swindon's own punk band Charred Hearts.
Lead singer Jimmy said: "The thing that was special about the Swindon gig in November last year was the people – within the first seconds of taking to the stage in front of a thousand people you get a feeling of how the gig is going to go – and at Swindon there was just this great wave of positivity that washed over me. It felt like we were all part of one family, one faith. One of the reasons I agreed to headline the One Faith Festival.''
Swindon promoter Duncan Robinson was delighted to win such a coup for the Swindon music scene as the punk giants.
"The gig they played in November has now pretty much gone down into local folklore – it was an absolutely fantastic event and Sham 69 certainly lived up to their reputation. People as they left the gig were on such an emotional high,'' he said.
The original Sham 69 line-up got together in 1975 in Hersham, Surrey. The name came from a piece of graffiti, spotted by Jimmy, a football reference which was supposed to read Walton and Hersham 69 celebrating the football team's Athenian League title win in 1969. Some of the words had been worn away on the brick wall and Sham 69 was born.
The Roxy in London was the band's stepping stone to the big time, winning a loyal fan base and hits such as Hurry Up Harry, If The Kids Are United and Angels With Dirty Faces under their belts. Hurry Up Harry became the unofficial World Cup song in aid of a charity combatting cancer.
Supporting the headliners in Swindon next moth will be Bristol punk band Criminal Mind and Wiltshire's Mick O' Toole, along with punk rockers from Coventry, Luton and Dundee. The festival will run from noon to midnight at the first of what, organisers hope, will become an annual punk fest.
Tickets for the Wessex One Faith Punk Festival are £20, £15 for students and under 18s accompanied by an adult. They are available from www.onefaith.co.uk or from Swindon Central Library. - Flicky Harrison