Top Of The Pops Thursday: Sham 69 – If The Kids Are United; Hersham Boys


The musical era I grew up in was the 80s. It wasn’t until about 1982 or 1983 on that I reached an age at which I really started to take more of an interest in music.

As such, there are a lot of bands and songs from the 1980s that will always mean a lot to me.

However, if I’m being honest, I can’t help wishing that my musical coming of age had been in the late 70s – the dawn of punk rock and the New Wave.

There was a raw energy and honesty about so much of the music of the time, from bands that genuinely had something to say about their generation and the society they were growing up in, which increasingly got lost behind the big hair and image-obsessed shallow superficiality that defined much of 1980s music (even the good stuff).

Here’s a couple of classic songs from one of the most influential 70s punk bands, Sham 69.

Somewhat surprisingly, there’s very little proper vintage archive live material from the band available at the usual online video sources.

So here, from a 2003 DVD release of a gig filmed at Concorde 2 in Brighton on April 10th 2002, is “the best song we ever wrote”, according to the band’s singer/founder Jimmy Pursey, If The Kids Are United:

Here, as a taste of the band in their 70s heyday, is a 1979 Top Of The Pops (probably mimed, unfortunately) performance of Hersham Boys:

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