Punk by the sea is cancelled. What will the punks do? No promoter, no venue, no PA? Well, as Jimmy Pursey might say, they’re going down the pub.
They may no longer be kids but, with the spirit of 1977, the enthusiasm of a couple of musicians and a tattooist and with the help of social media they pulled off an amazing gig.
With a borrowed PA and a shared drum kit, more than a dozen bands played for free amid often chaotic scenes at the Milton Arms on Saturday.
Members of UK Subs, The Lurkers and 999 joined complete line-ups of The Straps, The Defects, The Exposed and the excellent Vice Squad, among others, to create one of the wildest nights I’ve seen in years.
Fighting their way through the packed pub and tripping over gear on the tiny stage, the dividing line between band and audience couldn’t have been less defined, as each played a short set to ensure that all got some stage time.
They somehow produced great sounds and reminded us all that music can be just about getting together and playing. And the phrase ‘this is real punk’ became the shout of the day.
When Jimmy Pursey and Sham 69 bowled in, the stewards and volunteers trying to keep the crowd barrier in place were often fighting a losing battle. Sham played all the hits in a full set with a drenched Jimmy stripped to the waist as other bands, fans and staff bounced around in near hysteria through to midnight.
The Hersham boys concluded a memorable day that rolled back the years and rekindled the feeling that anything is possible if the kids are united.