In the history of music, certain bands’ names pop up and you remember a certain song; Oasis, Blur, and going further back into punk rock history, the Clash and the Pistols do the same.
Sham 69 shone bright in the late 70s fusing punk power chords with a singalong sensibility rarely bettered even to this day. They wrote to the point 3 minute wonders, but are more remembered for the cheesier end of their output with songs about going to the pub or Hersham cowboys.
Anyway in 2015, bands, songs, all mean different things to different people. Gigs are either huge arena affairs, revivalist nostalgia or bands plugging away for a following in the back rooms of pubs around their local towns.
Occasionally two of these collide.
Dirt Royal fit the latter description, working hard around the pubs and clubs of Brighton, learning their stagecraft and gaining an audience along the way.
[pullquote_left] Dirt Royal know their Punk Rock history. They can sing Clash songs word for word all day long [/pullquote_left]
Sham 69, faded many a year ago, but a return to the original line up and the fact that good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll is always in demand, they are back, selling out big venues up and down the country.
A friend runs a night at the legendary 100 club in central London, he wants Sham, a couple of friendly phone calls and they agree to play, and as a thank you for arranging Dirt Royal are asked to support.
Dirt Royal know their Punk Rock history. They can sing Clash songs word for word all day long. A cheeky meeting with Mick Jones late last year cemented their love of Punk. To say they were excited would be an understatement.
A mini bus pulls up at Brighton’s rock ‘n’ roll boozer, The Monty, a motley crew assemble, and the air is buzzing for the trip to London that awaits.
3 1/2 hours later, 3 of which seem to be spent looking at the same KFC shop window in Streatham High St, we arrive backstage at the 100 Club.
You feel the history as you walk in. If walls could talk, these would shout ROCK loudly!
Smiles all round, quick soundcheck, then stage time for Dirt Royal. The beauty of this gig is it’s sold out so there is a lot of audience waiting to hear Brighton’s very own upstarts, a fair crew up from Brighton too.
Dirt Royal know how to entertain, they are made for a big audience, so they and the audience are soon enjoying themselves big time.
Half an hour passes in five mins and the boys have won over some new fans as the quick fire album purchases at the merch stand testify.
Mick Pelirocco on the ones and twos, mixing ska and punk as befitting to this great venue.
Knock Off from Watford play an energetic set of superfast punk anthems to a happy crowd. Perfect warm up.
Sham’s audience may have had a bad reputation years ago, but I’ve never seen so many smiling faces as they hit the stage.
Years of gigging show as they know how to get a crowd jumping and jumping and jumping. I revisit the mosh pit after a very long absence and the atmosphere is pure rock ‘n’ roll good times.
We witnessed an event, from the new kids to the old guard, rock ‘n’ roll is timeless and should entertain and we got that by the bucketload.
The bus back, fuelled by warm lager and tepid chicken take away, was a singalong to ‘If The Kids Are United, They Will Never Be Divided’ and these big kids really believe that to be true.