SHAM 69 – “Hurry Up, Harry” / “No Entry” (Polydor POSP 7) October 1978

Sham 69 ‘Hurry Up Harry’ – I’ve checked my archives and it’s just over ten years since I featured Sham 69 on my defunct site so here goes with another entry, this time a record released a few days after my 14th birthday in October, 1978. I can remember it well back then, it was a popular punk singalong number which made the Top 10.

Who doesn’t like going “Dahn the pab” as Jimmy Pursey sang in his Cockney accent. Well, being a kid I hadn’t even been inside a pub back then but I did play darts and dominoes and they were featured on the front cover of the single so I knew of the delights to behold apart from drinking Real ale by the pint.

“Hurry Up, Harry” is a commercial punk tune with over the top vocals and fast and loud guitars. Good solid beat by the drummer and a sure fire hit in 1978. This is what the kids wanted. (EXPO67)

Sham 69 have come on no end in two years, from wearing swastikas and supporting The Count Bishops in front of an audience of six to fooling most of the people all of the time, and, in one fell swoop with this latest single, becoming the undisputed Kings Of Grumble-Rock.

‘Hurry-Up, Harry’ is surely the most atrocious record yet from a ‘name’ punk band. Everyone knows that Jimmy Pursey loses sleep over not being Joe Strummer and never being taken seriously by anyone other than skinheads, debutantes, the SWP and other assorted morons.

This is why he approximates The Clash’s warped vision of prole life as endless riots in tower blocks with his more acceptable, simplistic, simple-minded version. Going down the pub with the united kids with dirty faces. At 24, he’s still trying to kid the world he’s an under-age drinker smoking behind the bike sheds.

Never has a recorded voice sounded so cretinous, intoning a chorus of:

“Come On! Come On! Hurry up Harry, come on.

Come On! Come On! Hurry up Harry, come on.

We’re going down the pub,

We’re going down the pub.”

Never before has man expressed such ‘Love divine, All Loves Excelling’ joy about going down the pub with his mate.

Jimmy, you come from Surrey, but this is no excuse for your gross misinterpretation of the way the drinking-classes go about their business; you seem to have culled your impressions from Carry On films. Really, Jimmy, some of us even have inside lavatories these days. (NME)

As subtle as a sledgehammer, this should keep our spikey haired friends happy. Pursey’s gritty vocals are well suited to the song, and it’s particularly amusing when he sings “Urry Up, Arry”.

It’s a drinking man’s song, complete with pub piano, from a drinking man’s band. Time gentlemen, please . . (Record Mirror)

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