(4 / 5)
This is a belting 79-track, five-CD box set rounding up the early and most successful years of British punk legends the Angelic Upstarts. This band sometimes get left out of media features on the UK punk scene, and lists of the best bands making music back in those days, and perhaps don’t get the credit they actually deserve.
This bumper set is a great reminder of their explosive output and their power and energy as a unit. Still out there smashing it, in 2018. This collection covering their output between 79 and 82; four studio albums and a live release.
They formed in 1977 in South Shields. The band had a strong anti-fascist and socialist working class ethos, and had a large skinhead following. They released eight studio albums in their first decade. After a brief split they reformed in 1988, and a few times since then. They put out new albums in 1992, 2002, 2011, and 2016.
In this new Captain Oi label-released package; Disc One is the debut “Teenage Warning” album that hit No.29 in the UK National Charts. Includes the hit singles “I’m An Upstart” (No.31) and “Teenage Warning” (No.29) as well as two bonus cuts featuring both sides of debut 45, “The Murder Of Liddle Towers”.
The second disc has the No.54 charting, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” LP, which includes hit singles “Never ‘Ad Nothin’’ (No.52), “Out Of Control” (No.58) and the title track (No.65).
The seminal “Two Million Voices” is to be found on Disc Three. The album reached No.32 in 1981 and includes the singles “Last Night Another Soldier” (No.51), “England” and “Kids On The Street” (No. 57), plus five bonus tracks.
The No.27 charting “Live” album is on Disc Four, complete with four bonus tracks culled from an original flexi-disc given away with the album. The fifth disc is the “Still From The Heart” album, that features the singles “Never Say Die” and “Different Strokes”.
Housed in a sturdy clam shell box, each disc is in a cardboard wallet depicting the original LP art, while the 20-page booklet comes complete with liner notes and pictures of all the relevant sleeves.
There’s been 20 members in the band’s history and different line-ups, still led by vocalist Mensi; the Upstarts are regulars at the major European Punk Festivals and have UK shows lined up in June, August and September in Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle.
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’