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Sham 69 - Last night of the tour
Like you’d expect from real working class oi punks,  Hersham Boys Sham 69 have been on tour for quite a while before they arrive at the Little Devil on this 21st of December. The 28th show in a row, and last night of the tour. "Tonight we're getting shitfaced", as one of the members so eloquently puts it. Of course it's not the first time in this little pub. Since the early 2000’s  they’ve played the little Tilburg metal venue at least once a year. 

Performances in the Little Devil are never on time, and tonight was no exception. The set stage time was 9- 9.30PM , but by then the band is nowhere to be seen. At half past ten they crawl onto the stage, but from then it’s on. Most punks and skins from Tilburg and nearby towns are present and it shows once again that this scene is small . The same familiar faces, and sadly they don’t even fill the venue half. 
Luckily, those few that are present are fully enjoying the show, with fists raised in the air towards the band, who pulsates the classic oi songs onto them. Singer Jimmy Pursey (bit saggy, fat, bald, and of course from top to bottom covered in ink) frequently invites the limited attendance to sing with him, which they gladly do.

Two guitarists provide a broad punk occupancy of five members , but they play and sound no less hard . Unfortunately the sound guy is not quite on the money. Pursey’s vocals mostly are  unintelligible except in the choruses . These are very contagious and usually are screamable after hearing them twice. 

The Brits, who, as of this year, have been playing together  37 years, gave the audience what they came for: undiluted, straight-as-she-goes Oi . The crowd gets especially fired up  during the song Borstal Breakout, which gave a kickstart to the  '78 the career of these hard hitting fellas.
The crowd is starting to get riley and there is some movement, dancing if you will. After that it kind of fizzles out a little.  To gather some more momentum, Sham presents us with their first new single of the next album ' Sing When You're Ready’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Within ten seconds, you’ll get the words so the singalong part of the show picks up there.
Successor in the setlist " We're Going Down The Pub keeps the party going and  the set is brought to an end with the brilliant  ' Hersham Boys ' . Some of the skins took literally see what skin by pulling off their shirts and half drunk crowd surfing attempt failed miserably .

It comes as no surprise that the encore just has to be (When The ) Kids Are United. After this, the end to a clearly exhilarating, furious hour of unadulterated, undiluted punk, everyone rushes towards the bar, wiping the sweat off their brows, quickly ordering another beer.

The men themselves hop off the low stage pretty fast and mingle with the visitors. One of the benefits of the absence of a backstage room. Not that this band would need one, because Jimmy  rushes toward the pre-established improvised merchandise stand near the pool table, willing to shake a hand and take up a chat, still sweating like a madman.
So, Sham 69 in retrospect: not a terribly distinctive, memorable punk show, but one that quickly comes to the point and gives you what you expect.
Sweat, beer, Fred Perry Shirts, shaved heads, fists up in the air and singing along to choruses catchier than the flu this season. They haven’t dissapointed in the previous years, and they won’t in the next, because this won’t be the last consecutive year they’ll play there, I’ll tell you that!