Formed in South Shields, England in 1977, the Angelic Upstarts was one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups; though technically a skinhead band, their records attacked the racism and fascism so prevalent throughout the skinhead community.The Angelic Upstarts were led by vocalist Mensi (born Thomas Mensforth), whose impoverished childhood became a frequent lyrical touchstone. Along with a highly fluid lineup which initially comprised guitarist Mond, bassist Ronnie Wooden, and drummer Sticks, the group debuted with the 1979 single "Murder of Liddle Towers," a scabrous attack on police brutality. The record caught the attention of Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey, who produced their debut album Teenage Warning, which, like its 1980 follow-up, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, roundly ridiculed the oppressive policies of Margaret Thatcher while offering an outpouring of sympathy for the working class.
Angelic Upstarts - Yugoslavia Live - Used LP
Used (VG): wear to both sleeve and vinyl--some noise can be heard during the more quiet moments (those moments are few).
You never know how live records are going to go, but this one goes all out, coming late in their short career (1985) and featuring plenty of new members, but still full spit and vinegar, the band probably just getting more pissed as the decade progressed, caught between a rock and a hard ass, fighting against the skinheads and the establishment, the energy committed increasing as the set progresses, as the opening cut proclaims (backed with its punked-up Eddie Cochran riffs): "I want to go out in a puff of smoke" oh oi! - winch (green noise records)
This was later included with a five-LP, and the following reviewer appears unimpressed with this album, only agreeing that the album improves as it progresses: "For me, I’m afraid, Live In Yugoslavia is a little underwhelming and the guitar is too far down in the mix. Knowing the fire that the Upstarts can still capture today on stage, one can’t help feel this one was done on the cheap. To be fair, the band’s performance is pretty good and improves as it goes along, but the audience sound a mile away. It is very much a greatest hits set plus a spirited go at White Riot and One More Day from the last LP and as such, bearing in mind their previous live LP in 1981 and the Angel Dust collection, pretty inessential to all but rabid fans."
A1 Never Had Nothing
A2 Leave Me Alone
A3 Teenage Warning
A5 Last Night Another Soldier
A6 Guns For The Afghan Rebels
A7 Machine Gun Kelly
B1 Police Oppression
B2 Kids On The Street
B3 Women In Disguise
B4 2,000,000 Voices
B5 One More Day
B7 Who Killed Liddle Towers?
B8 White Riot
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
As the Upstarts' popularity surged, so did the levels of violence at their live shows; they became mortal enemies of National Front fascist supporters, who railed against the band after first misinterpreting their leftist songs as supportive of their cause. At the same time, the band's music was becoming more complex and accomplished; by 1983's Reason Why?, the strongest Angelic Upstarts record, Mensi's songwriting skills had become tighter and more melodic, even branching out into reggae and folk, while the group's base broadened with the addition of keyboards and saxophones.
After issuing the inflammatory single "Brighton Bomb," a celebration of the IRA's attempt to assassinate the Conservative cabinet, the band released the LP The Power of the Press; lackluster sales triggered their breakup not long after.