Angelic Upstarts formed way back in 1977 in South Shields, North-East England. Working class punk band with strong anti-fascist views and beliefs. What more can be said about this legendary band? Influenced by bands such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, The Angelic Upstarts are a meeting of working class ideology and musical aspiration. Mensi was always liable to provoke reaction, his lyrics making much of his working class roots, and lashing out at police and politicians. The original line up consisted of Mensi (vocals), Mond (guitar), Steve Forsten (bass) and Decca Wade (drums).
The Angelic Upstarts launched their punk crusade with the independently released single 'The Murder of Liddle Towers' in 1978. The band paid for the recording and pressing of 500 singles which they released themselves and sold at gigs and local record shops. The single was then picked up by Small Wonder Records who released it nationally. Its attack on police brutality earned them an early patron in Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey, who chased a similar constituency of disaffected working-class fans. The band then signed to Warner Brothers, Pursey producing the L.P. 'Teenage Warning' (1979). The band' wholehearted delivery coupled with their denunciation of racism - a particularly admirable stance at a time when other 'skinhead bands', were flirting with right wing elements - made the album a classic. With the UK hit singles, 'I'm An Upstart' and 'Teenage Warning'(both 1979), they focused on the plight of the working class. The band went on to release a number of successful albums and minor hit singles before splitting in 1983. Angel Dust (The Collected Highs, 1983) was a useful compilation of their best early work.
The band have reformed and split a few times over the years and some of the ex members include... bass players, Ronnie Wooden, Glyn Warren, Tony Feedback, Ronnie Rocker and Max Splodge who also had a stint playing drums. Other drummers have included Sticks (who later joined The Cockney Rejects), Paul Thompson (ex Roxy Music) and Chris White. Decca Wade rejoined the band for a few years before leaving again. (he's now back in the band) Brian Hayes originally joined the band as second guitarist until Mond left leaving Brian as the only guitarist. The band had two full-length live releases 'Anthems Against Scum' and 'Live From The Justice League'. More recently, Mensi revamped the Upstarts with an all star line-up of Tony Van Frater (Red Alert) guitar, Gaz Stoker (Red London) Bass, Lainey (Leatherface) Drums, and this line-up recorded the first new Angelic Upstarts studio album in years, entitled 'Sons of Spartacus'.
Bringing the Upstarts to a mostly new generation of fans, still playing in tune with the anti-fascist cause. Mensi decided to leave the band in late 2006 but wanted Chris Wright (a long time fan of the Upstarts and singer for Crashed Out) to take over on vocals. Chris is still singing for Crashed Out. Late on in 2007, Mensi rejoined the band. The current Angelic Upstarts line up is Mensi - Vocals, Dickie Hammond - Guitar, Neil Newton - Guitar, Gaz Stoker - Bass, and Brett Mulvaney - Drums.