Angelic Upstarts

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The Angelic Upstarts
Angelic Upstarts.jpg
Background information
Also known asThe Upstarts
OriginSouth Shields, England
GenresPunk rock, Oi!
Years active1977–present
LabelsWarner Bros., EMI, Anagram Records, Picasso Records, Link Records, Razor Records, Captain Oi!
MembersThomas 'Mensi' Mensforth
Mick Robson
John Woodward
Andy Wilkinson
Past members'Mond' Cowie
Derek 'Decca' Wade
Steve Forsten
Ronnie Wooden
Glyn Warren
Tony Feedback
Ronnie Rocker
Max Splodge
Sticks Warrington
Paul Thompson
Chris Wright
Brett Mulvaney
Dickie Hammond
Steve Straughan
Brian Hayes
Gaz 'Geordie' Stoker and Daz Fleming (Mutley McDaz)
Neil "Newts" Newton

The Angelic Upstarts are an English punk rock band formed in South Shields in 1977. AllMusic calls them "one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups".[1] The band espoused an anti-fascist and socialist working class philosophy, and have been associated with the punk subculture and skinhead subculture.

The band released eight studio albums in their first decade.[2] After a brief split they reformed in 1988, and a number of times subsequently, with new albums [3] appearing in 1992, 2002, 2011, and 2016. More than two decades after its release, their debut single, "The Murder of Liddle Towers", was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time.[4]


The band's original members were Thomas Mensforth (Mensi) on vocals, Ray Cowie (Mond) on guitar, Steve Forsten on bass guitar, and Derek "Decca" Wade on drums. Keith Bell was the manager until 1980, when he was jailed for four and a half years for arson.[5]

Other former members include Ronnie Rocker and bassists Ronnie Wooden, Glyn Warren and Tony Feedback (now in Long Tall Shorty and Kiria's live band). Drummers have included Keith “Sticks” Warrington (who later joined Cockney Rejects), Paul Thompson (ex-Roxy Music), Chris Wright, Evo (who has also played in The Blood, Major Accident and Warfare.).

Wade rejoined the band for a few years before leaving again.[6] Brian Hayes (also of Blaggers ITA, Long Tall Shorty) originally joined the band as the second guitarist until Mond left, leaving Hayes as the only guitarist. Mensi was the only original member still in the band.

In August 2006, Mensi announced he was resigning, but requested that the band continue with Chris Wright (of the band Crashed Out[7]) on vocals. The band's lineup became Wright on vocals, Dickie Hammond on guitar, Neil "Newts" Newton on guitar, Gaz "Geordie" Stoker on bass and Wade on drums. In the latter part of 2007, Mensi rejoined the band and the lineup became Mensi on vocals, Gaz "Geordie" Stoker on bass, Hammond on guitar, Newts on guitar and Brett Mulvaney (and later Jonnie Halling) on drums.

The current lineup from 2020 is Mensi on vocals, Mick Robson on guitar, John Woodward on bass and Andy Wilkinson on drums.[8]


Angelic Upstarts are regarded as pioneers of the Oi! punk subgenre.[9] In 2001, Various Artists cover album We Are the People was released in tribute to the Upstarts, including tracks from bands such as Leatherface, The Oppressed, Red London and Red Alert.[10] In 2009, punk-influenced singer-songwriter Jamie T sampled vocals from the album Angelic Upstarts Live on his song "The Man's Machine".


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Angelic Upstarts Live (September 1981, Zonophone/EMI) - No. 27 UK
  • Live in Yugoslavia (1985, Picasso)
  • Live & Loud (1988, Link)
  • Greatest Hits Live (1991, Link)
  • Live in Lubeck 1989 (1994, Bay City)
  • Live from the Justice League (2001, TKO)
  • Anthems Against Scum (2001, Insurgence)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Angel Dust - The Collected Highs (1983, Anagram/Cherry Red)
  • Bootlegs & Rarities (1985, Dojo)
  • Lost & Found (1991, Link)
  • Alternative Chartbusters (1991, AOK)
  • Kids on the Streets (1993, Cleopatra)
  • The Independent Punk Singles Collection (1995, Cherry Red)
  • Rarities (1997, Captain Oi)
  • The EMI Punk Years (1999, Captain Oi)
  • Who Killed Liddle (1999, Recall)
  • Punk Singles Collection (2004, Captain Oi)


  • "The Murder of Liddle Towers"/"Police Oppression" (1978, Dead Records, re-released on Rough Trade/Small Wonder Records, Repress)
  • "I'm an Upstart"/"Leave Me Alone" (1979, Warner Bros.) - No. 31 UK
  • "Teenage Warning"/"The Young Ones" (1979, Warner Bros.) - UK No. 29
  • "Never 'ad Nothin'"/"Nowhere Left to Hide" (1979, Warner Bros.) - UK No. 52
  • "Out of Control"/"Shotgun Solution" (1980, Warner Bros. Records) - UK No. 58
  • "We Gotta Get Out of this Place"/"Unsung Heroes" (1980, Warner Bros. Records) - UK No. 65
  • "Last Night Another Soldier"/"I Wish" (1980, Zonophone/EMI) - UK No. 51
  • "England"/"Stick's Diary" (1981, Zonophone/EMI)
  • "Kids on the Street"/"The Sun Never Shines" (1981, Zonophone/EMI) - UK No. 57
  • "I Understand"/"Never Come Back" (1981, Zonophone/EMI)
  • "Different Strokes"/"Different Dub" (1981, Zonophone/EMI)
  • "Never Say Die"/"We Defy You" (1982, Zonophone/EMI)
  • "Woman in Disguise"/"Lust for Glory" (1982, Anagram/Cherry Red) (Also released on 12" single)
  • "Solidarity"/"Five Flew Over..." (1983, Anagram/Cherry Red) (Also released on 12" single)
  • "Not Just a Name"/"The Leech" (1983, Anagram/Cherry Red) (Also released on 12" single?)
  • "Machinegun Kelly"/"There's a Drink in It" (1984, Picasso)
  • "Brighton Bomb" E.P (1985, Sparta Florida/Gas Music Ltd) (12" Single)
  • "Brighton Bomb" (1987, Chameleon)
  • "England's Alive" E.P. (1988, Skunx) (12" Single)
  • "Angelic Upstarts/The Prowlers" (2014, Insurgence)[13]


  • Holidays In The Sun (1997) (VHS)
  • Angelic Upstarts Live: Solidarity (2005) (DVD)


  1. ^ Angelic Upstarts Biography. AllMusic. accessed 3 July 2006
  2. ^ "Angelic Upstarts". Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Angelic Upstarts | Discography". Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  4. ^ Mojo (October 2001) - 100 Punk Scorchers , Issue 95, London;
  5. ^ Bradbury, Jennifer (23 March 2006). "Still crazy after all these years". ChronicleLive. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  6. ^ "I'm An Upstart: The Decca Wade Story - Kindle edition by Fitzsimons, Ronan. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks @". Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Crashed out - Home". Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Official Angelic Upstarts".
  9. ^ "Punk Singles Collection - Angelic Upstarts | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  10. ^ "We're the People: Tribute to Angelic Upstarts - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 585. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ "Loading..."
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]