Angelic Upstarts

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"Upstarts" redirects here. For the comic book characters, see Upstarts (comics). For other uses, see Upstart (disambiguation).
Angelic Upstarts
Origin South Shields, England
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1977–present
Labels Warner Bros., EMI, Anagram, Picasso, Link, Razor, Captain Oi!
Website []
Members Thomas 'Mensi' Mensforth
Mr Gaz
Neil 'Newts' Newton
Jonnie Halling[1]
Past members Decca Wade
Ray 'Mond' Cowie
Steve Forsten
Ronnie Wooden
Glyn Warren
Tony Feedback
Ronnie Rocker
Max Splodge
Sticks Warrington
Paul Thompson
Chris Wright
Brett Mulvaney
Dickie Hammond
Steve Straughan

Angelic Upstarts are an English punk rock band formed in South Shields in 1977.[2] The band espoused an anti-fascist and socialist working class philosophy, and have been associated with the skinhead subculture. 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.[3]


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.[4] The band has split and reformed a few times, and former members include Ronnie Rocke and bassists Ronnie Wooden, Glyn Warren and Tony Feedback (now in Long Tall Shorty and Kiria's live band). Drummers have included Sticks Warrington (who later joined Cockney Rejects), Paul Thompson (ex-Roxy Music), Chris White, Evo (who has also played in The Blood, Major Accident and Warfare) and Max Splodge.

Wade rejoined the band for a few years before leaving again. Hayes originally joined the band as 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) on vocals. The band's lineup became Wright on vocals, Dickie Hammond on guitar, Neil 'Newts' Newton on guitar, Mr Gaz on bass and Wade on drums. In the latter part of 2007, Mensi rejoined the band and the lineup became Mensi on vocals, Mr Gaz on bass, Hammond on guitar, Newts on guitar and Brett Mulvaney (and later Jonnie Halling) on drums. Current lineup is now Mensi on vocals, Mr Gaz on bass, Neil 'Newts' Newton on guitar and Jonnie Halling on drums.[5]


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

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)[8]


  • Angelic Upstarts Live: Solidarity (2005)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Angelic Upstarts Biography. Allmusic. URL accessed July 3, 2006.
  3. ^ Mojo (October 2001) - 100 Punk Scorchers , Issue 95, London;
  4. ^ Bradbury, Jennifer (2006-03-23). "Still crazy after all these years". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 585. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]