It’s not often I get an EP to review where the tracks were recorded over a period of 32 years. But then again not many bands are SHAG NASTY.

For those of you unaware the band was started back in the heady days of 1977 when guitarist Riff Starr and singer Gary formed a punk rock band. However they had a seemingly insurmountable problem in that they had neither equipment nor money. But with the generosity that was to mark become his trademark, long standing friend Joe Strummer provided them £500 from The Clash's CBS Records advance and they were on their way.

During the early scene they gigged continually around London, playing alongside such stalwarts of the fledgling punk seen as Menace, (pre Nazi era) Screwdriver and X-Ray Spex. However they didn’t just limit themselves musically and one memorable concert at London's Rainbow Theatre saw them supporting Dillinger and Clint Eastwood to a packed audience of reggae fans. Their most infamous moment probably came when supporting The Clash at the Britain's Burning Punk Festival in Birmingham in July 1977, as faced with what they perceived as a potential flashpoint, the local council shut down the gig.

After a fairly lengthy hiatus the band have returned and are both recording and back on the road. They took in the Rebellion Festival at Blackpool last year and have streamlined their set to include both their original punk classics and some newer material. Which brings me nicely to their latest release “Broken Britain EP”.

The first two tracks were recorded in 1977, and whilst production techniques have changed dramatically in the intervening three decades, it’s still nice to hear the raw sound of opener “No Bullshit, Just Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Whilst this undoubtedly has all the hallmarks of late seventies punk, it also uses a certain amount of dub that at the time was normally associated exclusively with reggae music. The only other track I can recall of that era that also used this technique was “Wild Dub”, the B Side of Generation X’s “Wild Youth” single. It makes an old man like me happy to hear again the early sounds of earnest British punk rock, before the scene became stagnant and fragmented, and this track gives the EP a cracking start.

Second number “Looking for Love” starts with a nice bass/drum intro, which leads into a good solid punk rock song, that rattles along at a fair old pace complete with shouty verses and catchy chorus. But don’t take my word for it, click onto their website ( and you can hear the God like genius that was John Peel praising the “great bass drum sound” and ruminating on the fact that it should have been a record. Wise words.

The remainder of the EP comes from the band as it is today, and whilst they may be a little bit older in the tooth than when they first wore a safety pin, time has not diminished their enthusiasm. “High Speed Punks” still contains the buzz saw guitar, big bass sound and thumping drums that were prevalent in their releases from a generation previously. The band now sport an “All Starr” line up with founder Riff Starr on guitar, Bow Starr on vocals, Straka Starr on bass and Nick Aloha Starr on drums. If you fancy a night out seeing a band that was truly there at the dawn of UK punk they next tread the boards at the Borderline on November 26th along with Sham 69 and Alternative TV.

Just to show that there is a political side to their music, penultimate track “Power” opens with a Jimi Hendrix type rendition of the National Anthem that gives way to a tirade about the abuse of power by our elected representatives. At a time when it is apparent that most member of her Majesty’s Government (and opposition) are only concerned with getting their snouts in the trough of expenses, Shag Nasty give vent to the frustrations of all working class people in seeing the catalogue of broken promises that seems to be a feature of all our politicians. It finishes with a football chant that seems to show that they have latterly developed an edgier Street Punk/Oi sound.

Final track “Stranger in the City” even has a Crass like feel in parts with an almost military sounding drum style hammering away behind a wall of electric guitars. However it still sits nicely with the overall feel of a band rediscovering themselves, whilst keeping true to their original principles, but redefining their sound for a new audience.

So if you fancy a slice of old, yet new, punk rock try raiding your piggy bank and purchasing this EP if for no other reason than to prove that punk didn’t start with Green Day or the Offspring. Go to the bands myspace page ( for details or try or even their label Detour Records.