Fans and friends to remember Angelic Upstarts punk legend Mensi at sold-out hospital fundraiser in South Shields

Fans and friends are set to honour a punk legend at a sell-out charity gig raising funds for NHS heroes who cared for him in his final days.
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Thomas Mensforth, Mensi to his friends, died from Covid-19 in December 2021 aged 65. He was well known as the singer and lyricist for Angelic Upstarts.

The band were politically charged and recorded many albums, but were probably best known for their song The Murder of Liddle Towers, which caused a stir in 1978.

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Mensi was a much-loved and respected member of the “punk family” who will come together at Hedworth Hall in South Shields on Friday, April 1. The 500-capacity venue is sold out at £14 per ticket.

The late, great Mensi in action with Angelic Upstarts.The late, great Mensi in action with Angelic Upstarts.
The late, great Mensi in action with Angelic Upstarts.

The bands Crashed Out and the Panic Report will open the show, before Angelic Upstarts take to the stage. Mensi’s place will be taken by Crashed out singer Chris Wright.

Chris, who owns the Viking Tattoo Studio in Jarrow, was a close friend of Mensi’s. Chris tattooed Mensi’s chest with a Crashed Out logo.

The gig will raise funds for the ICU at South Tyneside Hospital, where Mensi passed away. Among the organisers are Mensi’s daughter Victoria Sanberg-Rogers and John Connor from JS Promotions.

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There will also be a raffle. Fellow punk legends Stiff Little Fingers have donated a signed guitar as a prize. Angelic Upstarts’ founder and other past members will be in attendance.

Angelic Upstarts. Mensi is furthest left.Angelic Upstarts. Mensi is furthest left.
Angelic Upstarts. Mensi is furthest left.

Chris Wright has stood in for Mensi before, with the great man’s blessing, for an Upstarts European tour in 2006.

Chris said: “I got into the band when I was a kid. They were one of the first bands I got into.

“Years later I met Mensi and he took my band under his wing. We went all over Europe with them and we became good mates. Eventually he asked me to stand in for him when he had some personal issues.

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“He got in touch with the promoters and they were fine with it. Mensi said: ‘If you can put the passion into the songs then it’ll be be fine.’

As well as being Mensi's friend, Chris Wright was also his tattooist.As well as being Mensi's friend, Chris Wright was also his tattooist.
As well as being Mensi's friend, Chris Wright was also his tattooist.

“We did a split album with them called The Dirty Dozen and he had a Crashed Out tattoo on his chest. Obviously when he passed away we were devastated. So this seems a good way to say farewell.”

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