Thousands raised for hospital in memory of Mensi with gig honouring Angelic Upstarts punk legend in South Shields

A fundraising gig for a punk rock legend has raised almost £7,000 for an excellent cause while honouring his memory.

Monday, 4th April 2022, 2:57 pm

Thomas Mensforth, better known as Mensi, was well known in the punk world as the singer, lyricist and founding member of South Tyneside band Angelic Upstarts.

Most of the money was from ticket sales at the sell-out gig at Hedworth Hall in South Shields. But there was also a raffle, with a signed Stiff Little Fingers guitar among the prizes.

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The show was suitably boisterous.

The show featured bands Crashed Out and The Panic Report. But the headliners were of course Angelic Upstarts, with Mensi’s vocals being taken over by his friend and Crashed Out singer Chris Wright. The evening was a huge success.

For the finale the stage was packed with family, friends and colleagues of Mensi joining the Upstarts to belt out fans’ favourite I’m An Upstart. Many of them were wearing Mensi T-shirts.

The emotional gig was organised by a number of people, including Mensi’s daughter Victoria Sandberg-Rodgers, with husband and wife promoters John and Sam Connor.

Angelic Upstarts were a significant part part of the punk movement after bursting onto the scene in the late 1970s. They recorded a dozen studio albums, but probably remain best known for their controversial 1978 single The Murder of Liddle Towers.

Mensi's daughter, Victoria Sandberg-Rodgers, left, shows off the amount raised with promoters Sam Connor and John Connor.

Chris Wright has been with Crashed Out since 1995. He was a huge fan of Angelic Upstarts from his teenage years onward and became firm friends with Mensi who was hugely encouraging.

He even had a Crashed Out tattoo on his chest, which was put there by Chris who owns the Viking Tattoo Studio in the centre of Jarrow.

Chris stood in for Mensi during an Upstarts European tour in 2006 when the man himself was unable to perform.

Chris said: “It went off better than expected. It was a perfect evening and a little bit of history. It’s one I’ll definitely remember.

Mensi, doing what he did best.

“A massive thank you to everyone who bought tickets. All the bands put in their time and effort and played perfectly.”

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Mensi's daughter Victoria presented stand-in singer Chris Wright with a gift - in a distinctly un-punk bag.

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A young Mensi, left, with the other Angelic Upstarts.