Causeway Chronicle

THE UNDERTONES CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF TEENAGE KICKS 

THE UNDERTONES CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF TEENAGE KICKS  AND FRIENDS >  BUZZCOCKS (Belfast Only)  NEVILLE STAPLE FROM THE SPECIALS (Derry & Belfast)  THE OUTCASTS (Derry & Belfast)  DJ TERRI HOOLEY (Derry & Belfast)  FRI 24 NOVEMBER 2023 DERRY – THE MILLENNIUM FORUM  SAT 25 NOVEMBER 2023 BELFAST – THE TELEGRAPH BUILDING TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW FROM TICKETMASTER.IE & MILLENNIUMFORUM.CO.UK Local legends

The Undertones are pleased to announce headline Belfast & Derry shows at The Telegraph Building, Belfast on Saturday November 25th and the Millennium Forum, Derry on Friday November 24th 2023.  The shows will celebrate 45 years of their most influential and famous song, Teenage Kicks and will see the Derry five piece joined by a host of special guests, Buzzcocks, Neville Staple from The Specials, The Outcasts and DJ Terri Hooley.  

The Undertones emerged from Derry in 1976, the result of five friends (John O’Neill, Damian O’Neill, Feargal Sharkey, Billy Doherty and Michael Bradley) learning how to play basic rock and roll.  Even by the standards of that decade Derry was not the rock and roll capital of anywhere. With no live bands worth watching, they learned by listening to mail order records, reading one of the few copies of NME that made it to Derry but most of all from listening to John Peel’s wonderful show on BBC Radio One. Practicing in their bedrooms eventually led to the band recording John O’Neill’s ‘Teenage Kicks’ in 1978 on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations label in Belfast.

The legendary DJ John Peel received a copy and liked it so much he played it twice in a row on his radio show.  The Undertones signed with Sire Records and ‘Teenage Kicks’ was re- released, resulting in the band’s first appearance on Top Of The Pops. Over the next five years, John O Neill, crafted further pop gems such as `Here Comes The Summer`, ‘Jimmy Jimmy`, `You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It)’ and ‘Wednesday Week’ whilst Damian O’Neill and Michael Bradley contributed ‘My Perfect Cousin. They also recorded four highly acclaimed LPs. Indeed, they almost enjoyed the life of professional musicians. In 1983 Feargal Sharkey left the band to pursue a solo career and the remaining members decided to call it a day. The Undertones were to remain silent for the next sixteen years.  

In 1999 The Undertones reconvened, without Feargal Sharkey, to once again perform their two-minute, three and a half chord songs to a new generation of fans in Derry. Fellow Derryman Paul McLoone replaced Sharkey on vocals and his vocal prowess and electric onstage presence soon convinced any doubters that he was more than capable of doing the job.  After much consideration the band released an LP of new songs called `Get What You Need’, which was critically acclaimed by Q magazine, Uncut, Rolling Stone and Hot Press. Songs like ‘Thrill Me’, ‘I Need Your Love The Way It Used To Be’ and ‘Everything But You’ showed that the art of writing short, sharp songs had not been lost over the previous two decades. 

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Maurice Bradley