The Undertones live in 1979 & 1980

The Undertones live in 1979 & 1980
undertonestix79I first saw the Undertones at a gig in Middlesbrough Rock Garden on 4th March 1979. The place was completely jam packed and the band were simply incredible. There was a garage pop sensibility about this band, with Feargal’s wonderful warbling vocals, great tunes with instantly catchy hooks, cutting buzz guitar, and honest quirky songs about teenage angst and day to day life. The Undertones were a flash of welcome relief from the heavier political sentiments of many of the punk acts of the time. Their performances were pure raw energy, and they looked like (and were) young guys who had just stepped out of their front room rehearsals. The Rock Garden gig came soon after the release of the momentous “Teenage Kicks” single and before the release of their equally important first album. The original line-up of the band was Feargal Sharkey (vocals), John O’Neill (rhythm guitar), Damian O’Neill (lead guitar), Michael Bradley (bass) and Billy Doherty (drums).
undertonestix80A few months later and the Undertones had been in the UK Top 20 with “Jimmy Jimmy” and were headlining theatres and civic halls up and down the country. I saw them at Newcastle City Hall on 8th October with support from Tenpole Tudor (“Swords of 1,000 Men”).
They were back in the charts in 1980 with “My Perfect Cousin” and the wonderful “Wednesday Week” which was my favourite song of theirs. The Undertones returned to Newcastle City Hall on 8th June 1980 for another glorious performance. Support this time came from the Moondogs, who were a fellow Northern Irish band.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cliff on April 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    The Undertones were and still are a brilliant live band. Too classy to be called a punk band, they were just themselves and made numerous fantastic songs, many of their album tracks were just as good as their excellent singles.


  2. Posted by Steve on July 26, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I saw the Undertones at Middlesbrough Rock Garden on 22nd May 1979 and Middlesbrough Town Hall on 28th April 1981(TV21 were supporting)
    my mate got headbutted by a skinhead because he was dancing onstage(he went on to become the drummer for The Field Mice and Northern Picture Library)


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