THE UNDERTONES have confirmed a run of UK live dates throughout May & June, with special guests Hugh Cornwell (all dates except Sheffield) & Neville Staple Band (Sheffield only).
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 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.
2018 marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of their most influential and famous song. On 21st April for Record Store Day 2018 the band released a Vinyl Singles Box Set containing the 13 x 7″ original Undertones singles from the classic early period: 1978-1983.
See them perform at The Leadmill in Sheffield on May 22nd.