REVIEW: THE UNDERTONES


Here Comes The Summer, and here come The Undertones. Thirty eight years on, the five-piece from Northern Ireland are playing iconic music venues around Europe and their show on 24 May at London's Koko was no exception. The five friends that formed the punk rock group in 1975 - which then included Feargal Sharkey on vocals - has changed its line up slightly since the beginning but still carries an enormous and infectious energy that shows no sign of slowing down. Twenty three songs and counting on their impressive set list The Undertones open with Jimmy, Jump Boys and Here Comes The Summer before Michael Bradley asks the crowd if his bass is too loud with Paul McLoone replying that the bass is always too loud - before ripping into a huge greatest hits set.

The Undertones recorded their debut four-song EP Teenage Kicks on a budget of only £200 and released on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations record label. The title song became a cult hit with support from John Peel, who considered Teenage Kicks his all-time favourite song, an opinion he held until his death in 2004 - his gravestone bears the inscription 'teenage dreams so hard to beat'. On 5 August this year Blu-ray and DVD release the critically acclaimed film Good Vibrations from Universal. The film looks at Terri Hooley, Belfast’s punk godfather who discovered The Undertones, and captures the heart and soul of one man’s passion for music and vinyl at the height of the sectarian troubles, who opens a record shop on the most bombed half-mile in Europe and calls it Good Vibrations. With an incredible soundtrack, this film is a must see.  Visit www.theundertones.com for this summer's tour dates and new release An Introduction to The Undertones, out this week. Words and photos: Robin Pope