The Undertones tonight. From a concert given at The Paris Theatre in April 19, 1980 mc’d by John Peel and recorded by BBC Radio 1 for their In Concert Series.
The Undertones were one of the most successful bands to come out of Northern Ireland and were hugely popular during the Punk period of 1977-1983. They recorded four albums and released some 13 singles during that time, scoring a string of hits in the process.
Initially formed in 1974 they began playing local venues by 1976. When Punk hit the scene they changed focus and took the name The Undertones. By 1977 they had attracted a considerable amount of attention, particularly from John Peel, who had been a copy of their demo reel. Peel was so impressed with the band that he offered to book the group into a studio to record what became their first ep, Teenage Kicks. The band issued the ep on Belfast’s Good Vibrations label and Teenage Kicks became their first hit.
Shortly after, they were signed to Sire Records on a five-year contract and by 1978 had embarked on their first UK tour.
This concert comes around the time their second album, Hypnotised was released and featured two hit singles, My Perfect Cousin and Wednesday Week. The album also hit Number 6 on the album charts and has been listed as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The streak of good luck and hit releases continued until 1983, when artistic differences between singer Feargal Sharkey and a general dissatisfaction with their label (EMI) prompted Sharkey to quit. The band played their last gig in July of 1983.
The Undertones reformed in 1999, minus Sharkey and have picked up where they left off and continue to perform.
If you missed the initial incarnation of The Undertones, here is a great place to start. John Peel announces and he’s truly a fan. If you remember them, and particularly their U.S. hit Here Comes The Summer, you know what I’m talking about.
Crank it up and enjoy.