The Undertones

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by ping-ping-clicka, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 28, 2019
    left coast
  2. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 17, 2010
    Northern NJ
    H Y P I’m hypnotized!

    I wanna wanna be a male mod el!

    They were surely different. Kinda liked them.
    GGardner likes this.
  3. chillybilly

    chillybilly Tele-Meister

    Nov 17, 2019
    I'm not the luckiest person on earth - far from it - but I did happen to be in London on a night when the Undertones played Dingwalls (Camden Market, North London) about 10 years ago.

    I was a devotee of their music in the original era albeit delayed by a year or two as so many things were due to the lag between musical trends across the Atlantic Ocean in those years.

    I always marveled at their hooks, at the humor, at the clever lyrics, at the ability to merge pop and punk. I also marveled at the fact that they were from Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles and managed to avoid the subject entirely. As they confirmed in a documentary I watched a few years ago, they were very aware of this but it wasn't meticulously planned. Like all skilled authors, they wrote what they knew and that was the high jinks of youth and adolescent angst.

    Back to Dingwalls, I was disappointed but fully informed about the history of Feargal Sharkey's departure from the band and refusal to rejoin for any reason. To be fair, he launched a solo career and later got involved with music at a promotional/managerial/executive/media level.

    I've actually got the 'Teenage Kicks' DVD documentary featuring John Peel. Excellent.

    I was skeptical at best about Paul McLoone - or anyone else - being able to replace Sharkey's distinctive vocals. That doubt was swept aside with the first blast of sound in the smallish club. McLoone had his own thing but it fit perfectly with the 4 original members. The crowd - especially the dance floor populated by 50 clones of Phil Mitchell - heaved back and forth like waves hitting a dock and a good time was had by all. The Undertones had played these songs hundreds of times but did it with relentless energy. Like so many bands, the vocals and guitars (played by the two brothers) get the attention but it's the rhythm section that makes or breaks it and the drums & bass were locked in. Grinning, sweating, they pounded out the foundation for the rest.

    I was on John O'Neill's side of the stage. Given the rather ratty, punky sound of their guitars on the records I guess I expected vintage combos of questionable pedigree but John had a half stack consisting of a Marshall 1960A 4x12 and a Bad Cat head. This was the first time I'd seen a Bad Cat in the flesh. About a decade later I ended up owning a Bad Cat combo myself for about a year.

    I momentarily worried that John's amp sound would be 'too good' but he proved that, yes, tone is in the fingers and when I closed my eyes it was 1979 again.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    elihu and Fretting out like this.
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2019
    Land of Mary
    Wow this sure is catchy I can really appreciate punk music with real singing rather than incoherent shouting
  5. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

    Jun 22, 2017
    Absolutely! Haven't listened to them in decades but used to love them. "Get Over You," "You Got My Number," and "My Perfect Cousin" remain in my mind's jukebox.

    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  6. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Philly Burbs
    jimmy jimmy ooooooooo
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
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