The Undertones

<img src="" alt="The Undertones : Live" />It had been a beautiful sunny spring day on the Bristol harbour as Derry's finest, The Undertones, took to the small dark...
The Undertones : Live
The Undertones

It had been a beautiful sunny spring day on the Bristol harbour as Derry’s finest, The Undertones (Paul McLoone, vocals, John and Damian O’Neil, guitars, Billy Doherty, drums and Michael Bradley, bass guitar), took to the small dark stage in the hold of the Bristol Paul McLooneThekla boat to a packed sold out crowd.

The Undertones (Mark 1) had been responsible for four studio albums, but tonight they were here to play their 1979 self-titled album in its entirety and many other tracks for these albums.  Over the next hour and half the moored venue would bob along to a full catalogue of catchy two-minute gems of pop/punk wonders adored by many including the late, great BBC DJ, John Peel OBE.  Mr Peel was the legend that gave these young hopefuls from Northern Ireland, their big break when he played "Teenage Kicks" on his show, and tonight the band played this best known song not only once, but twice.

Paul McLoone is a fantastic frontman, entertaining with his ‘arse shaking,’ whit and fun.  The Undertones have never been pretentious, and always appreciate the audience and this was evident as the band took time to shake hands with the audience at the front at the end of each set, but also returned directly to the bar to chat with gig goers straight after the show.
The Undertones

an O'Neill"Here Comes the Summer" was perfect and very apt on a day that had seen temperatures soar and was met by a wild mass of sweaty bodies leaping around, like dysfunctional adults with ADHD.  There were songs a plenty about being young and the trials and tribulations of relationships with popular favourites such as, "Get Over You", "(She’s A) Run Around" an O'Neilland "You Got My Number", with McLoone and Bradley chatting away freely between songs and genuinely having fun.  At one point McLoone encouraged onto the small stage a bemused member of their crew, who suddenly found himself in the spotlight.  The crewmember had a thick Glaswegian accent and McLoone joked that the poor chap was used to touring with Simple Minds (allegedly).  He was then asked to say something Scottish, to which think he shared a line from Mel Gibson’s part in the film McLoone & crewBraveheart.

Most of the songs in the set were fast riotous numbers to especially delight those who have come to mosh.  However, there were some beautiful delicate moments within the set as we were treated to the far mellower but yet catchy "Wednesday Week". 

"It’s Going To Happen!", from the Positive Touch album was given an airing, whose lyrics are subtlety inspired by the hunger strikes that took place in Northern Ireland during the ‘80s.  The pace of the evening was frenetic and energetic throughout with the audience keeping pace with the band and each song greeted with glee.
the crowd

Michael BradleyThe band returned to do three encores which also included crowd favourite "Mars Bar", which had been hollered for all night from the off.  During ‘the mosh’ a female punky member of the audience appeared to get the back of someone’s head smack her in the mouth.  However, she seemed visibly pleased and happy and continued to leap around amongst her male counterparts; such was the evening where nothing was going to spoil the determination of everyone to "let their hair down." 

Billy DohertyThe band left with another rendition of "Teenage Kicks", which was met with just as much energy.  The audience would have kept calling for more all night, a complete success where both band and audience had really enjoyed themselves.  The Undertones have a way of playing punchy, fast songs, yet layered with well-textured catchy tunes that have taken the sounds of pioneers like The Ramones to another level.  You can’t help but feel this element of pop/punk sound will continue long after we have all gone. 
The Undertones

Paul McLooneIn 1979 The Undertones first toured the United States supporting none other than The Clash.  Those lucky enough to live in the west of the U.S. can again see this brilliant band on the following dates and a great way to welcome in the summer:

5/27/11 – San Francisco, CA – Rikshaw Stop Hall
5/28/11 – Portland, OR – Dante’s
5/29/11 – Las Vegas, NV – Punk Rock Bowling
6/1/11 – Oakland, CA – The Uptown
6/2/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
6/3/11 – San Diego, CA – Till Two
The Undertones

Concert Reviews
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