The Undertones

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About The Undertones

The Undertones burst out of Northern Ireland in the late ’70s with all the energy and promise of the newly minted UK punk revolution. They had come together in 1974 as ’60s-rock-loving teens in Derry before becoming early punk adopters. In 1978 they sent a demo to maverick BBC tastemaker John Peel, who was bowled over and financed the making of their debut EP. Between Feargal Sharkey’s singular, keening vocal style, the band’s power-pop hooks, and Peel’s fervent promotion, the song “Teenage Kicks” put The Undertones on the map and would come to be a classic. A deal with Sire Records followed, and the band’s first, self-titled album arrived with a splash in 1979. They grew up fast, and by their third album, 1981’s Positive Touch, they were expanding their instrumental palette, honing their songwriting savvy, and addressing The Troubles at home. Soul and pop touches adorned their next evolutionary step, 1983’s The Sin of Pride, but label demands and internal conflict led to the band’s split later that year. Guitarists John and Damian O’Neill formed That Petrol Emotion, and Sharkey went solo. The Undertones reunited in 1999 with Paul McLoone replacing Sharkey, touring and recording for years to come.

Derry, Northern Ireland
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