In Profile: The Undertones

With the Norwich Sound and Vision festival just around the corner here is a guide to the bands who will be performing in Norwich for this very exciting event.

Band Profile: The Undertones emerged from Derry in Northern Ireland in the whole punk, 'mew wave' boom of 1977-1978. They had actually formed in 1975. The time-honoured five mates who played cover versions in youth clubs. The line up featured the O'Neill brothers – John and Damian on guitars, Michael Bradley on bass, Billy Doherty on drums, and on vocals Feargal Sharkey.

Like countless others, punk rock fired their imagination, and gave shape and direction to their material. A love of Garage bands as heard on the seminal

Lenny Kaye compilation 'Nuggets' helped formulate their predilection for songs with strong chorus hooks, keeping songs short, economical and dynamic.

It wasn't until 1978 that their pop fizz bombs were finally preserved on vinyl, with the classic debut single 'Teenage Kicks', released originally on the Good Vibrations label. The song so enamoured influential Radio One deejay John Peel that he announced it to be his 'favourite record of all time', and played the single incessantly. 'Teenage Kicks' has subsequently come to be considered one of the best rock songs of all time.

The Undertones shared a musical commonality with The Ramones in the USA and The Buzzcocks in England, wherein their songs were distilled to an addictive core, but still finding time for lyrical invention and musical flair.

Signing to The Ramones label, Sire, the bands eponymous debut album and its follow-up, 'Hypnotised', showed that 'Teenage Kicks' was no mere fluke. On 'Hypnotised', the band even spoofed label mates Talking Heads second album, 'More Songs About Buildings and Food' with the song 'More Songs about Chocolate and Girls', showing that there was a knowing wit at work amongst the addictive choruses and chunky riffing. The band earned a reputation as a 'singles' act par excellence, with cracking 45s such as 'Here Comes The Summer', 'You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)', and 'My Perfect Cousin'.

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Taken from Wikipedia

What the experts say: 'The reason the Undertones stuck out was that, unlike their cooler older peers from London and Manchester, they didn't stick to the rigorous adoption of American garage and art rock like the Stooges to the Velvets.' Chris Jones, BBC

The Fall + The Undertones + Bearsuit + Dingus Khan

Wednesday 10 October : 7.30pm

�20.00 adv : �22.00 door

At EPIC Studios in Norwich (Magdalen Street)

Fundraiser for the John Peel Centre of Creative Arts in Stowmarket

This is the launch event for the John Peel Festival of New Music and we are delighted that these two iconic bands have agreed to play. Norwich Arts Centre have been working with John Peel's wife Sheila Ravenscroft to help establish both the new venue in Stowmarket and the festival as a permanent legacy to the much missed DJ.

If anybody would like to make a donation to the new John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts in Stowmarket please visit

Three day Festival wristbands are available for �35 from Norwich Arts Centre but do not include the fundraiser event as announced above.

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