Undertones and Moondogs in St Columb’s Hall gig

The Undertones rock The Venue during recording for the Sons & Daughters concert
The Undertones rock The Venue during recording for the Sons & Daughters concert
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They stole the show at the opening Sons and Daughters concert and now the Undertones are preparing to help end the City of Culture year on a high note at the refurbished St Columb’s Hall on Friday 13 December. They are joining forces with The Moondogs for the one-off gig, with support from rising stars The Clameens.

The legendary groups, who both emerged during the punk explosion of the late seventies, will come together for a pulsating night as they work their way through their extensive repertoire.

The Undertones’ debut single ‘Teenage Kicks’, released in 1978, was regarded by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel as his all-time favourite song. A cover version of the song recorded by One Direction for Comic Relief entered the UK charts at number one in February this year.

The Undertones, Michael Bradley, John O’Neill, Fergal Sharkey and Billy Doherty, released thirteen singles and four studio albums between 1978 and 1983. ‘Teenage Kicks’ reached number 31 in the UK singles chart in October 1978 and ‘My Perfect Cousin’ was a number nine hit for the band in March 1980. They had eight UK top 40 hits between 1978 and 1981.

The band reformed in 1999 with Paul McLoone replacing lead singer Sharkey and released two albums - ‘Get What You Need’ in September 2003 and ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ in October 2007.

The Moondogs - Gerry Mc Candless, Austin Barrett and Jackie Hamilton - formed in 1978 and played their first gig in support of the Undertones at Bull Park. After recording their first single on the Good Vibrations label they went on to tour the UK and Ireland with The Undertones and recorded the first of two John Peel sessions. After signing to Real Records, the band produced a further three singles, ‘Who’s Gonna Tell Mary?’, ‘Talking in the Canteen’ and ‘Imposter’, before recording their first album ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ in Woodstock, New York, with the legendary Todd Rundgren at the helm. The Moondogs also recorded a seven-part television series for the ITV network called Moondog Matinee which featured appearances by bands such as Slade, The Boomtown Rats and Dave Edmonds.

The Moondogs disbanded in 1982. They reformed in 2003 to perform at a benefit concert for Derry City FC and in the same year released the album ‘Red Fish’ on Irish Indy label Reekus Records. Songs from the album featured in the motion picture Dead Long Enough, directed by fellow Derry man Tom Collins.

The Moondogs do not perform frequently and the gig at St Columb’s Hall presents a rare opportunity to see the band perform their songs live.

Gerry McCandless said: “I can’t wait to play again with The Moondogs and what makes it all the better is that I know so many people who can’t wait to see us as well.”

Austin Barrett said: “There’s actually something kind of more enjoyable about playing with The Moondogs after such a long time. Part of it is hearing and playing the songs but another part of it is knowing that the sound still resonates with young audiences.”

Jackie Hamilton said: “Looking back at our heyday, being in The Moondogs for me was like going to university for many of my peer group – we worked hard and played harder. This gig at Christmas will just be like many of those university gigs we played throughout the UK and Ireland. Like then, it will be an opportunity to see fans and friends that you just don’t otherwise get to see unless it’s a special occasion like this one being organised by Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013.”

The Clameens are one of the brightest up and coming bands on the local music scene. The band, Sean Breslin, Ryan McCaughey ad Diver brothers Hayden and Ethan, are one of the most exciting and versatile around on the Northern Irish music scene at the moment.

Culture Company Executive Programmer Graeme Farrow said: “Anyone who thinks of the music scene here immediately thinks of the Undertones and it would be unthinkable to have staged the culture year in this city without them. Together with The Moondogs, it will be a night of nostalgia for some with The Clameens demonstrating only too clearly that the strong musical heritage of this city is well and truly alive and kicking.”

Tickets for the show, costing £16.50 including booking fee, are on sale now and are available from www.millenniumforum,co,uk.