‘Remarkable’ new Undertones documentary on TV this weekend

The Undertones will feature in a new documentary to be televised this Friday night.
The Undertones will feature in a new documentary to be televised this Friday night.

A new documentary profiling Derry punk icons The Undertones will be televised this weekend.

Commissioned by the BBC, the programme is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC4 at 9.45pm on Friday, September 7.

‘Here Comes the Summer’ - an hour-long programme - features interviews with band members, their friends, family, colleagues and contemporaries, alongside archive and music.

The programme is billed as the “remarkable, funny and moving story of one of Britain’s favourite bands - the most improbable pop stars who emerged from one of the darkest, most violent places on the planet.”

In 1978, The Undertones released Teenage Kicks, one of the most perfect and enduring pop records of all time - “an adolescent anthem that spoke to teenagers all over the globe.”

It was the first in a string of hits that created a timeless soundtrack to growing up, making the Derry band one of punk rock’s most prolific and popular bands.

Unlike the anarchic ragings of The Sex Pistols or the overt politics of The Clash, The Undertones’ songs often focused on mammy’s boys, girls - or the lack of them.

But, nonetheless, their gems of pop music were just as revolutionary - startlingly positive protest songs that demanded a life more ordinary, simply because The Undertones came from Derry, epicentre of the violent troubles that tore Northern Ireland apart during the 1970s.

Although much of their earlier material drew influence from punk rock and new wave, The Undertones also incorporated elements of rock, glam rock and post-punk into their songs released after 1979, before citing soul and Motown as the influence for the material released on their final album.

The Undertones released thirteen singles and four studio albums between 1978 and 1983 before singer Feargal Sharkey announced his intention to leave the band in May 1983, citing musical differences as the reason for the break up.

The band - which reformed in 1999 with Paul McLoone as their new singer - still tour.