Catching the Undertones 34 years on from missing their Brooke Park gig

The Undertones pictured performing at the R�is�n Dubh  in Galway on August 11 (photo by Feargal Doherty)
The Undertones pictured performing at the R�is�n Dubh in Galway on August 11 (photo by Feargal Doherty)

Undertones Gig: Róisín Dubh Galway on August 11th

Arriving well early at Galway’s Róisín Dubh, I was fortunate to meet band member John O’Neill and told him my sorry tale of having walked out of their Brooke Park gig in Derry back in May, 1983, before the band came on stage due to my impatience at their late arrival.

It was one of life’s regrets and it would have been one of the last gigs with the original line up.

John told me if they where late on stage later that evening, not to go anywhere!

That was never going to happen and after a blistering solid support performance from ‘Oh Boland,’ the Undertones came on stage to a rapturous welcome by the packed Róisín Dubh and started the night with ‘Jimmy Jimmy.’

Then followed a catalogue of the band’s finest material including ‘My Perfect Cousin;’‘Here Comes the Summer;’ ‘Get Over You;’ ‘You’ve Got My Number’ and the band’s anthem ‘Teenage Kicks’ which, unsurprisingly, got the biggest roar of the night.

The Undertones really are masters of the sub three-minutes punchy song and each one was pelted out in quick succession with equal enthusiasm and energy.

There was great banter and wit between band members and the crowd with Mickey Bradley behind a lot of the verbal entertainment . . . well it is a Derry band after all.

“At one point, the band thanked The Saw Doctors and band member, Leo Moran, who was standing directly in front of me and whom I met briefly, for helping the Undertones reform in 1999.

Flamboyant frontman Paul McLoone then tells the crowd he wants to sing his favourite track, ‘Julie Ocean,’ and as the band near the end of their set, they decide to do four more songs including ‘Mars Bar’ and finally finishing on a second rendition of ‘Teenage Kicks’ which Mickey Bradley announces is for yours truly, which took me completely by surprise and almost floored me.

This was my first time seeing the Undertones after my walkout in Brooke Park 34 years ago and I hope it will not be my last.

I surprised myself at how much I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and my hoarse voice was testament to that at the end of the night.

There is still plenty of juice left in the Undertones’ batteries.

A superb and memorable night in Galway. The Undertones come to the Limelight in Belfast on December 1 and the Academy, Dublin the following night.