Twenty treasures from Ireland's finest punk band
Belfast’s Stiff Little Fingers hoodwinked London critics but Derry’s The Undertones were a much more inventive and explosive phenomenon. The O’Neill brothers matched melodic flair to humour, aggression and an acute awareness of social and sexual mores, all perfectly captured by ex-choirboy vocalist Feargal Sharkey. Between ’78 and their split in ’83 they covered all bases-heart-pounding frustration (“Get Over You”), tumescent glory (“Teenage Kicks”), social unease (the H-Block inspired “It’s Going To Happen”) and shimmering ballads (“Julie Ocean”). The reformed Tones (minus Sharkey) have a daunting legacy to live up to (their new album is reviewed on p 112).