The Undertones are a punk rock/New Wave band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1975. From 1975 to 1983, the Undertones originally consisted of Feargal Sharkey (lead vocals), John O'Neill (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Damian O'Neill (lead guitar, backing vocals), Michael Bradley (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Billy Doherty (drums). Although much of the earlier Undertones material drew influence from punk rock and new wave, the Undertones also incorporated elements of rock, glam rock and post-punk into material 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 Sharkey announced his intention to leave the band in May 1983, citing musical differences as the reason for the break up. The group had been set to reform to play at Peel's 50th birthday party in August 1989, but had to cancel due to a family bereavement.

In November 1999, the Undertones reformed but upon Sharkey declining, they replaced Sharkey with fellow Derry native, Paul McLoone who in addition to being the group's new and permanent frontman is also a DJ with the Irish national and independent radio station, Today FM.

The Undertones are still together to this day, often performing gigs all over the world with McLoone serving as the current frontman.

They also remain the most successful band to have emerged from Derry and also one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Northern Ireland.

Links To Peel

John Peel famously plays The Undertones 'Teenage Kicks' twice in a row

John Peel famously plays The Undertones 'Teenage Kicks' twice in a row

Peel plays The Undertones 'Teenage Kicks' twice in a row in 1978

Peel was such a fan of this group, he played their song Teenage Kicks twice in one show in 1978 [1].

On 22 January 1979 the band joined Peel in the studio during his programme, having just recorded a session for the show at Maida Vale.

He also made a TV documentary in 2001 on the band called The Story Of The Undertones: Teenage Kicks.

Members of the band including Feargal Sharkey attended John Peel's funeral in 2004 and the song Teenage Kicks was played during the ceremony.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • Get Over You (1979, #12; 1980, #17; 1981, # 20; 1982 all-time, #36)
  • Jimmy Jimmy (1979, #31)
  • Oh Please (2003, #22)
  • Teenage Kicks (1978, #10; 1979, #2; 1980, #7; 1981, #6; 1982 all-time, #8; 2000 all-time, #2)
  • Thrill Me (2003, #4)
  • You've Got My Number (1979, #29)



1. Recorded 1978-10-01. First broadcast 16 October 1978. Repeated 11 January 1979 [1], 20 January 1997 (John Peel's Classic Sessions)

  • Get Over You / Top 20 / She Can Only Say No / Male Model

2. Recorded 1979-01-22. First broadcast 05 February 1979. Repeated 19 February 1979, 29 August 1979.

  • Listening In / Family Entertainment / Billy's Third / Here Comes The Summer

3. 1979-05-07. First broadcast 11 June 1979. Repeated 26 June 1979.

  • Nine Times Out Of Ten / The Way Girls Talk / Whiz Kids / Top 20

4. Recorded 1980-01-21. First broadcast 23 January 1980. Repeated 11 February 1980 / 10 March 1980.

  • Girls That Don't Talk / Tearproof / What's With Terry? / Rock 'n' Roll

5. Recorded 1980-11-16. First broadcast 09 December 1980. Repeated 01 April 1981

  • The Positive Touch / You're Welcome / When Saturday Comes

6. Recorded 1982-11-08. First broadcast 07 December 1982. Repeated ?

  • Untouchable / The Love Parade / Luxury / The Sin Of Pride

7. Recorded 2003-05-14. First broadcast 14 May 2003. Repeated ?

  • Everything But You / Thrill Me / I Need Your Love The Way It Used To Be / Girl Like You

Featured in shows

(The list below is incomplete. Please add further details if known.)

  • 09 November 1989: Family Entertainment (LP - The Undertones) Sire
  • 30 November 1989: What's With Terry? (album - Hypnotised) Sire SRK 6088 SRK 6088
  • 05 December 1989: Billy's Third (LP - The Peel Sessions Album) Strange Fruit
  • 12 December 1989: Tearproof (album - The Peel Sessions) Strange Fruit SFRLP103
  • 16 December 1989 (BFBS) (Peel 127 (BFBS)): 'Rock 'N' Roll (LP-The Peel Sessions Album)' (Strange Fruit) (JP: 'I was thinking you know as that was playing how interesting it is that the little snobberies that one is guilty of, however hard you try not to be, I would never have played the original of that, by Gary Glitter, because it would have been dead uncool, but it's alright to play it by the Undertones....Odd that, really. I should be ashamed of meself.')
  • 18 December 1989: Here Comes The Summer (album - The Peel Sessions) Strange Fruit SFRLP103
  • 24 June 1996: Family Entertainment (session) (John Peel's Classic Sessions)
  • 10 October 1996 (BFBS): 'Teenage Kicks (7")' (Good Vibrations) (JP: 'Still get a lump in me throat every time I hear that, you know...The Pig has promised that it'll be played at my funeral: let's hope that isn't too soon, although I must admit with this cold, I feel as though it could come within the next few minutes. Well, next week or so anyway.')

See also


  1. This is the date as stated in The Peel Sessions: however, the audio evidence tends to gainsay this.

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