Andy Ffrench revisits his pogo-ing youth, and first ever gig, with this sparky restrospective from Derry's finest

  • The Undertones
  • An Introduction To The Undertones
  • Union Square

THIRTY-FIVE years on from Teenage Kicks, a single legendary DJ John Peel thought hard to beat, The Undertones are being celebrated, with a new CD and DVD compilation.

The band exploded out of Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1978 and their melodic new wave thrashes still sound as fresh today as they always did.

It’s as good a time as any to give Here Comes The Summer a listen. It features on disc one, along with the band’s other 45s, including Jimmy Jimmy, It’s Going To Happen, and my own favourite Get Over You.

I will always remember the band with great affection as it was the first gig I got to go to, at Malvern Winter Gardens.

The pace of the songs — and the pogo-ing — was so lively that my pal Steve Dunn fainted standing up.

There was no opportunity for him to keel over, as we were so tightly packed in at the front of the stage, and he came round eventually to enjoy the rest of the concert.

As fans were milling around after the gig Feargal Sharkey came out to sign autographs and the only thing I had to hand was a copy of The Clash’s Tommy Gun I had just bought at a record fair in the foyer.

Sharkey duly signed the single ‘Joe Strummer’. I had to go back to him to get the correct signature, which he completed with a big grin.

An Introduction To The Undertones has brought back some great memories, features most of my favourite songs, and there’s some energetic live sequences on the DVD too.