THE UNDERTONES – The Gov Sunday 9 July 2017
Review Geoff Jenke
Such is the dedication of fans of The Undertones, that the man and lady at the front of the stage had come from England to watch the show, in fact every show in Australia. This was to be his 79th Undertones gig. That is dedication.
The Undertones formed in Ireland in 1974 and quickly became part of the punk movement in England. Legendary English DJ John Peel had cited Teenage Kicks as his favourite single of ALL TIME. A big call from a man who had heard many thousand singles. The band originally had Feargal Sharkey as lead single and after the band broke up in 1983 he went on to a successful solo career.
The Undertones reformed in 1999 with new singer Paul Mcloone and have been gigging and releasing albums since. Full credit to the band in that the only non original member is Paul Mcloone and he has been with them since the reformation. Nearly 45 years on from forming, The Undertones hit The Gov for an evening of 2 minute punk classics. We got 27 songs in just under 80 minutes.
They hit the stage with Jimmy Jimmy and even a false start couldn’t stop their enthusiasm. It was fast and frantic all night; in fact it reminded me of a Ramones gig I saw in the early 80’s. Age has not wearied them. Singer Paul McLoone was bouncing all over the stage, bumping into other members along the way.
THE hit single Teenage Kicks came out early. Everyone expected it to be the finale but such is the repertoire of the band it didn’t matter. Here Comes the Summer, You’ve Got My Number, Jump Boy, Wednesday Week and Get Over You all came in rapid fire, songs about girls, petty jealousy, girls, cousins, girls and teenage dreams.
Pristine sound helped make this a great gig. It was full of energy and passion. Paul McLoone nailed the songs and seemed to be enjoying the show as much as we did. If there was one complaint, we needed an interpreter to tell us what he was saying between songs sometimes.
The quick fire five song encore consisted of I Know a Girl, Top Twenty, Smarter Than You, Emergency Cases and My Perfect Cousin rounded off a perfect night.
According to our fan from England, apparently they sometimes finish the night with Teenage Kicks again.. alas not tonight. However like John Peel, I am now a massive fan of the band.
Full credit to support band Systemaddicts for a fast, furious and frantic set. The band even had a slide trombone player filling out the sound. This band just made the night even better.