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This photo was taken during that strange few weeks between Teenage Kicks coming out on the Good Vibrations label and our signing with Sire records. I would guess September 1978. I remember we decided to get some photos taken as until then we had a total of six pictures of ourselves, not including the TK sleeve. It was a wonderful time - we were all enjoying ourselves - even Feargal was enjoying the heat coming from Billy's groin.

The varying width of our trousers is worth noting. John, Damian and Feargal go with the narrow leg look , which was all the rage in 1978.  All the rage in London, not necessarily Derry. Billy goes for the classic 'Skinners' wide leg denim, with a neat one inch turn up.  I decided on the 'Parallels' that had been the uniform of the Derry youth about town of the early to mid 1970s. Around three inches above the ankle was my limit, although I remember some of my classmates at St Peters went the full twelve inches.  I must confess that I was two years behind those classmates in adopting the look. With mature hindsight, I can see that we are taking a bit of a risk. Not artistically but physically, sitting on those railings.  All it would take is for one of us to fall backwards, grab the Undertone next to him, and we'd have been a one hit wonder.

(What do you mean, no great loss ??) 

Michael Bradley (Photo copyright: Bernard McAnaney)

Derry -1978

I suppose every band has some kind of homecoming show. It lets those fellow citizens who had never heard of the band know that they exist, and are doing quite well - and it gives an opportunity for the fans who knew the band way back when to look down on those who weren’t there the first time round.

We had two homecoming shows - the first in a pub called The Rocking Chair, the night after we first appeared on Top Of The Pops. The second, seven weeks later, in the Rialto Cinema, where this photograph was taken. December 1978. The Rialto used to be an ABC cinema (I saw “Help!” there thirteen years later. I think it was there. Or maybe the Palace. or Odeon. Sorry.) Outside the sign said “The Undertones” above another saying “The Swarm”. The Swarm weren’t the support band although it’s a great name for a band. It was the film showing that week, starring Michael Caine and a lot of bees. The Rialto was closed a few years back and is now a Primark. The photo was taken by Paddy Simms who took a lot of the important pictures of us.

Michael Bradley


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