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Uncut Article

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:36 pm
by Arthur
This months Uncut features a 4 to 5 page article on The Undertones. A large part of the article focuses on how to many people Feargal Sharkey is the Undertones, something the article doesn't help to diminish, by largely ignoring the fine music the band have produced since they reformed.

Re: Uncut Article

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:34 pm
by MarkW
I’ve bought the November edition of ‘Uncut’ and read this article by Mick Houghton - who was the press officer at Sire Records back in 1978. Mick is a great champion of The Undertones and his sleeve notes on 1983’s “All Wrapped Up” must rank as one of the finest tributes to them ever printed. Nonetheless, I can’t help feeling very disappointed by this article. There is much too much emphasis on the negative aspects of the relationship with Feargal and the lack of commercial success – the latter point being something that Undertones fans are only too painfully aware of.

However, whilst I appreciate that the article was written to tie in with the ‘Anthology’ release, the biggest disappointment is the fact that the reunion of the band only receives the tiniest of mentions in passing. The quality of ‘Get What You Need’ and ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ are clear evidence of a band that is still at the top of their game. The quote from John about his “resignation” at the reaction to ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ and “the realisation that no one is ever going to take the band seriously without Feargal” is hugely depressing – heaven only knows what Paul thinks of all this. Here was a golden opportunity for Mick to clearly state that the reformed band – complete with all other original members and most importantly 100% of the songwriters – are actually extremely good and that any sceptics out there should have a quick listen to songs like ‘Thrill Me, ‘Oh Please’, ‘Here Comes The Rain’ and ‘Fight My Corner’ (to name just four).

In my opinion one of the best things about seeing The Undertones perform live since 1999 – apart from the obviously brilliant music – has been the few occasions when I’ve witnessed an at first sceptical crowd, unsure about Paul’s presence on lead vocals, getting 100% behind the band by the end of the gig. Reforming without Feargal was a brave decision and it was always going to take a very special vocalist to pull it off. That Paul has done this so brilliantly is something that should be publicly celebrated at every opportunity. Certainly my mates at work all know my views on this - the ‘Thrill Me’ video has done the rounds with much success!

The least that Mick could have included in his article was praise for the quality of the reformed line-up and the music. No doubt he would say that he is just writing things as they are rather than painting a biased and unduly rosy picture – that’s what press releases are for. Maybe, but in my opinion this was yet another missed opportunity to celebrate the world class musical talent that is The Undertones – a talent that is genuinely as great today as it was 30 years ago.

Sorry for the length of this but some things have just got to be said. :(

Re: Uncut Article

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:58 pm
by Arthur
Mark, I agree 150% with what you say and I alluded to it in my original post. The unfortunate thing about Mick Houghton's article is that much of lead's from what the band have said but that's in their nature I suppose. I've often thought that their songwriting abilities are due in no small part to their insecurity which means they've never reached a comfort zone and need to constantly prove themselves. The upside of this are Get What You Need and Dig Yourself deep but the downside is underselling themselves big time.

Re: Uncut Article

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:53 pm
by MarkW
Hmmm, I’m not sure about this Arthur. Whilst I’ve never spoken with any member of The Undertones or anyone close to them about this, my perception has always been that they were following their musical instincts up to ‘Positive Touch’ and that they had no need to ‘prove’ themselves. The doubts only seemed to creep in when the sales started to dry up from the ‘Julie Ocean’ single onwards. Whilst I will always love ‘The Sin Of Pride’ there is clear evidence that this was a difficult album to make and from reading an old Rocking Humdingers Club newsletter from December 1982 I see that EMI even had the cheek to reject the first mix of the album! The fact that The Undertones were always expanding their horizons and not remaining within their established comfort zone is to me a sign of their ambition and brilliance and reflects the fact that the band were\are far better than your run-of-the-mill new wave band (if there is such a thing).

One thing that Mick is spot on about in his article though is the failure in 1981 of ‘Positive Touch’ to reach new audiences. A number of fans I have spoken with consider it to have been something of a mistake – one even went as far as to say that ‘Get What You Need’ would have made a great third album! I totally disagree with this view and think that ‘Positive Touch’ is a fantastic piece of work with not only John’s creativity reaching new heights but Damian’s and Mickey’s also. Songs like ‘It’s Going To Happen’, ‘Crisis Of Mine’, ‘You’re Welcome’ and ‘Forever Paradise’ have to be contenders for the finest Undertones songs ever written.

In a just world The Undertones should have gone on to be bigger than U2 at this point…..

Re: Uncut Article

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:33 am
by royaltoon55
Considering the gap between the two in the league (I know Derry were thrid but the points gap was huge) it was a hell of a result to take them to penalties. Isn't that the first time ever it's been decided that way?

Never easy to lose from the spot but someone has to, pity it was Derry.

And I bet Johnny Logan had them rocking in the stands with that song.....