Reliving ‘Teenage Kicks’ for ‘5 Minutes’ with The Undertones & Hugh Cornwell in Brighton

THE UNDERTONES + HUGH CORNWELL – CHALK, BRIGHTON 17.3.22 Following the numerous postponements of the past two years, Derry’s finest, The Undertones, finally arrived in Brighton to perform at Chalk fittingly on St Patrick’s Day and delivered a real treat. Largely a greatest hits set, it was delivered full speed with great energy. First time I’ve seen The Undertones live and it exceeded my expectations. I admit I’m sometimes a little apprehensive seeing bands, who’ve been around awhile or reformed, as some just go through the motions. No fear of that from the first notes of ‘Family Entertainment’, which opened the set. On stage for almost an hour and a half, the tempo didn’t drop. The Undertones are: John O’Neill – rhythm guitar and backing vocals Michael Bradley – bass guitar, keyboards, lead and backing vocals Billy Doherty – drums Damian O’Neill – lead guitar, keyboards and backing vocals Paul McLoone – lead vocals Paul McLoone has taken over on vocals since the band reformed without Feargal Sharkey, who left the band in 1983. Paul gave a great performance fronting the band. The other members were familiar faces to the packed audience being part of the band back in their heyday of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The band’s energy and rapport with the packed audience created a great atmosphere with a lively mosh pit area. Further back the whole crowd was fully engaged with the band’s performance. There were many notable highlights, especially favourites from their debut album, such as ‘Jimmy Jimmy’, ‘True Confessions’ and the iconic ‘Teenage Kicks’. Although anybody further back from the mosh pit area, probably had to watch ‘Teenage Kicks’ through a sea of mobile phone filming that track. That didn’t happen in these early gigs in Derry and Belfast back in 1976. The newer post-Feargal Sharkey material, such as ‘Thrill Me’, and ‘Enough’ (from 2003 ‘Get What You Need’ album) and ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ (from 2007 ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ album) fitted in with the classics from the band’s early days. Another old favourite was saved to the end of the three song encore for a perfect ending to the concert, ‘My Perfect Cousin’. The Undertones are definitely a band who still have a passion for playing live and giving their all, resulting in a great performance, which fed through the whole of Chalk. It was a shame that there was an early curfew, as I think the band and crowd could have gone on even longer. A 90 minute set and people still wanting more, in a good sense not short changed, says something about The Undertones as a live band and the quality of their material. The Undertones setlist: (Intro tape) ‘Just For You’ (The Glitter Band) ‘Family Entertainment’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?)’ (from 1979 ‘You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?)’ single) ‘I Need Your Love The Way It Used To Be’ (from 2003 ‘Get What You Need’ album) ‘Jump Boys’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Billy’s Third’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘The Love Parade’ (from 1983 ‘The Sin Of Pride’ album) ‘Thrill Me’ (from 2003 ‘Get What You Need’ album) ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Tearproof’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘It’s Going To Happen!’ (from 1981 ‘Positive Touch’ album) ‘Enough’ (from 2003 ‘Get What You Need’ album) ‘Teenage Kicks’ (from 1978 ‘Teenage Kicks’ EP) ‘True Confessions’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Oh Please’ (from 2003 ‘Get What You Need’ album) ‘Nine Times Out Of Ten’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘I Gotta Getta’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Girls That Don’t Talk’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘Here Comes The Summer’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘When Saturday Comes’ (from 1981 ‘Positive Touch’ album) ‘Male Model’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ (from 2007 ‘Dig Yourself Deep’ album) ‘Wednesday Week’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘Hypnotised’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘(She’s A) Runaround’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Girls Don’t Like It’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Listening In’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘Get Over You’ (from 1979 ‘Get Over You’ single) (encore) ‘More Songs About Chocolate And Girls’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) ‘I Know A Girl’ (from 1979 ‘The Undertones’ album) ‘My Perfect Cousin’ (from 1980 ‘Hypnotised’ album) For further information on The Undertones, check out the following links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube The support from former Stranglers’ frontman, Hugh Cromwell was a mix of his solo material and Stranglers’ tracks. Still dressed in black, Hugh Cornwell was in charge of his Fender Telecaster guitar and vocals and was backed by a bassist and drummer for their 50 minute set. It’s the second time I’ve seen Hugh Cornwell live, and it still took some getting used to hearing the Stranglers classics in the set without that distinctive keyboard sound. The quality of songs like ‘Duchess’, ‘Only The Sun’ and ‘Skin Deep’ means they still work and unsurprisingly were the tracks that went down best with the packed audience. Of his solo material, here were a few tracks from his ‘Monster’ album, which celebrates the lives of some influential figures, notably Lou Reed and their aborted meeting in New York on ‘Mr Leather’ and 1940s Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr on ‘The Most Beautiful Girl in Hollywood’. Very competent performance, if a little one paced at the start, before injecting a bit more tempo towards the end of the set. It ended on a high with the Stranglers tracks ‘London Lady’ and ‘5 Minutes’. Hugh Cornwell setlist: ‘Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit’ (from 1999 Hugh Cornwell ‘Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit’ album) ‘Big Bug’ (from 1979 Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams ‘Nosferatu’ album) ‘Duchess’ (The Stranglers song from 1979 ‘The Raven’ album) (found on 2006 Hugh Cornwell ‘People, Places, Pieces’ live album) ‘Mr. Leather’ (from 2018 Hugh Cornwell ‘Monster’ album) ‘Skin Deep’ (The Stranglers song from 1984 ‘Aural Sculpture’ album) ‘Monster’ (from 2018 Hugh Cornwell ‘Monster’ album) ‘Strange Little Girl’ (The … Continue reading Reliving ‘Teenage Kicks’ for ‘5 Minutes’ with The Undertones & Hugh Cornwell in Brighton