While punk groups like The Clash and The Sex Pistols sang about anarchy, hate, war and racial tension among other things, Northern Ireland’s premier punk band, the Undertones, sang about teenage lust, boredom and being skint.
The Undertones had no wish to sing about hate or war. Northern Ireland in the seventies was already awash with it as the Troubles spiralled out of control. Instead, the band’s songs tried to paint a picture of normality in the province through punk songs that, like Manchester band the Buzzcocks, were full of massive pop hooks and an obvious love of the Ramones, rather than their British punk contemporaries.
Tracks like ‘Teenage Kicks’ and ‘Here Comes the Summer’ are so full of teenage naivety and optimism that it’s hard to believe they originate from seventies Northern Ireland. This forgotten gem of the punk era deserves recognition among classics of the time.