Up Close And Personal with Feargal Sharkey
Written by: Sophie Taylor
*CALLING ALL PUNKS*
Grab your chance to get up close and personal with loveable punk authority, Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones. On Thursday 17th November he’ll be gracing the pavements of Finsbury Park and taking his position in the hot seat at The Barton Theatre, N4. Equally dynamic and lovable music journalist, Neil McCormick will be guiding us through the slam-bang punk popstar’s full and varied life from frontman to backstage music guru.
A small band from Derry who learned about punk from mail order records and the odd issue of NME, The Undertones religiously tuned into John Peel’s radio show and nurtured a love for short, dynamic tunes. Belfast label Good Vibrations released their debut single, Teenage Kicks in 1978.
Luckily, sacred music sage John Peel caught wind of the punchy track and obsessively played it on repeat, famously queuing it twice in a row on his BBC show. The band enjoyed subsequent success over the next five years, signing to Sire Records, releasing four studio albums and becoming the biggest band to emerge from Northern Ireland. After blasting out number one hits with the band, lone wolf Feargal continued with a solo career in 1983, creating more number one singles (A Good Heart, Little Thief) with his signature vulnerable vocals and raw lyrics.
Speaking recently with Neil on his show Needle Time, Feargal explained his reasons for retiring from making music:
“I was having a recurring nightmare, waking up in the middle of the night with a receding hairline and a ponytail, still deluding myself that I might be on Top Of The Pops one more time, singing Teenage Kicks.”
We’re with you on that one Feargal, although a lot of bands are doing it anyway. We’d love to see Sharkey play again, but like biscuit shortages, man buns and Trump memes it’s just something we’re going to have to come to terms with.
Rather than disregard his punk soul and sell butter for the man (*cough* John Lydon) Feargal went on to champion music and the arts, becoming a member of the Radio Authority and, in his role as head of Live Music Forum was given the title of Labour government’s “Live Czar”. From 2008 to 2011 he was head of UK Music, an organisation representing the collective interests of the British music industry.
So gather up your bovver boots and head down to the Barton Theatre, Finsbury Park on Thursday 17th Nov for an evening of punk enlightenment, booze and live music from 7-10pm.
Tickets are cheap, going like Punk singer endorsed buttery hot cakes and available here. All money raised will go towards the Arts and Media School Islington.
Up Close And Personal With Feargal Sharkey
Thursday November 17th, 7pm
Taking place in the intimate Barton Theatre
(Arts & Media School Islington, Turle Road, Finsbury Park, London)
North Four are chuffed to be the media partners of Up Close and Personal and are proud supporters of the Arts and Media School Islington. The event series is also supported by friends of the school and local property company Davies & Davies Estate Agents. Go stock up on tickets!
Read our interview with host, Neil McCormick.
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