Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Gig- The Undertones - Bingley Festival

When you accidently discover that the Undertones are playing for free on a Friday night less than an hour from home you know things are going well. All you need is one pal who thinks ‘aye go on then’ and you’re on the way to a happy evening. Now Bingley Festival may not get the headlines other more populist festivals get, but for £25 it should get a bloody good value badge. Even better Friday night is free night, no ticket required. Good on the council for sorting the whole thing and obviously having a chap/chappess with a few contacts to get the bands.

Anyone who read the Friday night line up will have spotted the dilemma we were faced with. Get there early enough to get a beer and see the whole Undertones set, but not too early as to be Toploadered out. Fortune was on our side, Craig got delayed on the M1, we missed the train by 2 minutes and had to spend an extra 30 minutes in the bar.

After a very short walk into the park venue and a non existent search we were at the bar, cider paid for and in hand as the band started to play ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’. They didn’t even write the song but it was a jolly lovely sing-along.

As 'Jimmy Jimmy' started up we made our way without to much bother to about 5 yards from the front and spent the next 50 minutes jumping up and down to all our favourite old songs. At one point ‘Jump Boys’ we turned into a 2 man moshpit which was a bit disconcerting for all around who were certainly fearful of a fall.

Big aside to discuss Moshpit culture. Back in the old days it started with more of a pogoing bounce into your nearest audience member and then bounce away again. Pretty soon it developed into more of a shove around, probably populised by The Meteors, ‘they throw pigs blood on the fans’ and their psychobilly mates. I once went to see them and went for a Mosh with their 'Wreckin Crewe'.

mp3 – Wreckin Crew

Next the Goths and The Spear fans got into the act with the granddad coats and the wavy arms. These pits ranged from the fey spinning round smiling Smiths gigs to the 'right who can we fight with later' Spear of Destiny gigs which always came to a head with Liberator.

mp3 - Liberator

So I thought I knew the deal with moshpits, been there done it, happy to watch them at festivals from the back. Until a couple of weeks ago at Leeds festival.

These kids are mental, as a pit opened up next to us I was amazed at the sheer ferocity with which the kids hurl themselves at each other, over and over again. Having got over the initial shock, it soon become obvious that everyone is in fact on the same team. While bodies crashed high and low, there was always some to catch a faller or three people diving to pick up anyone who slipped. As one chap returned from the pit to his mates in front of us he was asked ‘how was it?’ with a smile and wink he replied ‘I won’. The whole communal thing certainly made me smile.

And so The Undertones, better with the less self conscious Paul McLoon on vocals, rather than the limped haired and reputably unfit Fergal Sharkey, played every song you would want to hear. I think about 2000 punters went home at 10pm very happy with them and the council.

At least 2 of us did anyway

This is the last vinyl release by The Undertones I think its from 2006 and its a cracking tune

mp3 – Thrill Me


  1. So were they good?

  2. Oh yes, they were more than good !! I went along because it was free basically, with a few mates. I'm a bit too young to remember the Undertones in their original format, but had hear a few of their songs.

    I was at the front and soon got caught up in the atmosphere. They were brilliant, you couldn't help but start jumping around to the songs. They were one of the best live bands I've ever seen and will certainly watch them again. Highlights were Teenage Kicks of course, Here Comes the Summer, Jimmy Jimmy, Male Model and one called Billy's Third, if I remember correctly.

    I bought their last album 'Dig Yourself Deep' on the strngth of it and there are some quality tracks on it.

    Great gig

  3. Cheers for that, I think I'll get hold of a copy of the album too.