Associated with styles like punk-pop, power pop and new wave, The Undertones was one of the most successful bands in Northern Ireland, featuring singles like “Teenage Kicks”, “Here Comes the Summer”, “Jimmy Jimmy” and“ My Perfect Cousin ”on the charts. Formed in 1974 in the city of Derry by Michael Bradley (bass, vocals), Billy Doherty (drums), brothers John (guitar, vocals) and Vincent O'Neill (guitar, vocals) and Feargal Sharkey (vocals), the quintet had bands like Beatles and Small Faces as influences.
In 1976, Vincent left the band, being replaced by Damian O'Neill, his younger brother. That same year, the band was baptized as The Undertones. The name was taken from a school history book by drummer Billy Doherty.
The band spent their early years playing and listening to artists of various styles, such as rock'n'roll, R&B, glam rock, soul e garage bands. With the appearance of punk, bands like Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and, mainly, Ramones started to have a strong influence on the composition of their songs.
In 1978, The Undertones traveled to Belfast to participate in a band competition by businessman Terri Hooley. He was impressed with the band that invited her to record an EP. Teenage Kicks was released in September of the same year. At first, the band won the attention of legendary DJ John Peel of BBC Radio 1 and a contract with Sire Records.
The Undertones released four albums between 1979 and 1983: The Undertones (1979), Hypnotised (1980), Positive Touch (1981) and The Sin of Pride (1983).
The commercial failure of The Sin of Pride and disagreements between band members led to the end of the band in 1983.
The Undertones returned in 1999. However, without Feargal Sharkey. Vocalist Paul McLoone took his place. In this return, the band released the albums Get What You Need (2003) and Dig Yourself Deep (2007).