Music in DerryDerry/Londonderry is well known for having its title as the City of Culture 2013, however it is also well known for its music and musicians. Derry’s musicians range from the punk rock band the Undertones to Phil Coulter. Derry’s nightlife is mainly centred on the weekend. Many young, local and international bands perform in Derry/Londonderry. The Undertones were formed in Derry/Londonderry in 1975. They were a punk-rock band formed by five friends from the Creggan and Bogside area. Over the years they have released many well-known singles, including Teenage Kicks, Here comes the summer and Jimmy Jimmy. A lot of the material the band produced focused a lot on the Northern Irish Troubles. The Undertones consisted of Feargal Sharkey (vocals), John O’Neil (rhythm guitar), Damien O’Neil (lead guitar), Michael Bradley (bass guitar) and Billy Doherty (drums). The band initially rehearsed cover versions of songs by The Beatles, Small Faces and Lindisfarne in neighbour’s shed. The band never had a name at the beginning and performed on stage unnamed. By 1977, the bands were performing their own three- chord pop punk material, primarily at The Casbah, a music venue in Derry/Londonderry, where the band began to perform in February. We interviewed Michael Bradley, bassist of the Undertones, and we asked him what music inspired him and what age did he take up an instrument. “I started playing bass at fifteen years of age and I listened to The Beatles,” said Michael. “I thought that The Beatles was also very easy to play. All my friends played guitar and that’s basically how the band started.” Michael also said, “Our drummer Billy Doherty came up with the name of the band. He said he read it out of a history book. We just thought it was very cheesy!” We asked Michael what he thought 2013 City of Culture would bring to musicians in Derry/Londonderry? He then went on to say, “I think it will bring money to them money. It will also give them a chance to perform in venues they have not performed in before.” When we asked Michael what advice he would give young musicians in Derry he replied, “Do it because you like doing it. Don’t think about fame or you will lose track.” Michael is very well known in the city and works as a Radio Presenter in Radio Foyle in Derry/Londonderry.
By Caitlin W, Jaymee Mc, Claudia D and Natasha E. St. Mary’s College, Derry/Londonderry.