Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Why no good vibes about those other Derry rockers, The Moondogs?

I'm going to say it because someone must. This year has seen both Derry-Londonderry as the inaugural UK City of Culture and the sensational slow-burn success of the Good Vibrations movie, which told the story of Terri Hooley and the iconic record label and shop which launched so many punk bands on to the UK scene.

What I want to say is: where are The Moondogs in all this celebration? It's 10 years since Red Fish, the last album from the Derry three-piece powerpop outfit – but in NI punk terms, where bands have been parked or written off for decades, that's only the day before yesterday.

Don't tell me there aren't people out there who remember Talking in the Canteen or Who's Gonna Tell Mary?

I would have thought The Moondogs were worth an outing in 2013, especially given the attention paid to their native city.

Of course everyone knows The Undertones, or pretends to; though you'd be hard put to remember even five of their songs (ya don't do ya?) without the aid of Wikipedia.

And can it only be my (slightly older) friends who recall 'The Moondogs' TV series from 1981? Surely there's a market still, even among the upper middle-aged across the UK, for what now sounds like the high-energy pop of Derry's other punk export?

There's a story there of music-making against the odds, decent tunes, good ideas, hard knocks, but with the kind of success and exposure most young bands from here nowadays can only dream about.

Things can't be let disappear so easily, especially in our own backyard.

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