Belfast Telegraph

My perfect outcome is Derry as city of culture, says Undertone Michael Bradley

The bassist with Derry’s most famous band The Undertones has said up and coming musicians could benefit siginificantly if the UK City of Culture bid is successful.

Michael Bradley, now a producer with BBC Radio Foyle, will be taking part in several festivals across Europe this year.

The Undertones assaulted the charts in the late 70s and early 80s with infectious punk anthems such as Teenage Kicks, Get Over You, Jimmy Jimmy and My Perfect Cousin.

One of the main features of Derry’s bid for the culture crown in 2013 is the plan to stage a massive concert at the parade ground of the former Ebrington barracks named after The Undertones hit Here Comes The Summer.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Michael (50) said: “Hopefully the City of Culture will attract major events over here. There is talk that it might attract the Brit Awards.

“It could work on several levels — big events like that and bringing more support in terms of live venues for guys starting off. Derry has quite a number of live venues but like everywhere it could always be better.

“Derry has a really good scene compared to 30 years ago — it is now way beyond what we had in terms of the quantity of bands.

“Thirty years ago we would have known everybody who was playing but now you have so many guys writing their own songs it is hard to keep tabs on them.”

Mr Bradley said the amount of artistic and cultural talent pouring forth from the city at present was something to be proud of.

“In terms of when we were playing at places like the Casbah in Derry, elsewhere there were people doing cover versions, but we got on Top Of The Pops and there was The Moondogs who went on to have a record contract in London and an ITV show.”

Michael said that there was a rich musical lineage of bands in the North West going back into the showband era of the 50s and 60s, when his father played in a ceili band.

“I realise now there were hundreds of people who had been playing in bands here before we were playing the Casbah, that that was not something new. When you are young and in a band starting out you are not looking for help from your parents, but that history was there.”

He added that the Nerve Centre in Derry had been instrumental in allowing young bands the space and resources to perfect their craft as well as being a venue for live performance.

“There was a time when you would have killed for something like that” he said.

Welcoming the Telegraph’s Back the Bid campaign, Mr Bradley said he felt it was important the media got behind Derry’s bid.

“From the BBC point of view, programme to programme we certainly support it.

“It could be a huge event for Derry and for Northern Ireland as well.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph