The Undertones / Esperanza – The Garage, Glasgow – Saturday 27th September 2014

Last night’s show provided an opportunity to fill in some of the gaps in MPK2’s musical education. Whilst teenage kicks are certainly several decades removed from the vast majority of the audience the Manic Pop family was not the only one to bring a genuine teenager to see the Undertones experience.

And as a lesson in punk/pop you can get none better – with great tunes, boundless energy and guitars colliding to maximum effect.

For all its ubiquity, I’m fairly certain that ‘Teenage Kicks’ isn’t quite my favourite Undertones single. However there’s little doubt that the massive version last night was probably the show’s highlight although the likes of ‘Get Over You’ and ‘ You’ve Got My Number’ certainly pushed it close. These were certainly the songs that encouraged MPK2 to singalong to. Of the non singles ‘Runaround’ and ‘True Confessions’ were the standouts.

Whilst much of the set these days is normally drawn from the early part of the band’s career, last night’s show leant very heavily on the debut and its contemporary singles. In fact all of ‘The Undertones’ was played with the exception of ‘Casbah Rock’ whilst there was a fair smattering of early B-sides as well.

However there was something from all the LPs with the exception, disappointingly, of most recent long player ‘Dig Yourself Deep’. The wild cards were an unexpected ‘Love Parade’, last  year’s Record Store Day single ‘Much Too Late’, a  Ramones cover and a, for me, welcome change of pace with ‘You’re Welcome’ (although Mrs MPT didn’t agree, thinking it killed the energy a bit).

As ever there was a superabundance of energy on display, most emanating from singer Paul who leapt, strutted and preened throughout. If there was a criticism, then it was all a little loud, certainly the loudest thing we’ve exposed MPK2 to (so far – he’s quite keen to go and see Bob Mould!).

As a consequence there was a wash of noise throughout in which Paul sometimes struggled to be heard but even at that it was still impossible to hide the quality of these songs.

The Undertones played:

1. My Perfect Cousin  2. Male Model  3. Gotta Getta  4. (She’s A) Runaround  5. Thrill Me  6. Tearproof  7. Girls That Don’t Talk  8. The Love Parade  9. You’ve Got My Number  10. Jump Boys  11. Wednesday Week  12. Much Too Late  13. Family Entertainment  14. Wrong Way  15. You’re Welcome  16. Teenage Kicks  17. Smarter Than You   18. True Confessions  19. Emergency Cases  20. When Saturday Comes   21. Here Comes The Summer  22. Billy’s Third  23. Jimmy, Jimmy  24. Get Over You

25. Girls Don’t Like It  26. Listening In  27. Sheena Was A Punk Rocker  28. Top Twenty  29. I Know A Girl

Esperanza played good time ska music that is beyond any criticism that I might be inclined to muster. (Which I’m not.)

It’s not my sort of thing really but it certainly appealed to a decent segment of the audience. The band were impressively tight and achieved what they set out to do –  namely getting people to dance and putting a lot of smiles on people’s faces. You can’t quibble with that.