Fergal Sharkey





FEARGAL SHARKEY was once singer in The Undertones. Collectively they were an assault on the self-consciousness of the pop audience by dint of trousers which halted between knee and ankle. A fact I find impossible to separate from their music. It was trouserly, neither long nor short but for five years at that adolescent point inbetween.

Feargal now sports the full leg. A change in apparel in tune with his career realignment of the last year or so. He's also a father, a car owner, has rear of collar occluded by a trailing spiral of hair and is given to chain smoking (pausing only occasionally for a cigarette).

Pouring his parking meter money out onto the table and exhaling a small, one-man cloud of blue smoke, he ponders the achievements of his old firm:

"One of the reasons I left when I did was that I wanted to preserve the Undertones for people as something special. Listening to people saying 'I was in a bad part of my life and listening to your album helped me through it' is a great feeling. That's the biggest achievement I've ever had, to affect people's lives. If people get that sort of satisfaction from what I do in the future I'll be quite happy.

"It's basically integrity. That's what people are getting around to. I myself will put people up on pedestals and look up to them. I think that's quite good because everyone has to have some form of escapism. No matter what you do, your life will eventually fall into a certain routine and it's good to get released from that for three and a half minutes.

"I got the impression that although people looked up to me, at the same time I was accessible enough not to be so far out of reach it became false. What's important is retaining that little thing where people say 'yeah, he is a human being after all, he does have breakfast'."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 



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