Billy Doherty is the founding member and long standing drummer of one of the longest surviving punk / new wave bands, the legendary The Undertones. Starting out in their home City of Derry back in 1975 at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, they have gone onto sell millions of records around the world and still tour on a regular basis, they remain a great live act and will be back in Norwich on May the 16th at Open Studio’s.

Outline’s Steve Plunkett caught up with Billy as they get ready to prepare for their up and coming tour that starts at the beginning of May.

o it’s the fortieth year since the release of your self-titled debut album, hence the tour,

where has that time gone and how can you best sum up those years? It’s flown by, it’s a long time ago since we started out now, but things have not really changed that much to be honest, were still the same people, were still friends, we all still get on really well with each other, we are just quite a bit older, we have always have been friends, there’s still a great chemistry within the band. At the time when we first started, if you had of asked us to pick our favourite colour we would maybe have all picked blue, it may


have been a different shade of blue but it would’ve been blue, that’s how close we were then and it would probably still be the same if you asked us now, although Fergal would’ve picked green! But it’s not like we had a masterplan or anything at the start we have just been very lucky that we have been able to keep playing in the band and be quite successful.

You have played with some great bands over the years including XTC, Talking Heads, The Stranglers, The Clash, Orange Juice, Toots and The Maytals, The Cure, Elvis Costello and Ian Dury and many more. Do

you personally have any particular memorable moments from any of those gigs and tours? Yes we did play with some great people, the highlights would be playing with Orange Juice, Edwyn Collins was great, also I enjoyed playing with the Dolly Mixtures and touring with The Clash was amazing too, but it was a real culture shock, we had just arrived in America for the first time and we just like got dropped off in New York City and leſt to our own devices. It was very daunting and mad and I really struggled with the lifestyle, parties all the time, it was crazy. There was a guy called Cosmo Vinyl, he hung

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