I last saw Tony Kinsella performing an entertaining and informative show called Shangri La La Land, which discussed Tony's love of seminal 60s girl group The Shangri Las.
In Shangri La La Land, Tony examined many facets of pop music including iconic opening lines, the phenomenon of the tragic, teen hit or 'splatter platter', whilst informing the audience all about a classic band and their continuing influence. He used the wisdom of Oedipus and Liam Gallagher, and backed up their insight with humorous charts and diagrams.
Tony returns with a show dedicated to another of his favourite acts...This time he takes a close look at his long-standing love for Irish rockers The Undertones. Expect plenty of laughs, facts and a healthy slice of nonsense.
Tony first saw The Undertones at Leeds University as a fresh-faced undergraduate teenager in 1981. In 2017, he returned to the same venue to see a new version of the band. After watching as a 'jaded and cynical lecturer', he was left to ponder the iconic question at the start of Teenage Kicks …. 'Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?'...
In the 30-plus years between the two gigs, what became of Tony's teenage dreams …and those of The Undertones?
"My show is specifically about seeing them at Leeds Uni in 1981 when I was a wet behind the ears English Lit undergrad and then seeing the post-Fergal version in the same room in 2017" he explains "I am riffing on the opening line of Teenage Kicks - 'Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?' In 1981 both myself and The Undertones were just emerging from our teens, so the show traces what became of my teenage dreams and those of The Undertones in the 36 years between these two gigs. It's a parallel narrative."
More Jokes about Girls and Chocolate examines a great band, but also has an autobiographical element. It's an interesting premise that offers opportunity to discuss whether Tony's fledgling plans came to fruition, and if The Undertones continued to provide a relevant soundtrack to his life.
Tony went on to work in education as The Undertones continued their recording career. More Jokes about Girls and Chocolate compares and contrasts two divergent career paths.
I ask Tony if previous show Shangri La La Land and the current piece are scheduled for further dates. Interestingly, he's taking the new show to the hometown of The Undertones..."I'll be doing the show in Derry at the Playhouse Theatre on April 13th next year. 180 seat venue. I met John O'Neill who wrote Teenage Kicks when I visited Derry earlier this year and he helped me to set up the gig gave me a mine of inner secrets and invited me and my mate Steve O'Donoghue to see them at Holmfirth and meet the rest of the band in August.
"Steve is providing musical support for the Derry gig and the previews" he adds "He'll be performing a few of his own songs and then punctuating my narrative with Undertones songs performed live at key points in the story."
Tony often goes of off-piste and includes interesting asides regarding his love of music. During our chat, he informs how he purchased the first two Undertones albums from Rare Records at the time that Ian Curtis worked there.
He sums up why he has such an enduring affection for The Undertones..."The Undertones were the soundtrack of my youth and a lifelong passion. I love the fact that they hail from a city that was effectively at civil war throughout their youth but largely sang about non-political topics. My show is called More Jokes About Chocolate And Girls as a homage to the fact that they did a love song to the Mars Bar and then opened their second album, Hypnotised, with a song called More Songs About Chocolate And Girls."
Support is provided by singer, songwriter and author Steve O Donoghue. Steve has recorded several albums and has supported brilliant artists including Aztec Camera, Squeeze, Martin Stephenson and The Daintees and Vinny Peculiar.
Expect a smart and poignant tribute to great band, and a night 'choc-full' of entertainment.
More Jokes about Girls and Chocolate
Support from Steve O'Donoghue
Sunday 9th December
Bolton Socialist Club