Steam Age Kicks
Strange to remember that back in 1978, The Undertones were unsure about releasing the song because they thought it was "too pop". The hairy rock guys at the Casbah club used to rib the band about their "big" song. Thankfully history prevailed, the recording was done and the legacy has survived dozens of cover versions, from bossa nova to grinding Americana. It's the mark of a decent song. It can survive anything. Even a Busted rendition.
In the writing of 'Teenage Kicks', John O' Neill revealed his love for the Ronettes. They were one of the most manufactured pop bands ever. Yet the music had an imperial passion that The Undertones managed to translate. To this extent, John was mining a tradition that went back to the New York Dolls and even The Beatles. Rough boys singing tunes made famous by pouting girl bands.
So when old guys start bleating about "real" punk, don't ever listen. Punk was more camp and pop than the roundheads will care to remember. Also, the Sex Pistols were manufactured to the max - styled, procured, hyped, managed and presented by Malcolm and Vivienne.
History is not safe in the hands of the die hards. And 'Teenage Kicks' is bigger and bolder that One Direction and their squawking methology.