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Undertones And Undercoat

Stuart Bailie

Late Show Presenter

Poor ‘Teenage Kicks’. Recently, the song suffered an act of casual vandalism from One Direction and now the much-loved Belfast mural of ‘Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat’ has been wiped out by a development scheme. The social media fury started last night and we now believe that the authorities may respond by reinstating the work after their diggers have departed.

I went down to Bridge End this afternoon to check and yes, it has vanished, along with a bunch of messy political messages. And as people have pointed out, there are many depressingly bad paramilitary works nearby, still intact. But on visiting the site, it becomes clear that it’s not an act of willful disrespect to punk rock, rather than a blanket clean-up of the flyover. It would be a gesture of cultural largesse to allow the message to return, in respect of John Peel and his benign support for The Undertones, SLF and more. Clearly the alternative nation is outraged that one of their few totems has been erased. The love has been demonstrated, the people want to see a non-aligned message on the wall and ideally, that aspiration will not be beaten

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