Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column. kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

Thursday, November 24, 2005

In Conversation with Underline

LAST YEAR Kerr's Corner spoke to Johnny Quinn, the energetic drummer from Snow Patrol - probably the most famous and successful band to emerge from Ulster since the Undertones.
In a wide ranging interview, we asked Johnny why Snow Patrol had done so well. His recipe for success was simply perseverance. Many bands give up before getting their chance of getting into the big-time comes up.

Johnny's advice was "don't give up!" Bands need a real determination to succeed. This requires hard work, time for rehearsal and a lot of luck. "It took us seven yaers to become an 'overnight success'".

Another local band who deserve similar success are Underline. A three-piece heavy rock band, they have already been compared to Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Sabbath and Therapy.

Impressed with such illustrious comparisons, I wanted to find out more. To do so, I spoke to Underline's Bass player, Terry McDonald (30). He informed me that he and the other two band members - his brother Shane McDonald (28) on drums and David Kennedy (28) on guitars and vocals - all originally hail from Armagh. They have been playing on and off in different bands for over ten years. Finding themselves all in Belfast they formed Underline in March 2004.
I'm always interested in bands that play live, so I asked Terry about life on the road. He told me that they'd played around 40 gigs so far - a few of them very memorable indeed. "During a gig in Warrenpoint, a full-scale riot broke out as we were playing our last song, but we just carried on playing. It was a bit scary, but no-one was seriously injured, so we can laugh about it now". He also recounted how Underline drove all the way to Portrush - to play to a massive crowd of four people! That wasn't such a great night he mused. However, their most memorable gig so far "was playing with Therapy in the Limelight at the Tsunami fund raising gig in January. That was fantastic".

So much for the past. What then are the band's future plans? "We've our first gig in our hometown Armagh on 22nd October, so we're looking forward to that. Then we hope to take a few months off from gigs and write a few more new songs. Then we hope to resume playing gigs - and hopefully people will keep coming to see and support us".

In closing, terry mentioned that further information about Underline could be found on their web-site http://www.underlinerock.com/ Here you can also download their first four track CD, Your Skinny Neck Friends. Their latest CD, Is This Yours? can be bought from Hector's House in North Street, Belfast.

Kerr's Corner would like to help promote local bands. I'm interested in all musical styles, so if you'd like to be featured, simply e-mail me at kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

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