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Feargal tells musicians 'go for it'

By helen williams, Hoyland Reporter Tuesday 27th May 2014
Feargal Sharkey

LIVE in Barnsley patron Feargal Sharkey told Barnsley musicians to "go for it" if they want to make it in the music business.

The former singer of pop punk stars The Undertones told an audience at Barnsley Digital Media Centre how he started out earning £7 a week as a van driver delivering televisions in Derry, Northern Ireland.

It cost just £100 for studio time to record The Undertones's hit Teenage Kicks, which found a fan in legendary BBC DJ John Peel and propelled the band to stardom.

Feargal, who was invited to be Live in Barnsley patron by Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher, said: "The whole notion that five kids from Derry could form a band, write songs and put out a record that people care about seems impossible."

The band had no easy access then to recording facilities and Feargal, who toured Barnsley College music department earlier in the day, praised the facilities that young bands now have at their fingertips.

In a question and answer session for musicians, he admitted making money out of music was "a real toughie" with many giving up because "normal life intervenes." He advised bands to set up their own gigs and play as much as possible in places they might not have thought of like schools, youth clubs, public spaces and libraries.


They could fund themselves by crowd-funding or simply passing a bucket round at gigs.

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