Sharkey helps teenage dreams; City launch for new youth music centre.
FORMER Undertones lead singer Feargal Sharkey gave an impromptu performance of the band's 1978 hit, Teenage Kicks, at the launch of a new centre for Liverpool's young musicians yesterday.
The Derry-born music executive was joined by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham on guitar at the country's first professionally equipped, gover nment-funded music rehearsal space.
The Liverpool project, at the Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre, is the first of 10 UK schemes to be set up following a key recommendation to Gover nment by the Live Music Forum, chaired by Sharkey.
It features two music rehearsal rooms, a studio and a space for live concerts.
Sharkey, whose band The Undertones was discovered by Wirral-born DJ John Peel, said: "I began my life as a musician sitting in somebody's garden shed because it was the only place we could go and make a noise without winding up anyone's mum.
"So I'm very jealous of the young people who will be using this centre." The national scheme focuses on areas of deprivation, both urban and rural, where there are likely to be few youth facilities.
Sharkey, 50, now chief executive of UK Music, said that his own relationship with music had enabled him to improve his socio-economic situation.
He said: "It's very easy to say the things that music has done in my life.
"I came from a town where there was 60%unemployment in males, so you had to decide whether to become a footballer or a musician, and with legs like mine I had only one choice.
"The benefits stack up socially, economically and culturally - and hopefully some of those young people will pick up valuable skills and go on to work in one of our fantastic creative industries." Centres will also be opened in Bristol, Hastings, Manchester, Norfolk, Nottingham, St Austell and Washington.
They have been funded by a pounds 500,000 DCMS grant and help from the music industry.
Burnham added: "This is just the beginning. Spaces owned by local authorities around the country are being transformed with gover nment money, and member companies of the Music Industries Association have been very generous in providing cut-price instruments.
"These fully-equipped spaces will make a big difference for young people who are looking for somewhere to practise, spend time and find an outlet for their creative skills." UK Music is an umbrella organisation representing the collective interests of the UK's commercial music industry..It's very easy to say the things that music has done in my life
The Ora perform at the Knotty Ash Community Centre Code: grj110509amusic-4 Culture secretary Andy Burnham on guitar, with Feargal Sharkey on vocals