Undertone misses his teen kicks.
The 45-year-old Derry man now gets his kicks as a government adviser.
For years he has resisted calls to reform the band that gave the world Teenage Kicks and a host of other hits.
Asked if he missed the buzz of being on stage, he admitted: "It would be dishonest of me to say that on occasion, I don't miss it. I do.
"It is the most incredible thing walking out on stage in front of 100,000 people who stand up and applaud. But you never know. I could end up on stage in a pub in Scunthorpe - strictly as part of my research."
Sharkey is to head the first ever government examination of the state of live music in Britain.
The former punk will lead a wide-ranging probe into the live music scene throughout the country as chairman of the Live Music Forum.
After the appointment he said: "What we have to do is to find out what's going on out there in terms of live music: how many venues, how many people, rehearsal rooms, all of it.
"Then we keep an eye on it when the act becomes law, see if it has an impact, either positive or negative.