Stiff Little Fingers were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland, at the height of the punk movement along with the likes of the The Clash, Sex Pistols, , Buzzcocks, Sham 69, Stranglers, et al. They wrote initially about their own lives, growing up at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, in songs like “Suspect Device” and “Wasted Life”. Their big break came from when they sent a record to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing it every night.
These were the first of what became SLF’s signature style: lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment. In 1979 they became the first band ever to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut Inflammable Material. The album chronicles the band’s anger and frustration at “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, and calls on youth to create their own reality.
After many studio albums and countless tours, Stiff Little Fingers find themselves more in demand than ever. They are currently working on a new album, and many of the new songs have been debuted at live gigs, with tremendous response from fans.
Though focused on their new material, they always play the old favorites at gigs. John “Jake” Burns, singer and guitarist of Stiff Little Fingers said, “You have to strike a balance. The difficulty with a band like ourselves is to try not make it sound like a cabaret band. Obviously, it’d be very easy to go, ‘Hey, here’s another old one you may remember.’ A lot of the old songs the audience greet like old friends. I suppose it’s the same as any band that’s been around for any length of time. And yes, there are nights that we don’t particularly want to play “Alternative Ulster” or “Suspect Device” because we’ve heard them ‘til they’re coming out our ears. But there’s always the possibility that somebody out there has never seen the band before, never heard them.”
Stiff Little Fingers will play at the Parr Hall on October 7. Tickets are £20 and are on sale now. Visit pyramidparrhall.com or call 442345