Stiff Little Fingers - Classic Irish act for NZ
Stiff Little Fingers
The story starts out familiarly enough: punk rock inspires young budding musicians to create some of that excitement for themselves, and what they put together sends a charge throughout not only their own community, but is received by like-minded souls further afield.
When Stiff Little Fingers came together in 1977 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and named themselves after a song by the Vibrators, there was no indication that the group would, within a couple of years, have released the first album on the soon-to-be-legendary Rough Trade label, sent the first independent album into the British charts, and built the basis of a repertoire which would resonate around the world across the next three decades.
From ‘Suspect Device’ and ‘Alternative Ulster’, ‘Gotta Getaway’ and ‘Tin Soldiers’, to ‘Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae’ and ‘Johnny Was’, the initial five years of SLF saw five enduringly-classic albums released: Inflammable Material, Nobody’s Heroes, the live Hanx!, Go For It!, and Now Then; records that are not only highly-regarded as punk milestones, but as massively influential across the boards of popular music.
A five year break was ended in 1987 with what was first conceived as a one-off tour, and since 1990 four more studio albums (Flags And Emblems, Hope Street, Tinderbox, and Get A Life) and more than a couple of live documents have been released.
Jake Burns recently relocated to Chicago, where he recorded his 2007 album Drinking Again, a record initially conceived as a punk-Irish folk work back in the early 90s, but modified into a more “trad” effort after “…a million other people released stuff like that”. Nonetheless, the album is unmistakably the work of the fiery SLF guitarist and vocalist.
Other band members have shifted and changed over the years. Recently, original bass player Ali McMordie re-entered the fold, replacing Bruce Foxton (formerly of The Jam) who left after 15 years. Ali’s time away from SLF encompassed such things asplaying for Sinead O’Connor and running his international tour management company (Moby is one of his artists).
But SLF are careful to point out they don’t run a nostalgia show.
"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.’ I suppose it's the same as any band that's been around for any length of time”, says Jake Burns. “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."
Now, for the first time in way too long, Stiff Little Fingers are to bring it all down to New Zealand. The initial brief is still with them: to create some excitement. Nobody has to tell you that you are going to be there, right?
TICKETS FROM REAL GROOVY AND TICKETEK
Tickets on sale currently from Real Groovy & Ticketek for $65.00.
Powerstation, Mt Eden Road - May 14th
CHRISTCHURCH - Civic - May 15th