Stiff Little Fingers: Edinburgh – live review

Stiff Little Fingers
HMV Picture House, Edinburgh
19 November 2012

Live review

We’ve already given you one reviewers words about their Dublin gig but SLF are proving popular as ever so here’s how their Edinburgh gig went down.

Thirty years ago I went to my first ever gig. It was to see tonight’s headliners Stiff Little Fingers on their Go For It Tour. They blew the roof off Inverness Ice Rink with the immortal words, as they appeared from behind the dry ice, “Go For It Inverness” and I’ve been going for it (rock n roll that is) ever since.

Five years prior to that gig a young Jake Burns, Ali McMordie, Henry Cluny and Brian Fallon decided to change the name of their Deep Purple covers band Highway Star to Stiff Little Fingers and the world of punk rock had found one of its longest serving stars.

Their debut album Inflammable Material stands the testament of time and is surely one of the greatest non-million sellers ever as well as featuring the best sub one minute song ever in Here We Are Nowhere.

Tonight focused on their earlier and anthemic songs bounding on stage to a blistering version of Wasted Life followed at break neck speed by Fade Away and the first single I ever bought, At The Edge.

For those of you under 40 singles were little round black plastic thingiemajigs, roughly phallus size, about 7 inches.That aside the set was littered with a host of gems from their back catalogue like probably my favourite love song ever Barbed Wire Love as well as Silver Lining, Can’t Say Crap On The Radio, Roots Radicals and Straw Dogs.

Three quarters of the way through the show Jake stopped to flag up the fact it was Mental Health Week and that he too had suffered from several bouts of near suicidal clinical depression. A couple of songs later his second audience rapport moment was to remind everyone that the 22/12/12 was the 10th anniversary of the early demise of the man who first inspired him to change band name and course in 1977, before playing his tribute to Joe Strummer and his admittance that if there was no Clash there probably would have been no SLF. He then launched into Strummerville.

The rest of the set and equally audience-friendly sing-a-longs included tracks like Suspect Device and Tin Soldiers. They did two encores featuring Alternative Ulster before saying Hanx and good night with Gotta Getaway.

Just think its only three months or so until they do their twenty somethingth St Paddy’s night gig at Barrowlands. Want to guess who’s going to be there? Join me do and rock to the legends of punk that are Stiff Little Fingers.

All words by David Speirs.

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