Stiff Little Fingers
February 21, 2020
There is a chance that I need to revisit The Clash’s early oeuvre, however, in my humble opinion Stiff Little Finger’s “Inflammable Material” is, as far as an early, snotty political punk record is concerned, a near perfect release as it had, apart from being fuelled by dissatisfaction with the status quo, more grit and urgency. This might in no small part be due to the fact that in the late seventies of Belfast, politics and Northern Ireland’s conflicts affected everyone’s life in the most tangible and often threatening way.
Fast forward forty-one years, and SLF are holding court to celebrate one of the eponymous and more important albums that have paved the way for how punk rock evolved, embedded in a melange of songs that illustrate the highlights of their other nine albums.
Whilst Stiff Little Fingers with their in-your-face bangers do not really have any hits as such, they have mastered the art of delivering their enthusiastic audience what they want and have calibrated their setlist accordingly, including banter to embed the respective salves in relevant context.
Needless to say that the evening culminated in a frenetically celebrated rendition of “Alternative Ulster”.
The evening was testament to the fact that not only the album “Inflammable material” has firmly established itself on the firmament of punk rock and alternative music at large as a timeless masterpiece and temple for a myriad of other punk bands, but that Stiff Little Fingers as band have retained relevance and are a whole lot of fun to experience in a live environment.