Concert stories /// Stiff Little Fingers @ Phoenix, Exeter /// 31.03.2014

SLF 10

Photos and review by Hannah O’Brien

https://www.facebook.com/HannahOBrienPhotography

From their inception into the punk world in 1977, Stiff Little Fingers have been a force to be reckoned with. In 2014 SLF released their 10th studio album titled ‘No Going Back’.

SLF 9The crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of the band on stage, SLF began their diverse set with the instantly recognisable percussion heavy instrumental track ‘Go For It’ from the 1981 album release of the same name; and being the very first album that introduced me to the band, it was obviously a personal favourite of mine and a fantastic way to kick off this night of raw and electrifying punk.

An assortment of tracks were played varying across their career from 77-present, including ‘My Dark Places’ a song from the new album; an extremely poignant moment of the night, where frontman Jake Burns spoke openly about his on-going battle with depression and how it was expressed with this track, which is definitely their most personal and open song to date.

Jake Burns reminisced with a couple of songs in particular and dedicated them to old friends who sadly aren’t here with us today; firstly with another new track off the album- ‘When We Were Young’- an infectious track that recalls joyous times he had with the late great Phil Lynott. And an incredible tribute to the legendary Joe SLF 5Strummer; with ‘Strummerville’. This particularly stood out, as The Clash are one of SLF’s personal musical inspirations and influences. Even the mere mention of The Clash frontman’s name evoked an enormous roar from the already captivated crowd.

The atmosphere was electric throughout, with a thoroughly enthusiastic and mesmerised crowd, especially with the encore songs- the classic and fist pumpingly brilliant ‘Suspect Device’ and the final song of the set- ‘Alternative Ulster’, the crowd were well and truly pumped and enthralled, it was everything you’d want and expect from a punk gig.

After the concert, if I wasn’t elated enough with witnessing such an incredible gig by what can only be called British punk legends; I was extremely lucky as I got the opportunity to go backstage and meet the band. I was introduced and of course warmly welcomed by each of the members, who after all the years of success are still a tremendously down to earth bunch of lads from Belfast. Meeting them and receiving a signed set list and array of tour posters was a great moment and overall a thoroughly memorable night.

 Find the rest of the gallery here

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