Photos + Review: Stiff Little Fingers at Belly Up Tavern (San Diego, CA)

Stiff Little Fingers (Belfast)
July 30th, 2015
Belly Up Tavern in San Diego, CA

Nearly 40 years after their original formation back in 1977 Stiff Little Fingers are still going strong.  To any who hold even the slightest doubt on their staying power all I can say is pick up No Going Back, their tenth release and go see them live, you’ll become a believer.

Their latest album doesn’t disappoint from opening track to the last.  It is the grown up answer to punk rock at its fullest.  It is chock full of powerful drum beats and riffs throughout and lyrics that are quintessentially SLF: Politically aware, defiant to the core, and self analytical covering topics such as: economical recession, racism, and depression.  Classic SLF.

To those saying that SLF is not musically current I just have to disagree with you.  SLF stayed true to their punk  roots resulting in a sound that is organic and unique as opposed to over-produced songs you currently and often hear on the radio.

These kids have reached adulthood but they have surely kept their rebellious spirit young and alive!  All the years spent together, all the break ups and “resurrections” resulted in a band that is so unified musically and in spirit they are truly a joy to witness live.  Their interactions with the fans and amongst each other are testament of their greatness.  A fan I met at their show said, “I’ve seen them pretty much all my life, even back when they could jump higher…” and yes maybe they could have jumped higher but truth is they never rocked harder.

This show for me was just a dream come true.  I had first heard of SLF when I was a kid and my older brother literally drove me crazy playing “Inflammable Material” over and over, the only break being the seconds it took for him to rewind the cassette…

He played this tape so loud it just drove me crazy…and here I am almost thirty years later still playing SLF just as loud as he was and yes over and over….my brother would have been proud.  That original cassette is one of my most precious possessions to date.  If you have the chance to catch them live do so, they will keep you jumping from beginning to end, guaranteed.

Setlist
Nobody’s Hero
At The Edge
Roots
Dark Places
Fade Away
Strummerville
Guilty As Sin
Harp
Doesn’t Make It Right
Bits Of Kids
When We Were Young
Barbed Wire
Fly The Flag
Tin Soldiers
Suspect
——————-
Wasted Life
Alternative Ulster

Thoughts?

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