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Stiff Little Fingers at Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Veteran Punks on the road again
Punk rockers Stiff Little Fingers continue to release albums and tour the world - 37 years after they formed in Northern Ireland.

Stiff Little Fingers
On the road again: Stiff Little Fingers

The Belfast band will perform tracks from their new studio record, No Going Back, during a 17-date UK tour that includes a show at Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on March 21.

As at every SLF show there will also be plenty of fan favourites, assures singer and founder Jake Burns.

''You have to strike a balance,'' says the 56-year-old. ''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.' A lot of the old songs the audience greet like old friends... I suppose it's the same as any band that's been around for any length of time. And yes, 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."

Stiff Little Fingers
Still rockin': Stiff Little Fingers

Formed in 1977, Stiff Little Fingers took their name from a 1977 Vibrators lyric: 'If it wasn't for your stiff little fingers nobody would know you were dead'.

In November of '77, they released the songs Suspect Device and Wasted Life on their own Rigid Digits label and sent a copy to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing them every night.

In 1979 they became the first band to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut, Inflammable Material.

They enjoyed six years as one of the biggest ticket draws in the UK and recorded three more studio albums Nobody's Heroes (1980), Go For It (1982) and Now Then (1982) before Jake Burns took a sabbatical to work as a BBC Radio One producer.

SLF reformed in 1987 and booked a huge reunion tour in 1988, including two sold out Brixton Academy gigs, which persuaded Jake to make the reunion permanent.

Stiff Little Fingers
No Going Back: Stiff Little Fingers

When original bassist Ali McMordie bowed out in 1990, just as SLF were about to tour Japan, former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton jumped in at the last moment and subsequently played on the group's next five studio albums, Flags and Emblems (1991), Get a Life (1994), Tinderbox (1997), Best Of All... Hope Street (1999) and Guitar & Drum (2003).

In 2005, Bruce Foxton left amicably and the band welcomed back Ali McMordie. Alongside Jake and Ali in the current Stiff Little Fingers line-up are guitarist Ian McCallum, a full-time member since 1999, and drummer Steve Grantley who joined in 1996.

The 2014 UK tour dates are:

Mar 12: Leeds, O2 Academy;
Mar 13: Dublin, The Academy;
Mar 14: Belfast, Ulster Hall;
Mar 15: Newcastle, O2 Academy;
Mar 17: Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom;
Mar 18: Liverpool, O2 Academy;
Mar 19: Nottingham, Rock City;
Mar 21: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall;
Mar 22: Manchester, The Ritz;
Mar 23: Leamington Spa, The Assembly;
Mar 24: Peterborough, The Cresset;
Mar 26: Norwich, The Waterfront;
Mar 27: Ipswich, Corn Exchange;
Mar 28: London, The Forum;
Mar 29: Bristol, O2 Academy;
Mar 31: Exeter, Phoenix;
Apr 1: Portsmouth, Pyramid Centre.

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Why? Veteran Punk Rockers preview new album
When: March 21, 2014
Phone: 0870 320 7000
Where: Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
Cost: 20.35
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