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Celebrating 40th anniversary of debut album
When Stiff Little Fingers featured in Weekend Notes in 2014 they were touring to promote the newly released album, No Going Back. Five years on, they are still on the road but this time they are marking the 40th anniversary of the release of the debut album, Inflammable Material. Following the UK shows in March and May, extra tour dates have been added, including an August 20 gig at KK's Steel Mill in Wolverhampton.
SLF: Ian McCallum, Jake Burns, Steve Grantley, Ali McMordie
Formed in 1977 in Belfast, Stiff Little Fingers were among the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks and Undertones, they helped usher in a new era of music.
Inflammable Material, which chronicles the band's anger and frustration at "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, was released on February 2, 1979. It features the legendary tracks Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster. The record was a UK hit, making SLF the first band to enter the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label.
When original bassist Ali McMordie left the group 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 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.
Since the 2014 release of No Going Back, Stiff Little Fingers have remained extremely active. In 2017, a live album, Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowland, was issued, a fitting souvenir of the band's epic performance at their annual St Patrick's Day show. There have also been headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast's Custom House Square and the London's Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day.
Fans have welcomed new songs like Trail of Tears, My Dark Places and Liar's Club, which cover topics such as the economic collapse, band frontman Jake Burn's struggle with depression and continuing racism in the west. As Jake says: "You've probably worked out by now, I don't do comedy songs!"
Stiff Little Fingers 2019 UK and Ireland tour dates:
August 16: King George's Hall, Blackburn; August 17: Hardwick Live Festival, Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, County Durham: August 18: Tivoli, Buckley; August 20: KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton: August 21: Guildhall, Gloucester; August 23: Academy, Dublin;
August 24: Putting The Fast In Belfast, Custom House Square, Belfast.