Before Sunday night’s concert at Gramercy Theatre in NYC, I didn’t know much about Stiff Little Fingers other than the following:
- They are legendary (they’ve been playing since the late 70s and this was their 40th Anniversary Tour)
- They are from Ireland which was a tough place to be from in the 70s.
- Their name is hilarious (as is the name of the Vibrator’s song they are named after)
- My pal, Andres lead singer of the Colombian punk band, Los Suziox, loves them.
What else is there to know. Well lots actually, like how about their discography or a couple of songs? Nope and no problem, that’s why I go see bands like SLF, to get familiar with them and their work.
Obviously, since they’ve been playing since the late 70s I expected the guys to be old. Only lead singer Jake Burns has been with the band the entire time, but original guitarist Allie McMordie recently rejoined the band after a long hiatus.
The crowd was kind of old too (I include myself in that description) but like all good punk shows, there was a wide variety with some youngsters thrown into the mix and by the time the headliners hit the stage (after a highly entertaining but kind of odd rock band from Norway opened), the place was packed. It felt & looked like a sellout and a mosh pit quickly formed.
As the small mosh pit opened up a few songs in, 3 fairly large Argentine fellas next to me, joined the fray and it was off. Since I wasn’t familiar with SLF repertoire, each song kind of blended into the next at first, but I was shocked by the clarity of Jake’s voice as he hit some super high notes. He also got personal with the crowd explaining the band’s background from the days of the “Troubles” in Ireland and how that affected him and his own, personal struggle with depression.
Since I wasn’t familiar with SLF repertoire, each song kind of blended into the next at first, but I was shocked by the clarity of Jake’s voice as he hit some super high notes and the over melodic feeling of the songs.
He also got personal with the crowd explaining the band’s background from the days of the “Troubles” in Ireland and how that affected him and his own, personal struggle with depression.
By the time they began to play some of the more rollicking songs, I was in the back of the room, trying to peer over some really tall people (I had no idea NYC had such amazonian folks).
I didn’t leave a huge SLF fan, that would have been asking too much for one show on a Sunday night when I was eager to get back home to prep for a big week ahead. But I did get the groundwork laid and I’ve already begun to research online and dig deeper into SLF’s discography (have a few favorites already) and learn more about the band.
After 40 years of playing, this legendary band seemed tight, not the least bit worn out, cynical or exhausted and that deserves respect.
Enjoy the few pics of the show and a video of one of my new favorite SLF ditties “On the Edge”.