Stiff Little Fingers with support from Cash From Chaos reviewed
The Fingers seem to attract the kind of fans
that shower their heroes, security, pit photographers & the punters
down at the front, in beer…
So, once again SLF are in town and that usually means a good night out for one and all except the venue's security. The Fingers, for some strange reason, seem to attract the kind of fans that shower their heroes, security, pit photographers & the punters down at the front, in beer…expensive beer at that. Strange. Maybe this time will be different I hoped. No beer shower for me tonight please God.
Anyway, to kick off proceedings were Cash From Chaos, a local Edinburgh punk covers band. Competent, yes, and relatively entertaining to a degree but there's only so much a covers band can do to win over a crowd when you're emulating the very thing that cannot be replicated. It's all a bit karaoke really but nevertheless the assembling crowd get into the spirit of '76 by jumping around to the classics "Pretty Vacant", "Clash City Rockers", "Holiday In Cambodia", "Hong Kong Garden" - you get the idea. Off they go and out for a ciggie I go before heading back in for the main event and to get my camera ready.
Around 9pm(ish) the lights go down and the crowd cheer the usual intro of "Go For It" then sing the riffs in unison before SLF appear. They launch straight into "Nobody's Hero" and the HMV is instantly jumping! Hang on, SLF are really into this tonight, that much is blatantly clear!
They sail through "Straw Dogs", "Just Fade Away" then I miss the next one due to a comfort break. I return to be greeted by "Roots, Radicals, Rockers & Reggae" with the crowd well into it, jigging, jumping and skanking like there's no tomorrow. So far, so good.
SLF are really into this tonight, that much is blatantly clear!
Tonight they dropped "The Price Of Admission", not literally mind, just the song and replaced it with "My Ever Changing Moral Stance" - a track they've not played live before apparently. What follows is exactly what you'd expect - "At The Edge", "Doesn't Make It Alright" & "Hits & Misses" before they play the unrecorded "One Man Island". Jake seems to be in his element tonight, all big smiles during the breaks from the vocals, Ali, as usual, is like a man possessed, jumping in the air, hopping and skipping around the stage while never missing a note, Ian giving his leftie Axe the usual wellie & Steve holding everything together with precision beats. Good times!
Next on the menu is "Wait & See" followed by SLFs love song - "we're not very good at love songs" Jake says before "Barbed Wire Love". Then we get "Strummerville" and "Fly The Flag" before the inevitable "Suspect Device" makes an appearance. Jake thanks everyone for being "the best crowd we've had in a very long time" before ending with "Tin Soldiers" and a legion of fans singing the chorus with passionate glee. A short break & the Fingers are back for their encore which surprises a few in the crowd as I guess they didn't expect Motorheads "Ace Of Spades".
I guess they didn't expect Motorheads "Ace Of Spades".
Next, it seemed like the whole venue was screaming "I could be a soldier!" as "Wasted Life" bursts forth from the stage as SLF execute their penultimate song, great stuff. Off they go again for a minute or two before returning to finally finish the show with, yeah, you guessed right, "Alternative Ulster", (I wouldn't have it any other way to be honest), which drains the last energy from the crowd. Great night, great show, big on energy, SLF enjoying themselves to the max & in turn giving everyone that memory to take away with them. Oh yeah, the only beer I got hit with was my own & it hit the back of my throat just fine, hanx!