Another night out for the old punks Big Man and myself, as Rachel opted out of another SLF gig! So, we drove down, getting there nice and early, as Rich wanted to check out first support Blood And Whisky. A raggedy-arsed bunch of old punks and traveller types from Ireland, they played a punked-up Irish jiggery pokery, fast and frantic, like an unhinged Flogging Molly. Lots of fun but I couldn't eat a whole one! Much better however than main support Gold Blade, the former Membranes line-up playing clumsy hardcore punk rock, loud, fast and dynamic but totally tuneless!
But SLF was what we were here for, and we joined the throng of old punks and their kids (!) on the dancefloor, stage left. Coming on to the usual sing-along chant "Guitar And Drum", the Fingers joined us to a huge ovation from the now-full Academy. You get exactly what it says on the tin from this lot - vintage punk rock, occasionally politicised, occasionally personal, but invariably sing-along, bursting with conviction and bristling with venom, despite the band's advancing years. Tonight was no different, despite Jake suffering with a horrible cold which he kept apologising for, and which made his voice sound even more rasping, if that's possible. Joined again by original bassist Ali McMordie (who was clearly in fantasy band camp tonight, whooping it up throughout), Jake led the boys through a fun, rocking old set initially beset with technical problems, but sorted out by the continuing flow of punk classics. "Tin Soldiers", "Nobody's Hero", an affecting "Strummerville", a frantic "At The Edge", a venomous "Wasted Life" and solitary encore "Alternative Ulster"; the hits kept coming in another entertaining 1 hour 20 minute set.
Always worth the effort; Stiff Little Fingers are still burning!