STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
Supports – The Caballeros, Leeches
Capitol, Perth WA
29th of March 2016
Punk came crashing into a sleepy Perth Tuesday night as opening act Leeches (infamous for “stealing” the Dead Kennedys rider) hit the stage with their signature very short, very fast and very loud style of punk. The response from the early punters was cool at best but the Perth trio took it in their stride making light of their support act status.
The Caballeros announced themselves as the best dressed and best looking band in Perth. With the five piece all decked out in identical black pants, crisp white shirts with skinny black ties it was hard to argue the point. Frontman Dr Green threw himself all over and off the stage, putting on a high energy show of rockabilly infused punk music the band is known for. The growing crowd responded accordingly.
Born from The Troubles in 1977 Northern Ireland’s Stiff Little Fingers are punk as it should be, fast, loud with a lot of heart. A taped introduction of the instrumental track ‘Go For It’ welcomed the Belfast four piece onto the Capitol stage followed by a huge cheer from the near capacity crowd. Stiff Little Fingers took no time in launching into a set of some of some of their best known songs. Front man Jake Burns had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the first utterance of “Hello Perth!” Through rocking numbers including ‘Roots’, ‘Radicals’, ‘Rockers & Reggae’. A surprise inclusion of a cover of The Specials, ‘It Doesn’t Make It All Right’ dedicated to the late John Bradbury had everyone singing.
Punk has been intertwined in politics since its inception so there was no surprise when Burns added a rant directed at George W Bush, Tony Blair and the Iraq war, along with a general “fuck you” aimed at any government who doesn’t look after its people as an introduction for Liars Club. All well received by the punters.
Emotion came back into the set with the dedication of a song written for Joe Strummer after his untimely death, aptly titled ‘Strummerville’. The dedications continued with the song ‘When We Were Young’ inspired from a night of drinking with the late great Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott. Burns then introduced the song ‘Dark Places’ which he wrote as a self-help guide with his ongoing battle with depression. Stiff Little Fingers are a deeply heartfelt band with strong convictions that permeate through their music. A three song encore finishing with the classic ‘Alternative Ulster’ closed out gig of high energy, honesty and emotional tributes.
Written by Gareth Williams
Photos courtesy of Denis Radacic
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