Stiff Little Fingers got their start in 1977 in their hometown of Belfast, Ireland, as, of all things, a cover band called Highway Star. Difficult to believe, but true. However, all that changed with their discovery of punk rock. With a new name and attitude, SLF came out roaring with their fiery debut, Inflammable Material (1979), on Rough Trade. The first single, “Suspect Device” (featured on today’s AMM) was sent to John Peel, who – as the story goes – played it quite a bit on his show. Chaos reigned supreme.
Despite a break-up in 1982, and several line-up changes over the years, with vocalist Jake Burns being the only remaining founder in the band, Stiff Little Fingers continues to tour throughout the world. This year, they’ve embarked upon their 40th anniversary tour commemorating their debut album, and that includes a stop in Austin for a show tonight at Barracuda, 611 E. 7th St. San Francisco band – one of the first to emerge in San Francisco’s scene – The Avengers kicks off the show, which is one hell of an opener. The real deal. Doors at 8 p.m. So recommended.
-Photography by Shirley Sexton.