Stiff Little Fingers – their very first session for John Peel from April 13, 1978. It would be the first of four sessions from this Belfast Punk band, formed during “the troubles” in Northern Ireland and reflecting the social anxiety of the time.
The thing about Punk in the UK, which was poles apart different from what materialized in the U.S. was the subject matter – what they were talking about, what they sang about. Punk in the UK was issues-oriented for the most part, and did a lot to break through old stereotypes and misconceptions – whether it was talking about poverty, being gay, women’s issues, racism or being lost in a faceless society, these were issues that faced the youth of the UK in the 1970s in the wake of the Thatcher years. A lot of times it was about anger and it touched off angry reactions. But it rang true with a lot of people – and for that reason, Punk was much more of substantial movement than it was over here. We just didn’t have the same set of issues – or we did, in many cases – we didn’t use music as a platform for airing grievances, not until Rap came along, and then the playing field changed considerably.
I’ve posted Stiff Little Fingers sessions and concerts over the past few years. They have been an influential band and have maintained a strong fan following, even after their temporary break-up in 1982, which resulted in their reunion in 1987 and still going strong.
if you’ve missed out on Stiff Little Fingers the first time around, here’s an introduction by way of the legendary John Peel.
You don’t necessarily have to dance to music in order to feel something – sometimes the message is strong enough.
Crank it up.