Stiff Little Fingers and Jon Davie – The Lemon Tree – 15/03/11
I hadn’t intended doing a review of this gig at all. Even the Nikon was getting the night off for a change but you know, getting to photograph one of your all time favourite bands, well, it’s not often that chance comes along is it? So aye, the ol’ memory card was wiped and off I went. I’d STILL not planned to do a review however, I was still taking the night off from reviewing… or at least… so I thought.
Support band was supposed to be Spear of Destiny but Kirk Brandon is not in the best of health so apparently Glen Matlock and the Philistines were to be the replacements but that also fell through seemingly. Being honest I wasn’t the least bit bothered to miss out on either and I mean no offence to either group here… but an SLF gig at the Lemon Tree… well, it’s all about the Belfast band for me and I’d not be put off even if it was the Wombles that were the support.
It was to be local chap Jon Davie (of the Guttergodz) who got the privilege of opening the evening with his acoustic guitar and I reckoned he’d struggle to win me over without his band behind him. He played a couple of his own songs but also a few that the crowd would be much more familiar with (inc Rebel Yell, a nice surprise, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have) and the singalong Teenage Kicks), a sure way to get everyone onside and up for the Fingers. On a personal note I have to say I’d rather he’d been on with his band but most folk seemed to think he did really well. I’ll certainly have a look at the Guttergodz when I get a chance. Jon also struck me as the kind of fella that’d rather not be perched on a seat anyway. A wise choice for the support slot at the end of the day, something different and playing come classic songs, hell, whats not to like?
We’ve covered Stiff Little Fingers on Flares n Seagulls already so I didn’t think I’d be taking anything new to the table by putting my thoughts about them online again. This is a band that have had something like three new songs in like four years (or whatever it is)…. so why do I keep coming back to them? They’ve a huge back catalogue that only 5% of which of gets any sort of regular airing. I’m not going to try and explain their setlists or the choices they make but it’s that five percent, well, it’s a fucking GREAT five percent in my humble opinion.
Their set starts off with the medium-fast paced songs and it slows just a wee bit then its like going downhill with no brakes convincing yourself that your life is about to end and finally having that massive chill out moment when you discover you didn’t crash at all as the final single song is played as the second encore and the evening draws to a close. I doubt there’s any drug in the word that could better a Fingers gig when they’re on form like tonight. The boys are looking great, and playing like they really enjoy it.
I decided not to list the songs through the review due to some people going to see them on tour shortly and perhaps spoiling their enjoyment by seeing exactly whats being played but there is a pic of the setlist under this article.
So SB, why did you end up putting up a review?
It’s now two days later and I still have that warm buzz you have as you drive home after you’ve witnessed an outstanding show, and that, for me at least, was just what it was. So thank you Jake, Ian, Ali and Steve and hope to see you in Aberdeen again soon.
Words and pics by Still Burning.
Stiff Little Fingers Website