Stiff Little Fingers @ Underground Arts

WRITTEN BY: MADDIE REID

Belfast natives Stiff Little Fingers played a packed show at Underground Arts on Wednesday, September 27th. They brought their style of melodic punk with a set of fan favorites and new songs from their latest release No Going Back.

Stiff Little Fingers have had a month of live shows to perfect the riffs and hooks of their recirds, some featuring songs the band has never played beforeand it shows. The band was on fire, captivating the crowd from the moment they walked on stage and ripped into “Roots, Radicals, Rockers & Reggae.” For the next hour and a half, the band would keep this intensity as fans crowd surfed and pushed for the front.

Another standout was “My Dark PLaces” into “Barbed Wire Love.” Frontman Jake Burns led into the song saying “Does anyone here suffer from depression?” making a few people in the audience agree. “Well, bloody hell talk about it,” he said as the chords began. After that was “Silver Lining.” For a song never even released on a Stiff Little Fingers LP, this song is a rousing number that makes even those all the way in the back jump with their fists in the air. The oldest song in the set proved that it still has the power to rile up fans.

The closing encore was another 1-2-3 punch. “Fade Away” into “Gotta Get Away” and then “Tin Soldiers” had every voice at the top of their lungs. Stiff Little Fingers were unstoppable. Drummer Steve Grantly did not even stop kicking the bass drum in between songs long enough for fans to catch their breath before singing the anthemic “go and get it now.” After the final song, Underground Arts was sweaty and full of a good time.

Stiff Little Fingers are a band that have had consistently good releases since their first record in 1977. Shows like Wednesday night prove why. The band, while becoming more melodic, have never lost the bite that made their original records so good. They have grown into the venues and louder crowds, rising to the popularity, but still making fans feel like they are at an intimate show. No Going Back is as great live as it is in the stereo, and once again Stiff Little Fingers pulled the audience into their sound, leaving them with high spirits as they left into the Philly streets.