Photo courtesy of Stiff Little Fingers
Celebrating 40 years of roots-radical anthems, Stiff Little Fingers are still going strong. In 2014, they released their 10th studio album, No Going Back, through Pledge Music, and toured alongside Bad Religion and The Offspring, with a followup solo tour in 2015. According to vocalist and guitarist Jake Burns, being a career musician isn’t quite what he thought he’d doing in 2017. At a young age, Burns was attracted to bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin—but his tastes changed. “I grew tired of that once I realized the guitar wasn’t just for showing off,” Burns says. “The main reason I picked up a guitar in the first place was thanks to an Irish guitar player called Rory Gallagher, who at the time was spoken about in the same breath as Eric Clapton……”
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The Complex seems to have the edge when it comes to booking big-name punk acts. In the last year alone, Salt Lake has been graced by the likes of Adam Ant, Screeching Weasel—via the SLC Punk 2 film—and even Black Flag. Of course attending these gigs provides a hefty dent in the wallet, but it’s arguably worth the nostalgia, or in tonight’s case, a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the legendary act, Stiff Little Fingers. Arriving to a line that stretches half a block from the venue, I gather that most people lined up are here for the other acts. How does one come to this conclusion? Well, looking at the sea of band shirts might give one with a note pad and pen somewhat of a clue. Practically identical band shirts that scream “one of us” are perhaps the ultimate way to pay homage to one’s favorite band. The majority in line appear to be here for Bad Religion and The Offspring. Only a minority seem to have come for Stiff Little Fingers. One could identify those folks by the clear punk attire or the groaning of missing the short set….
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Stiff Little Fingers’ tour is going “Fantastically well,” according to frontman Jake Burns. Photo: Ashley Maile
It’s been busy year for Stiff Little Fingers—they’ve completed their latest album, No Going Back, toured the world, played the Rebellion Festival, and are about to hit the salty shores of Salt Lake City as a part of Offspring’s “Smash 20th Anniversary” tour. How are things going for the gang? Well, according to Jake Burns, “Fantastically well, actually. Everyone’s been incredibly helpful—very, very friendly. We started at a bit of a disadvantage, in so much as our backline guy had a problem with his visa. He’s actually still stuck in England. We haven’t managed to get him across. When we turned up, in our first show in Florida, suddenly the guys from Pennywise, who we know (we had toured with them earlier this year in Australia), their crew just all jumped in and said, ‘Oh, we’ll help out.’ In fact, every night, I’ve been in the slightly bizarre position of having my guitars tuned by Jay Bentley of Bad Religion, which is kind of weird….”
For the full story, check it out @ SLUG MAG!