Live Review: Stiff Little Fingers – O2 Academy Leeds, 23.03.23

Punk is alive and well in Leeds as Stiff Little Fingers bring their Everyone Is Someone tour to town. The Northern Irish legends have been a mainstay in the punk scene for over four decades and they proved that their music still packs a punch. They know exactly what the crowd expects and they deliver their signature brand of politically charged, high-energy punk.

Following on from Slim Jim Phantom’s support set, revving the crowd up with a set full of rock ‘n’ roll classics, Stiff Little Fingers open at a real pace, 3 songs back to back without a pause for breath. Straw Dogs, Roots and the 1980 title track from Nobody’s Heroes makes for a stellar opening, but leaves some of those in the middle aged most pit beginning to regret that they weren’t pacing themselves a little better!

Founding members Jake Burns and bassist Ali McMordie are at their incendiary best, with McMordie in particular enjoying his interactions with the crowd and also having fun with long-standing guitarist Ian McCallum and drummer Steve Grantley.

Full Steam Backwards is prefaced with a trademark diatribe on inequality and the ruling classes. He brings into focus the lumpy playing fields of the ordinary person vs. the manicured Etonian lawns of Blair, Cameron and Johnson.

It’s a set jammed full of hits and the crowd leave happy after an encore of Johnny Was and Alternative Ulster, showing that SLF still have what it takes to rock a venue to it’s roots.

Set list:

Straw Dogs
Nobody’s Hero
Roots, Radicals, Rockers and Reggae
The Tower in London
Just Fade Away
Full Steam Backwards
Doesn’t Make It Alright
Get a Life
My Dark Places
Silver Lining
Each Dollar a Bullet
At the Edge
Wasted Life
Gotta Getaway
Suspect Device
Johnny Was
Alternative Ulster

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