The Brook, Southampton

Stiff Little Fingers

You know Spring is in the air when Stiff Little Fingers are embarking on the now trademark March leg of their tour. Due to a late support act cancellation, Woking’s The Brompton Mix have stepped in at short notice-managed by none other than Jam legend Rick Buckler!

With all new bands (to me) I’m looking to make reference, pidgeonhole etc. With these guys I’m struggling though as it’s nothing like I’ve heard before. Yes, there are influences but nothing “concrete” jumps out. They open confidently with “Take It Back” and set the bar high. Ben (lead vox/rhythm) is confident throughout with a clearly great vocal style. To his left is Simon (bass) who has an uncanny similarity to Louis Theroux! “Miles Away” and “Into The Night” go down well before set highlight “The Loverats”, which is self explanatory in its title I believe. On Ben’s right is Azza (lead/backing vox), he provides some intricate guitar lines alongside some thumping drums in places from Chris. On “Bang Bang” the set takes a different form completely on this brooding little number which is another highlight-no two songs are the same in the Brompton’s set. They end with Ben announcing the customary band “links” before launching into “King of the City”. On this evidence they’ll be kings of Woking for sure! They leave to long,loud applause and one feels a host of new fans. I for one will be keeping tabs on these “one’s to watch”.

The Brompton Mix
The Brompton Mix 1

It’s been a couple of years since I saw SLF live and in this venue a first. Back with new material to plug from forthcoming LP “Up A Gear” they announce themselves with their highest chart entry “At The Edge”. This near full venue starts to move. “Wasted Life” follows as this crowd find their voices. “Roots, Rockers and Radicals” though sees this crowd really start to explode into action! Any worries we had about the band being rusty soon evaporate as they blow off the cobwebs full throttle. Jake is happy and smiling while Ali is grinning from ear to ear, whilst acknowledging old friends in the audience. Steve (drums) is power personified all night long while Ian to Jake’s right ably completes this quartet. “Trail of Tears” is the first new song aired tonight and receives a good response. Jake is quick to point out that there won’t just be the usual “1 new song” aired tonight but 3!

Stiff Little Fingers
Stiff Little Fingers 12345

Back to the “hits” then with a barnstorming “Nobody’s Hero”. He also takes time to honour the memory and influence Joe Strummer had on the band before unleashing “Strummerville”. “Fly The Flag” is a highlight before Jake explains the influence of depression as the content of new song “My Dark Places”, for which he is roundly applauded. Jake follows this with his adulation of fellow artists The Specials and storms through “It Doesn’t Make It Alright”. “Listen” continues the big singalongs as does “Barbed Wire Love”. A rare outing for “Straw Dogs” ends the show on a high before they return with “Suspect Device”. Not expecting a second encore they return once more with a rip-snorting “Tin Soldiers”. We get our breath back as the band take a bow. By now this crowd are yelling for “one more”. Can it get any better? They return once more whereupon Jake announces another cover from a band who had “too short a life”. Cue The Ruts “Staring At The Rude Boys” which they do justice before one last incendiary blast through “Alternative Ulster”. All in all a welcome return from SLF. A quite excellent start to the tour and we know we’ll be back next year.

Set Lists
Stiff Little Fingers
At The Edge
Wasted Life
Roots, Rockers & Radicals
Trail Of Tears
Nobody’s Hero
Hope Street
Liars Club
Picadilly Circus
Fly The Flag
My Dark Places
It Doesn’t Make It Alright
Barbed Wire Love
Fade Away
Straw Dogs
Suspect Device
Tin Soldiers
Staring At The Rude Boys
Alternative Ulster

The Brompton Mix
Take It Back
I Get Paid
Miles Away
Into The Night
The Loverats
Bang Bang
King Of The City


More Videos from this gig can be found on our You Tube page.

Band Links

Review by Ross “Can I Have a Picture Please” Ferrone.
Videos and Pictures by Dave “Lets Keep This Professional” Chinery (Chinners).

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