March 16, 2009

Barbed Wire Love

They take away our freedom
In the name of liberty
Why don't they all just clear off
Why won't they let us be
They make us feel indebted
For saving us from hell
And then they put us through it
It's time the bastards fell

Don't believe them
Don't believe them
Question everything you're told
Just take a look around you
At the bitterness and spite
Why can't we take over and try to put it right

- Suspect Device... Stiff Little Fingers

As it's St. Patricks day, we at Bleedin Out pay humble tribute to the greatest of all Irish Punk bands. With all due respect to Thin Lizzy, The Undertones and U2; our money is on STIFF LITTLE FINGERS.
No other band combined political commentary on "The Troubles" with such a kick ass emotional (not emo!!!!!!) punk attack.

Certainly, comparisons to The Clash, from topical matter to a heavy dabbling in Reggae and Ska ("Roots, Radicals, Rockers and Reggae", their cover of The Specials ""Doesn't Make It Alright") can be made. SLF also penned "Strummerville" in honor of Joe Strummer when he passed.

Gravel voiced singer Jake Burns growled his way through topics ranging from Military Conscription ("Tin Soldiers", "Wasted Life"), Nationalism ("Fly The Flag"), prejudice ("White Noise") and violence ("Suspect Device").

SLF could even show a sense of humor with a song like "Barbed Wire Love"

I met you in No Man's Land / Across the wire we were holding hands / Hearts a-bubble in the rubble / It was love at bomb site

And, of course, they recorded the definitive version of Bob Marley's heart wrenching "Johnny Was"; transitioning the original's locale of Jamaica to Ireland.

SLF still tour occasionally (recently, original bass player Ali McMordie came back to the fold, replacing The Jam's Bruce Foxton).

Here are a couple of shows. The first is a compilation of the performances SLF did on the John Peel show, the second is a live show from their heyday.


Stiff Little Fingers - The Peel Sessions
Stiff Little Fingers - Live At The Keystone, Berkeley CA 10-8-80


Anonymous said...

My money was always on The Pogues but I suppose you'll get all technical & say they were Brits. Well I say póg mo thóin, I'm drinking a pint of Guinness for Shane MacGowan.

p.s. - SLF rule as well.

Anonymous said...
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Nazz Nomad said...

Contrarian that I am, I did not have any alcohol yesterday. But I did wear my Guiness tie to work and I went to the NYC ST Paddy's day parade.

Juan Duque said...

Thanks for your comment on the Descendents! And you're right. One of the finest punk rock records!

Speaking of SLF, though, you HAVE seen THIS, have you not?:

The Twitter poem is sublime. Should be called Twatter.