Stiff Little Fingers
Saturday, May 18, 2024
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets start at $25.00
Stiff Little Fingers
Stiff Little Fingers were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland. Along with the likes of the Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Sham 69, Stranglers, et al – Stiff Little Fingers were at the forefront of the punk movement. They wrote initially about their own lives, growing up at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, in songs like “Suspect Device” and “Wasted Life”. In November of ’77, they released those two songs on their own Rigid Digits label, and sent a copy to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing it every night.
These were the first of what became SLF’s signature style: lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment. In 1979 they became the first band ever to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut Inflammable Material. The album chronicles the band’s anger and frustration at “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, and calls on youth to create their own reality.
Over the years, their live shows continued to be special events of energy and power. Their studio albums demonstrate their passion and anger, each in its own way. In ’94 they released the Get a Life LP. The album helped renew interest in SLF just as newer bands that sited them as a major influence, such as Bad Religion, Sugar, Rancid and Therapy, were coming to prominence. In August 2003, Stiff Little Fingers released their ninth studio album, Guitar and Drum, which includes a moving tribute to Joe Strummer, entitled “Strummerville”.
After many studio albums and countless tours, Stiff Little Fingers find themselves more in demand than ever. They are currently working on a new album, and many of the new songs have been debuted at live gigs, with tremendous response from fans. With song titles like Trail of Tears, My Dark Places and Liar’s Club covering topics such as the recent economic collapse, Jake’s personal struggle with depression, and continuing racism in the west. Jake has said, “You’ve probably worked out by now, I don’t do “comedy” songs !!” But the songs continue to inspire fans old and new. Countless people have already contacted Jake to say that “My Dark Places” gave them the strength to tell others about their own bouts with depression.
Though focused on their new material, they always play the old favorites at gigs. Jake said, “You have to strike a balance. The difficulty with a band like ourselves is to try not make it sound like a cabaret band. Obviously, it’d be very easy to go, ‘Hey, here’s another old one you may remember.’ A lot of the old songs the audience greet like old friends. I suppose it’s the same as any band that’s been around for any length of time. And yes, there are nights that we don’t particularly want to play “Alternative Ulster” or “Suspect Device” because we’ve heard them ‘til they’re coming out our ears. But there’s always the possibility that somebody out there has never seen the band before, never heard them.”
Using the band’s rich musical foundation as a building block, the time has come to bring the newest chapter of the band’s music to the world. The new songs, penned over the last decade, show a definite musical growth in the band. The result is the band’s latest release – No Going Back was released in March 2014.
Born in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ricky Warwick was cut from the cloth of a mill workers jacket. Raised on a diet of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Thin Lizzy, Stiff Little Fingers, Motown and everything in between.
Saving his money from a newspaper round and a little help from his father Ricky got his first electric guitar at the age of 13. “That cheap electric guitar changed my life….it saved me, it was more than just notes on a fret board, it was the deepest breath of life I’d ever experienced.” At age 14 Ricky and his family relocated to Strathaven, Scotland. It was here that Warwick fully immersed himself in the sonic seas of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Writing and practicing every free moment he wasn’t working on his Fathers’ farm; Ricky got a call to join acclaimed U.K. Punk/Folk band New Model Army as a rhythm guitarist on their 1987 “Ghost of Cain” World Tour.
After leaving New Model Army, Ricky went on to form The Almighty in Glasgow, Scotland. The Almighty enjoyed 10 top forty singles and 4 top twenty albums in the U.K. touring worldwide with iconic bands such as the Ramones, Motorhead, Megadeth and Iron Maiden.
In 2002 after relocating back to Ireland, Ricky recorded his first solo album “Tattoos & Alibis” in Joe Elliott’s (of Def Leppard) studio in Dublin. Joe also handled production duties. It marked a shift in direction. “I realized that I didn’t need to yell over a wall of sound to make my point…less is more. Stripped back instrumentation could achieve the same goal just as effectively. I learned so much making that record, primarily about myself.”
Warwick would go on to release two more solo albums between 2002 -2010 and tour globally opening for the likes of Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Bryan Adams and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In January 2010 Ricky received a call from his old friend Scott Gorham who was spearheading a reformation of Ireland’s favorite sons- Thin Lizzy and wanted Ricky to front the new line up.” I was shocked, terrified, excited and extremely humbled when I got that call. Phil Lynott was my hero and Thin Lizzy was the soundtrack of my life. I realized that I could never hope or even dare to try and stand in Phil’s shoes, all I could do was try and stand beside them and sing his songs with as much heart, soul and passion possible.
In late 2012 with a necessity to write and perform new material, out of respect for Thin Lizzy the name Black Star Riders was born and Warwick became the front man and main songwriter for the band. 2013 saw the release of Black Star Riders acclaimed debut album “All Hell Breaks Loose” and then Black Star Riders released four critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums including their 2019’s “Another State of Grace”. They had achieved two U.K. top 15 albums and one U.K. top 10 album, as well as mainstream radio play which claimed two “singles of the week” on BBC Radio.
In 2021 Ricky Warwick released his fifth solo album. His last solo album the critically acclaimed “When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang the Blues)” came out in 2016. “When Life Was Hard & Fast” was recorded in Los Angels and produced by Keith Nelson; ex Buckcherry, who also co-wrote the majority of the songs on the record with Warwick. “I wanted to create an album that had the simplistic melodies of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers charged with the electric hedonistic fury of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. Working with Keith Nelson was a no brainer for me as we were kindred spirits, plus he has a great vintage guitar collection. “Recording the album live with a full band was a requisite to achieving the desired effect”. Once again Warwick tapped some of his closest friends for guest appearances on the record Andy Taylor (Duran Duran & Power Station) Luke Morley, (Thunder) Joe Elliott, (Def Leppard) Dizzy Reed, (Guns n Roses) Ricky also did duets with his daughter Pepper on the song “Last Place That I Look”.
I’m grateful that after 30 years of making records my appetite for writing and playing is the same as it was that day all those years ago when I got my first electric guitar”.
Ages: All Ages
Seating: General Admission