Punk rock pioneers Stiff Little Fingers to celebrate debut album’s 40th anniversary with gig in Manchester

Punk pioneers Stiff Little Fingers are coming back to Manchester, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut album Inflammable Material.

The Northern Irish punks formed in 1977, and over 40 years and ten albums later their unrelenting sound is still powering on.

They play at Manchester Academy on Friday, March 22, with support from new wave outfit Eddie and the Hot Rods.

Inflammable Material catapulted the band onto the punk scene, not shying away from any controversial subject matter, with songs tackling sectarian violence, police oppression and anti-war messages.

Despite this seemingly bleak subject matter, the album is a call for hope, with lyrics such as “what we need is an alternative Ulster. Grab it and change it, it’s yours.”

This message of hope was far detached from their punk contemporaries such as Sex Pistols, whose hits at the time included No Future and Pretty Vacant, which preached the polar opposite sentiment (“there’s no point in asking, you’ll get no reply.”)

Their catchy hooks and Jake Burns “gargling razor blades” voice proved a hit with the disenfranchised youth of the 70s, with the LP becoming the first record released by an independent record company to break into the UK top 20 chart.

The show will see them play tracks from the LP as well as others from their extensive back catalogue, with recent songs such as Strummerville proving just as much of a hit with their die-hard fanbase.

Support group Eddie and the Hot Rods also became prominent in the punk scene in 1977, although their sound is more pub rock than punk rock.

Their single Do Anything You Wanna Do hit number nine in the charts, and they can boast of touring with bands including Talking Heads and the Ramones. They also headlined the Marquee Club at the show which saw Sex Pistols make their first London appearance.

Those fans who were they when it all kicked off 43 years ago – as well as new fans alike – are sure to revel in this night of punk royalty in Manchester.

One thing is certain when Stiff Little Fingers come to town, no one will be leaving without a smile on their face.

*You can buy tickets HERE.

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