Belfast punks Stiff Little Fingers to perform at Custom House Square

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Tickets for the much-anticipated gig go on sale from Friday March 10

Following their could-out Custom House Square show in 2022, legendary NI punk band, Stiff Little Fingers, best known for songs such as ‘Suspect Device’ and ‘Wasted Life’ are set to return to the same venue on Saturday August 19, with tickets on sale from Friday March 10.

The veteran punk outfit will be joined by an all-star line-up of very special guests and friends including Peter Hook & The Light, Glen Matlock, The Starjets and unofficial ‘godfather of NI punk’ DJ Terri Hooley.

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Stiff Little Fingers were formed in 1977 in Belfast and were at the forefront of the punk movement.

The inimitable Stiff Little FingersThe inimitable Stiff Little Fingers
The inimitable Stiff Little Fingers

They wrote initially about their own lives, growing up at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their work is full of typical punk angst and anarchic, anti-authoritarian feeling.

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 and calls on youth to create their own reality.

Though now focused on their own material, they always play all the the old fan favourites at gigs, which are certain to go down a storm.

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Frontman 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."

Stiff Little Fingers started out as a schoolboy band called Highway Star (named after the Deep Purple song), doing rock covers, until they discovered punk.

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They were the first punk band in Belfast to release a record – the "Suspect Device" single came out on their own independent label, Rigid Digits.

Their album Inflammable Material, released in partnership with Rough Trade, became the first independent LP to enter the UK top 20.

After six years and four albums, they split up.

They reformed five years later, in 1987.

Despite major personnel changes, they are still touring and recording.

In 2014, the band released their tenth studio album and a world tour followed its release.

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Jake Burns, their lead singer, is the only member to have been with the band during all its incarnations, but in March 2006, original bass guitarist Ali McMordie rejoined them following the departure of The Jam bass player Bruce Foxton after 15 years.

Prior to becoming Stiff Little Fingers, Jake Burns, vocals and guitar, Henry Cluney, guitar, Gordon Blair, bass, and Brian Faloon, drums, were playing in a rock music cover band, the aforementioned Highway Star, in Belfast.

Upon the departure of Blair (who went on to play with another Belfast group, Rudi), Ali McMordie took over on bass.

Cluney had discovered punk, and introduced the rest of the band to it.

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They decided that Highway Star was not a punk enough name, and after a brief flirtation with the name "The Fast", decided to call themselves Stiff Little Fingers, after The Vibrators' song, which appears on album Pure Mania.