UK (Farnham), September 22, 2005 Review

artist: Stiff Little Fingers date: 09/24/2005 category: live concerts

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Stiff Little Fingers: UK (Farnham), September 22, 2005
They all had loads of energy and seemed to really enjoy playing live, it was hard to say who was having a better time, the audience or the band!
 Sound: 10
 Perfomance: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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overall: 10
UK (Farnham), September 22, 2005 Reviewed by: rigiddigits, on september 24, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: First off, I know that no gig is perfect, but I just can't find fault with their performance so I think it deserves a very high overall rating. Despite their age the band sounded no different than they did in 1980 on the live LP "Hanx." In particular Jake's voice was amazing. Right at the front at the barriers, I was close enough to see when he broke a string half way through the set. He was playing a customised ivory ESP, and the bassist had some kind of a Gibson. The venue was fairly small, but the sound was awesome and they had some pretty sharp equipment. The songs sounded so good and there were some improvisations on the solos which was met with a great response from the audience. They all had loads of energy and seemed to really enjoy playing live, it was hard to say who was having a better time, us or the band! // 10

Perfomance: The show began with the familiar sound of 'Go For It', the instrumental cut that is always played over the sound system before the band come on stage. Everyone started yelling and cheering and when SLF finally emerged, the venue went crazy as they started to play Tin Soldiers. I was standing a little to the right of the bassist, and to the left of Jake (major pain on the right side of my neck this morning from looking at him) and behind the speaker on the floor was a copy of the set list - written in nice big print so they could read it, bless them - and me and these kids next to me jumped up and read parts of it, so sometimes we knew what was coming next and best of all, what the encores would be. There was a nice mix of old and new material; I don't own the new albums but I might go out and buy them now. SLF are my all-time favourite band, so this gig meant a lot to me and it was such a great atmosphere, with old and young fans - I think the age range was about 10 to 50. There was quite a good level of interaction with the audience, especially with the older ones who clearly had been to see them the first time around. It didn't disrupt the flow of the songs, as Jake introduced some of them like "Strummerville" with a bit of info about them, which was cool. Set List: 01. Tin Soldiers 02. Roots Radicals 03. Nobody's Hero 04. Tinderbox 05. Silver Lining 06. Get A Life 07. Strummerville (fantastic audience response to Jake's tribute to Joe) 08. Just Fade Away 09. Half A Life 10. Barbed Wire Love 11. Hope Street 12. At The Edge 13. Mountains 14. Fly The Flag 15. Wasted Life 16. Suspect Device Encores 17. What If I Want 18. Johnny Was 19. Guitar And Drum 20. Alternative Ulster How do I remember all the songs? Because at the end of the show, they gave me the set list, taped to the stage where the bassist was standing! So during Suspect Device the barriers broke and the security guys had to push back on the railings to stop us from crashing through. I was pretty pleased with myself for staying at the front the whole time; sometimes it's not so fun being a girl, try having 18 stone of punk battering you from all sides, and imagine having half that size and strength and you'll know what I mean! But I managed it, and as a result the best gig of my life was made even better when I got eye contact and interaction from the band. 20 years ago, I would have been a groupie. // 10

Overall Impression: Thursday 22nd September, Farnham, The Maltings (arts centre), South East England. The opening band were from South Wales. They didn't get a lot of support from the crowd but they weren't too bad; it was just obvious what we were all here for. I loved everything about the show. None of my friends are really into Stiff Little Fingers, so I went by myself but because of the happy and excited atmosphere of the audience I didn't feel at all isolated. I paid 15 for my ticket, everyone else paid 16 on the door (suckers) but I got the feeling I was one of the only ones that was paranoid enough to pre-order my ticket months in advance. If I missed this show I would have just died; I would have paid triple if it meant I got to see them. They still have just as big a following as they did in the '80s, and I'm definately going to go and support them on their next tour. In the words of the greatest punk band of all time: see you up there! // 10

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