CONCERT REVIEW : Stiff Little Fingers – Barrowland Glasgow 17th March 2022

Stiff Little Fingers – Barrowland Glasgow 17th March 2022

Stiff Little Fingers 2020 tour finally goes ahead 2 years later than planned due to Covid 19, the tour still featuring the same support as originally planned. Tonight, was going to be special. St Patrick’s day in the Barrowland or as we know it as Stiff Little Fingers Day it was always a special occasion as fans from around the UK gather in Glasgow for the show. Tonight, should have been the 31st annual St. Pats day but due to the virus it is still sitting at 29th St Pats.

AS the fan gathered outside the venue to get in early to see TV Smith ex The Adverts open the night with a brilliant acoustic performance, he opened the show with The Adverts No Time to Be 21 before going through of his excellent solo catalogue performing Lucky One, Lockdown Holiday and Happy Homeland. You could see he was enjoying the show and the response from the Glasgow audience showed they were mood to sing along. With the two band support the set from Tim was short but powerful as he performed The Day, We Caught the Big Fish before playing two classic Adverts songs in Gary Gilmores Eyes and ending the set with One Chord Wonders. As Tim left the stage smiling, you could see he had a great time tonight on the Barrowland stage.

It was time for The Professionals to take to the stage the London band were set and firing on all cylinders since the start of the tour and what has been said we are going to be in for a real treat, the band features three original members since the formed back in 1979 featuring ex Sex Pistol Paul Cook along with Tom Spencer, Chris McCormack, and Toshi JC Ogawa on Bass guitar. The band performing classic punk rock and entertaining the Glasgow audience with original songs. They opened their set with the excellent Easily Lead that turned every head in the venue and made them stop to listen. A big powerful sound, that was filled with emotion and through the lyrics and the vibrant music, they powered through Just another Dream, Going, Going, Gone and Payola before they treated the Glasgow audience to Sex Pistols Cover of Silly Thing. The venue was in full voice and dancing along to the epic song. The finished off their set with Kick Down the Doors, 123 before the closed with (I’m Not Your) Steppin Stone a Paul Revere and the Raiders cover, the band stormed the Barrowland leaving to passengers in their way. The reviews were all true, they really put on a show and conquered the Barrowland and left the audience wanting more. As they left the stage to a great reception it was getting that close to Fingers time.

The Barrowland was electric waiting for the heroes to return to the famous stage. The music between bands was full of old TV classic themes. It gave a nice build up to the lights going down and Go for It intro to begin. As the stage lights pulse to the beat and the crowd sings along the band member take up their positions on stage and greeted to a wall of sound from the Glasgow audience. The perfect welcome for the venue’s favourite sons Jake Burns, Steve Grantley, Ali McMordie, and Ian McCallum. It was so good to see them all back on the stage where they belong on St Patricks day enjoying the occasion and entertaining the huge fan base from across the UK.

As the Go For IT intro end Jake Burns turned to the Glasgow audience and played the open chords of Suspect Device that created a tsunami in the venue as the audience exploded creating the wave like look across the heads of the audience from back to front. This continued over the next few songs that featured At The Edge and Fly the Flag, Before Jake said to the audience it is good to be back and Happy St Pats.

The band were on top form, enjoying playing in front of an audience again and performing songs that created a generation. The band covered songs from most of their albums and delighted the audience with Bits of Kids and Nobody’s Hero before introducing a new song that went down a treat and will sure feature in future sets this was called Last Protest Song.

Jake remembers the male audience in the crowd it is good to talk as he introduced the song My Dark Places that is a strong and very powerful song. The song really brings back the reality from a concert to day-to-day living. It opens your mind and makes you think there is always someone worse off than you.

As the set was getting close to the end it was right in to a SLF party time with songs including Barbed Wire Love, Strummerville, Wasted Life before bringing the set to a close with the excellent Gotta Gettaway. As the band left the stage, we all knew it would not be long until they re-joined us on stage to finish off St Patricks day in style.

They did not disappoint as they came back on, they were gunning to go, Jake sporting a yellow football top in support of Ukraine, and they were ready to give it large with the amazing Tin Soldiers before ending the show in true fingers style with Alternative Ulster as the venue raised it roof to the fans in full voice. As the song closed the band came to the front of the stage to take a bow and be greeted to the Barrowlands wall of sound, before the left the stage for the final time. Tonight, the fans had waited two years for, and the band had waited this long to feel the passion that is within the Barrowland, it is a special place for a special band. If you have never seen Stiff Little Fingers at the Barrowland this should be on your bucket list as there is no better place to enjoy the band on fire on St Patricks day. The Boys were back in town tonight.

Reviewed by Karen Edmond