Stiff Little Fingers: In Concert

DVD Reviews | May 18th, 2006

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Starring Stiff Little Fingers
Written By:
Directed By:
Studio: Music Video Distribution
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I didn’t get into Stiff Little Fingers’ music until a few years ago and I sadly regret not liking them sooner. I should have since they are pretty much the Irish version of The Clash. I believe the song that actually got me into them was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ cover of “Tin Solders.” Once I knew they did that song, I decided to check them out and have been a fan ever since. I honestly can’t stop listening to the band these days. I think my favorite songs of Stiff Little Fingers is now “Alternative Ulster” and “Suspect Device.” “Tin Soldiers” is still an unbelievable tune though.

This DVD for SLF isn’t a full concert per say. It does have a lot of concert footage (taken from their Hope Street tour in 1999) and some other video footage with songs over the top of it. The first song of the DVD is a montage of footage with the song “Hope Street,” and little scrolling text is seen at the bottom as one of the members of the band explains what this DVD is. The concert footage starts up and “Straw Dogs” & “Wasted Life” are played and you can see the crowd going ape shit. I would be too if I was there! After “At The Edge” is played, there’s footage of the rehearsal of the band playing “Bullet Proof.” They stop half way through and I think Jake Burns explains what the song is about. Since I didn’t have every album at the time of this DVD coming out, I didn’t know some of the songs like “Roots, Radicals, Rockers & Reggae” and “Last Train to Wasteland.” I love how Stiff Little Fingers combines reggae and punk in music, just like one of their influences, The Clash. For “Last Train to Wasteland,” that’s pretty much the music video for it and I still loved watching it. After seeing this DVD, that is one song I can’t stop listening to it. Definitely check it out if you haven’t heard that tune before.

The band played a lot of the hits like “Suspect Device,” “Wasted Life,” “Barbed Wire Love,” and my favorite “Alternative Ulster.” I thought the song “Drinkin’ Again” was a nice fun song that payed homage to Irish traditional music. That song is Jake Burns’ title track off his debut solo album that’s out now! They play 16 songs overall and it’s a great set to sit through, probably a lot more fun if you saw the band play live in person…Which you can this summer because they embark on a small US tour. I want to see them live but don’t think I can make it this time around.

The video quality is all right, you can tell it was taken from a VHS or something because there are jagged lines throughout the footage. I would have liked to see a concert that was recorded all the way through and not interrupted with interviews and other footage. I think that kind of stuff belongs in the extras section but then again, this video was put together when DVD weren’t that big a deal. Maybe Kung Fu Records will release a live DVD of the Stiff Little Fingers’ tour from this summer. They always make the best punk concert DVDs so here’s hoping. In the meantime, you can get this DVD with concert footage, rehearsal footage and an interview with Jake Burns.


Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

Aspect Ratio 4:3


Favorite Scenes: Wasted Life, Drinking Again, Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae, Last Train to Wasteland, Suspect Device, Alternative Ulster
Rating: NR
Running Time: 87 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: