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Music / Stiff Little Fingers

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Stiff Little Fingers are a Northern Irish Punk Rock band who first formed in 1977 at the height of The Troubles. The bands songs reflect this violent backdrop with songs calling for reconciliation and social justice.

Originally a high school band called Highway Star (after the Deep Purple song), they briefly considered naming themselves The Fast before settling on Stiff Little Fingers.

The band broke up over the course of a series of fistfights following the release of Now Then... in 1983, but later reformed in 1987. Lead singer Jake Burns is the only member of the original lineup to remain with the band through its entire history.


Members (Current Lineup in bold)

  • Jake Burns - lead vocals, guitar (1977–1982, 1987–present)
  • Ali McMordie - bass (1977–1982, 1987–1991, 2006–present)
  • Ian McCallum - guitar (1993–present)
  • Steve Grantley - drums (1996–present)
  • Henry Cluney - guitar (1977–1982, 1987–1993)
  • Dave Sharp - guitar (1993–1997)
  • Gordon Blair - bass (1977)
  • Bruce Foxton - bass (1991–2006) of The Jam
  • Brian Faloon - drums (1977–1979)
  • Jim Reilly - drums (1979–1981)
  • Dolphin Taylor - drums (1981–1982, 1987–1996)



  • 1979 - Inflammable Material
  • 1980 - Nobody's Heroes
  • 1981 - Go for It
  • 1982 - Now Then...
  • 1991 - Flags and Emblems
  • 1994 - Get a Life
  • 1997 - Tinderbox
  • 1999 - Hope Street
  • 2003 - Guitar and Drum
  • 2014 - No Going Back


  • Coming-of-Age Story: A common theme for the band. "At the Edge" is about a kid being told he needs to put aside "all your stupid hopes and dreams" in favor of a more realistic, responsible life of Small Town Boredom.
  • Cover Version: "No Sleep 'Til Belfast", a cover of "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn". The band's own "Suspect Device" has been extensively covered by other bands, with "Wasted Life" and "Gotta Gettaway" not far behind.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: "Nobody's Hero", of course — about rejecting stardom and telling the listener to make their own decisions. Also "Wasted Life", mocking the idea that being a soldier and killing for the sake of "freedom" ("All thanks to the freedom-seeking hordes") is in any way noble.
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  • Protest Song: Virtually their entire discography comprises of these.
  • War Is Hell: Many songs about the pointlessness of war, owing to growing up at the height the Troubles, but especially "Wasted Life", "Tin Soldiers" ("At the age of 17 he did as he was told / Now at the age of 21 tin still won't turn to gold") and "Each Dollar a Bullet":
    Now you've never stood on Belfast's streets
    And heard the bombs explode
    Or hid beneath the blankets
    When there's riots down the road


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