Few bands have influenced a genre more and received less credit than Stiff Little Fingers. They are often left off of “some guys list of most influential punk bands”, even though they are one of the first AND one of the best to ever do “it”.
On Wednesday, September 3rd they played the El Rey Theater in L.A. along with General Fucking Principle (GFP). The amount of punk rock street cred between both bands was palpable and it brought out the punk and skateboarding elite of Los Angeles.
GFP opened the night. If you still haven’t of heard GFP then you are missing out. They are one of the best, “new” hardcore punk bands out right now. GFP is Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Bad Religion, Red Kross) on guitar, Tony Alva on Bass, Crazy Tom (DFL) on vocals and Joey C. (Wasted Youth, QOTSA) on drums. They crushed their set and worked the crowd into a lather. Their time on stage came to a fever pitch when Tony Alva dedicated the song Bad Influence to the memory of Jay Adams. L.A. skate and surf royalty such as Jeff Ho, Tony Converse, Shawn and Mark Stern were visibly moved by the dedication and so was I. GFP are not reinventing the wheel but they are the only game in town if you love that So Cal hardcore punk vibe.
Then the time had come for Stiff Little Fingers. I had never seen them live before so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When old punk bands get together to tour and play shows it can go either way. Was the love of playing shows still there or are they just collecting a paycheck? Within moments of taking the stage all became clear. They really sounded amazing. Jake Burns has definitely still got it. Pitch perfect and completely believable, he truly delivers on his vocals and the band was tight.
There were many young people up against the barricade losing their minds. Generation after generation have proclaimed the death of punk rock and yet, the train keeps on rolling. Bands like Stiff Little Fingers have stood the cruel test of time and newer generations are insuring that punk will never be dead as long as those simple chords and short songs keep inspiring the kids.
Photography: Tamea Agle
Words: Danny Baraz
Stiff Little Fingers
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