A few years ago, I had a moment of self-awareness, watching a Paul Weller gig on the TV. Occassional audience shots shows a moshpit filled with greying balding heavy-set forty-somethings - pogoing - to That's Entertainment.
Yet despite this clear warning, I went to see Stiff Little Fingers last night at The Astoria. In my teens, I usually stuck to moddy bands like The Jam, The Chords, The Specials, Selecter, Dexys etc (and The Beatles / Who / Small Faces, natch), along with a bit of soul.
My big exeptions to this rule were SLF and The Undertones and Inflamable Material was the first LP that I bought with my own money. So when I saw the ad a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist it
Tonight, SLF played a handful of numbers that I haven't heard since my copy of Nobody's Heroes was nicked at least 25 years ago. Jake's still a terrific (and chubbier) vocalist, and SLF's guitar sound is a good deal more influential than it has ever been given credit for. All-in-all, it was good fun. Jake may need to stop trying star-jumps though?
A mix of fairly juvenile politics, crowd-pleasers, and the usual dynamic between a long-standing band and their audience: The first half-a-dozen songs are ones that only the hardcore know - y'know, the serious stuff, more mature numbers with the odd jazz-chord that the band like, before it all degenerates in to a well-received medley of the hits.
We got 'Johnny Was' as an encore - then and now an outstanding version of it. But, for me, the best commentary on the night was the final number before the encores: Suspect Device - a raw furious punk cornerstone whose relevance has evaporated almost completely given Northern Ireland's recent history.
Just before the final verse, Jake broke of, with the band keeping time in the background - to do the farewells: "Ladies and Gennelmen, you've been a great audience - now, on guitar, I give you...."
And then when he said his thanks, he continued onto the last verse, ending with the final "We're going to blow up in your face!!!"
... and now: About to blow up in your face...