Stiff Little Fingers may have been around for almost 30 years, but their punk rock sound is as feverish and infective as it ever was.
Lead singer Burns has always had a good rapport with audiences, taking just the right amount of time to introduce some of the songs and give you a little bit of an insight into what makes them tick. Early on in their set Nobody's Heroes rocked the crowd, followed by Doesn't Make It Alright, slightly slower in tempo than most of their songs, but with deep-felt politics you know they still believe in.
Following the departure of Bruce Foxton two months ago, original bass player, Ali McMordie is now back in the fold after almost 15 years. But it felt like he'd never been away as
they thrashed out hit after hit. Bits Of Kids was followed by Tinderbox and the ever powerful Silver Lining.
Towards the end, Burns played tribute to Joe Strummer before playing their own tribute to him Strummerville, reminding us all that it's not how much you know someone that counts, but it's how much they inspired you. But he was too modest to talk about how influential Stiff Little Fingers have been themselves.
They ended the evening with their first record, Alternative Ulster , the most powerful number of the night, and the very best way to end a resoundingly successful performance.
Stiff Little Fingers were ably supported by ska legend, Pauline Black and The Selecter. The combination reminded me of the heady days of the early 1980s, when punk, reggae and ska bands rubbed shoulders at Rock Against Racism concerts.