OKAY fellow rockers - we hope you are all sitting comfortably, and relaxed as we tell you a tale, a tale of a rock band, a punk band, a political force and global influencers all rolled into one.
Now, let us begin, back in the 70s a group of people gathered in north Belfast, when the Troubles were burning streets and leaving a trail of broken people and thousands of graves. Playing rock with covers of Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher and Deep Purple, these musicians went by the name of Highway Star...so far so good, another covers band set to entertain.
Then punk exploded, and in particular one band left a profound mark on the singer, one Mr Jake Burns. The band was called The Clash, and the world changed.
Jake and colleagues re-named themselves Stiff Little Fingers and unleashed a fury on the world in the shape of an incendiary album, Inflammable Material. It was an album that ranted against the violence and terror that back then blighted Northern Ireland.
Songs like Suspect Device, Wasted Life, and the real rock and metal national anthem of Northern Ireland - Alternative Ulster spoke to a disaffected youth who did not fit into the tribal life of the country.
The album also broke records when it became the first independently released album to smash its way into the Top 20, and was a favourite of the late John Peel.
Each album since has displayed the same lyrical awareness and the musical sensibility that made them a crossover band - cited by everyone from Duff McKagan, Rancid, Green Day etc etc. They have managed a global reach that few bands can boast.
After a roller coaster career and personal travails Stiff Little Fingers have toured extensively, but there was no sign of a new release. At SLFs most recent gig at the Ulster Hall Jake spoke openly on stage about his issues with depression and how that had hit the recording. The support of the crowd and the roar of support for this courageous statement was moving for all present.
Now, after years of writing, and a pledge campaign that is already 300% over its target, the new album - No Going Back - is set for a release in April. Before then SLF will be once again playing the Ulster Hall this coming Friday (March 14th)
This is a story - a tale - that has not ended; there is more to tell; more music and more passion. Whatever has happened in the past this is the beginning for SLF - there's No Going Back and frankly we can't wait for the privilege of hearing SLF live again and hearing the new album.
North Belfast is once again rocking the music world.