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By Mike Love
Warrington, on a wet Sunday night in May, is hardly the definition of Punk Rock. Or maybe it is. Anyway, the last time I saw SLF was almost 29 years ago to the day, in Liverpool's Mountford Hall. Brian Talbot and Frank Lampard snr had ruined the dreams of the first All-Merseyside Cup Final, and Dexy's were number one with 'Geno'.
Then, I had jumped the 10a down from Kenny, but now, it was my lower-middle-class Clio, and ample free parking right ouside the venue (on double-yellow, mind; that's how PUNK 'SWINE' still is). I got there handy, totally underestimating how dead the roads would be, and was worried to see just a handful of punky-types milling around outside. Still, by the time the support act came on at 8.00pm, the place was filling up rather nicely, with a mixture of old punx (and, fantastically, their kids continuing the New-Wave lineage) and teens who couldn't have been born when the band last had anything resembling a 'hit'. But, yes, that support band.
A spunky re-formed Wirral four-piece, fronted by a lead singer who could best be
described as 'fat', 'Bob, Bob, Bob and Bob' were fantastic, with the highlight of their short set being the wonderful 'Shake 'n Vac', bizarrely dedicated to Charlie out of Busted! And then, it was what we had eagerly been waiting for, the mighty Fingers. Still led by the legend that is Jake Burns, and now, once again, featuring bassist Ali McMordie, they powered through their awesome back catalogue, along with a sprinkling of newer numbers. As I sang along (and even joined the mosh at one stage) to the likes of 'Nobody's Hero', 'Suspect Device', 'Wasted Life', 'At the Edge' and, of course, the seminal 'Alternative Ulster', I pondered on a text
that Phil Redmond had sent me before the gig.
"Don't you think it'll be embarrassing"?, said my good friend. He may have had a point, but this
was no 'Here and Now' tour, featuring the likes of Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones and Bananarama, coming to a quarter-full arena near you. This was raw, this was rock 'n roll, and this was PUNK ROCK in it's purest form. Don't believe me? Don't believe me? Don't be bitten twice. Get yourself into Liverpool on 21 October, and see for yourself. It's gonna blow up in
your face. Hanx.
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