Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sound of The Week: Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster

Sunday (and the week) is nearly coming to an end here in the UK. I've been busy today finishing Prison Break (I felt Final Break was just needless) and starting The Walking Dead. Today has gone in so fast I very nearly missed my first post in a new little series for the blog: The Sound Of The Week. It's basically me highlighting a track that's been getting frequently aired this week by myself.  So, this is the track that's been getting the most plays from me this week. I've got to admit - I was tempted to post Some Kinda Love by The Velvet Underground. Alias, I went for Stiff Little Fingers.  I've known this track for around a year and I hold it in very high regard. In my view it's one of the best songs (from one of the best artists) to come out of Northern Ireland. Not only that but one of the best punk songs (and bands) also. The Clash will always be my favourite punk band, but Stiff Little Fingers aren't far behind them for me. I know I am biased given that I live in Ulster so there's obviously a local connection at play here, but I do honestly feel Alternative Ulster is better than anything Sex Pistols ever recorded. It was a song written about very real issues. It was written about life in 70's Belfast. A place that was very dark indeed. I wasn't alive then, but based on what I've seen of it in retrospective footage etc I'm glad I missed out on those days. Dark, paranoid and desolete seem to be three words that sum it up aptly. Many of Stiff Little Finger's songs were essentially about how the young people of the time were disenchanted living in such a negative place. I still think it holds a lot of relevance today even. Obviously not to the same degree, but elements of the lyrics still ring true for me. Belfast has moved on so much since the 1970s (long may it continue in that vein) but its still got a long way to go. I was born in 1994 and believe me - I get fed up living here sometimes. For me though Alternative Ulster I find more inspiring than anything. It's motivational, and makes me want to contribute to the postitive growth of my city. The music is also rousing: I just love the chug chug sound of the guitars nearing the song's outro. I've been listening to the song a lot lately because at this moment in time I'm trying to think of ways I can make my future job (hopefully) of music journalism benefit Belfast as a whole. A brilliant song by a very underrated band.

The Runners Up
  • Madonna - Oh Father
  • The Velvet Underground - Some Kinda Love
  • Little Boots - Confusion
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sacrilege
  • The Beatles - Love You To

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