I am dedicating this post to my brother Vincenzo, who is a huge SLF fan, and to Johnny Pez and Zombie Rotten McDonald, who mentioned SLF in the comments two posts ago.
Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers took the name by a song by London punk band The Vibrators,though the political subject matter that characterizes many of their songs brings The Clash to mind more readily. The band was inspired to write about the sociopolitcal situation of the time by Daily Express writer Gordon Ogilvie, who became the band's first manager. The first SLF single was Suspect Device, a vitriolic jeremiad about the "powers that be" that kept the population of Ulster divided and hostile. It is important to note that SLF was an integrated band, composed of both Catholic and Protestant members*, and their ire was directed at the authoritarian figures on both sides of the divide that kept the conflict going. The call to action posed by the band was not a call to violence, but, as articulated in the single Alternative Ulster, a call to transform society, to "ignore the bores and their laws" (this jerk, the kind of guy who'd get along swimmingly with Pat Robertson or James Dobson-but not Pat Buchanan or Bill Donohue- comes to mind).
I'm posting the video for Barbed Wire Love, a blackly comedic string of macabre puns and 50's pop cliches describing the giddy highs and rubble-strewn lows of love in the ruins:
My brother Vincenzo, who's a commissioned officer in the US Army, is partial to the song Tin Soldiers from the band's second album - hell, he knows and commands the kind of kids the song describes.
Here's the website for the band, which is still a going concern
* I just want to note here that the characterization of the conflicts that have torn Ireland apart as "sectarian violence" is a gross oversimplification, and that factors too numerous to enumerate here have been at work throughout the whole tragic history.