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ROAD TO REBELLION – Stiff Little Fingers

Jake burns


Jake Burns is the founder and lead singer/guitarist of the incredible Irish punk band, Stiff Little Fingers.  Founded in 1977 during the height of the Troubles, their sonically and lyrically powerful debut 1979 album Inflammable Material was the first independent album to chart in the UK.  Their last studio release in 2014, No Going Back has garnered 5 star reviews and proves SLF is still packing a punch and is a force to be reckoned with.  Even though SLF are constantly touring, Jake was kind enough to take some time out to be part of our Road to Rebellion feature!  Read on and make sure you don’t miss them at Rebellion this year!


  • Is this your first time playing Rebellion? If not, when have you played before?

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times we have played at Rebellion. We go back as far as the Holidays in the Sun days in Morecambe.

  • What tips for other musicians do you have on applying to play Rebellion?

I’m not going to be much use at this as we have always been approached. But, as in all these things, it probably helps to be courteous and not to demand that you are on the bill. If you are good enough, they will find you. Lots of folks let Darren know who they’d like to see. Word of mouth is a big thing.

  • What is your all time fave Rebellion performance/moment? Who/what is your dream Rebellion performance?

The first time we played in the Empress Ballroom. It was packed and the audience were all just there to have a good time. They were brilliant. We all live in different parts of the world, so when we do all get together, we have to make the most of that time. Subsequently, we usually have other shows right up to and/or after Rebellion. But, in an ideal world, I would love to catch The Boys there. One of my favourite bands and I’ve only ever seen them once, in a small club. I would love to see them in front of a big crowd.

  • What is a must have thing (what do you always bring that you cannot leave home without?) for Rebellion?

Again, this is a must for any show. As I have to travel a fair distance to get to Blackpool, I never leave without my Kindle. Reading makes the miles disappear and the Kindle has proven to be a godsend insomuch as it weighs less than a book and when you finish one book you can just download another. No more being stuck in a hotel miles from town with no bookshop in sight and nothing to read.


  • Best hangover cure?

I don’t get a huge number of hangovers, and rarely when we’re working as I don’t drink that much on tour these days. But, a can of flat coca cola (NOT diet, has to be the full sugary stuff) helps. And then food as soon as you can face it. Of course, just pulling the blankets over your head, muttering “Fuck it!” and going back to sleep is the best cure, but you may not have time for that.

  • What part of a music kit do you think every artist should bring to Rebellion?

Whatever instrument you’re playing. You’re going to look a right Herbert if you don’t.

  • What song can the audience NOT miss out on seeing you play?

Depends, really. Most folks would probably go for “Alternative Ulster” though, I guess.

  • What day, time and stage are you performing?

Saturday, midnight, Empress Ballroom.

  • What are you currently working on or currently promoting

Writing new material at the moment, so nothing to “push” as it were.

  • What is the best thing for you about Rebellion?

The chance to meet up with old friends I haven’t seen in a while. The fact that the audiences are all there to have a good time. It’s infectious.

  • What do you think could be improved for your Rebellion experience?

If we didn’t have to always play those extra shows I mentioned earlier so I could get to hang out a bit more. There never seems to be enough time.


Feature image photo credit: #punk4RT

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