Dropkick Murphys formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996. The band was initially signed to independent punk record label Hellcat Records, releasing five albums for the label, and making a name for themselves locally through constant touring and yearly St. Patrick’s Day week shows, held in and around Boston. The 2004 single Tessie became the band’s first mainstream hit and one of their biggest charting singles to date. The band’s final Hellcat release, 2005’s The Warrior’s Code, included the song I‘m Shipping Up to Boston; the song was featured in the 2006 Academy Award-winning movie The Departed. In 2007, the band signed with Warner Bros. Records and began releasing music through their own vanity label, Born & Bred. 2007’s The Meanest of Times made its debut at No. 20 on the Billboard charts and featured the successful single, The State of Massachusetts, while 2011’s Going Out in Style was an even bigger success, making its debut at No. 6, giving the band their highest-charting album to date. The band’s eighth studio album, Signed and Sealed in Blood was released in 2013 making its debut at No. 9 on the Billboard charts.
Stiff Little Fingers are one of Dropkick Murphys biggest influences. SLF were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland. Along with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Sham 69, Stranglers, et al – Stiff Little Fingers were at the forefront of the punk movement. They wrote initially about their own lives, growing up at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, in songs like Suspect Device and Wasted Life. In November of ’77, they released those two songs on their own Rigid Digits label, and sent a copy to BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who started playing it every night. These were the first of what became SLF’s signature style: lyrics that meld the personal and political, music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks, and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment.
In 1979 they became the first band ever to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut Inflammable Material. The album chronicles the band’s anger and frustration at “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, and calls on youth to create their own reality. After many studio albums and countless tours, Stiff Little Fingers find themselves more in demand than ever. They are currently working on a new album, and many of the new songs have been debuted at live gigs, with tremendous response from fans. Though focused on their new material, they always play the old favorites at gigs. Jake said, “You have to strike a balance. The difficulty with a band like ourselves is to try not make it sound like a cabaret band. Obviously, it’d be very easy to go, ‘Hey, here’s another old one you may remember.’ A lot of the old songs the audience greet like old friends. I suppose it’s the same as any band that’s been around for any length of time. And yes, there are nights that we don’t particularly want to play Alternative Ulster or Suspect Device because we’ve heard them ‘til they’re coming out our ears. But there’s always the possibility that somebody out there has never seen the band before, never heard them.”
Dropkick Murphys / Siff Little Fingers live at the Marquee Cork June 7th 2016
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