Stiff Little Fingers originally formed at school in 1977 as a rock covers band. Shortly after, a journalist arranged recording time for them at a radio station which was normally used to record jingles, they recorded ‘Suspect Device’. A copy of the single was sent to John Peel who played it repeatedly which led to a distribution deal and over 30,000 copies sold.
Naturally this bought a lot of attention to the band, and in 1979, following a tour with the Tom Robinson Band, they released their debut album ‘Inflammable Material’. The album was written at the height of the Northern Ireland Conflict, most of the album's tracks are about the reality of life in Northern Ireland at the time, with the songs containing themes of teenage boredom, sectarian violence, RUC (police) oppression and more and urged people to "grab it and change it, it's yours" in what became their signature song ‘Alternative Ulster’. It reached number 14 in the UK Albums Chart selling over 100,000 copies and it was the first independent album to chart in the UK.
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