Concert Report: S.L.F at SLIM's, May 22, 1999

SLF: Ian McCallum, Steve Grantley (you can just see his right eye), Jake Burns & Bruce Foxton

Well leave it to SLF to play a 7-date U.S tour in support of their new CD, Hope Street. (Actually, one of the shows was in Toronto so that makes the US tour only 6 dates!) This is nothing new to the band; the first ever SLF US tour in 1980 only had 10 dates. And of course there was the 1988 reunion when they played ONLY in Los Angeles. This tour ended in San Francisco with a show opened up by Flogging Molly, a band obviously heavily influenced by the Pogues and also the Gadgets from Kansas City.

In addition to a new backdrop, stage props included two Union Jack flags reading "Newcastle," home of some of the band members and their favorite soccer team. But hidden behind the flags were Marshall speaker cabinets that were very similar to those used on the early albums such as Inflamable Material. To understand the significance first realize that it is typical for an overseas band to rent amplifiers for an entire tour, rather than to ship their own equipment which could be more expensive. Usually the rented equipment is relatively new but this was an exception. Anyway, the guitar sound was great to say the least. Although Jake denied it after the show (he hates to talk about equipment) this made a huge difference in the sound and made surprises such as final encore "Straw Dogs" a special treat. Of course keep in mind I myself am an amplifier/equipment junkie and pay special attention to stuff like this so take it with a grain of salt! But Wait! In Jake's comments on the US tour he admitted that for the Chicago show he had the "wrong amp." Well, in San Francisco, he had the RIGHT amp, or at least the right speakers. (Actually, look in the photo, it is Ian who has the right amp, its an old Super Lead that must have come with the cabinets they rented.) Jake is using an early '80's Marshall, but through the earlier cabinet it sounded great. As long as the subject is equipment, Jake finally broke a string on his "Loony Tunes" ESP tele-copy and we got to see his old trademark Yamaha for one song. All in all another great show and we look forward to their next trip back. Make sure to check back to the official site as there will be more reports and photos from other shows.


Here is as much of the set as I can remember:
Tin Soldiers, Alternative Ulster, Hope Street, Bits of Kids, Just Fade Away, Wasted Life, I could be Happy Yesterday, Barbed Wire Love, Fly the Flag, You Can Get It, Listen, Roots Radics..., Doesn't Make it All Right, Nobody's Hero, Suspect Device, Johnny Was, Straw Dogs


Always Under Construction...