Stiff Little Fingers – Handheld & Rigidly Digital

Stiff Little Fingers – Handheld & Rigidly Digital / 2006 MVD / 87 Minutes / /

I am not sure what the impetus was for this concert to be captured on a digital, miniature camera. There is definitely an older feel to this footage, but that is due to the fact that the digital camera is no substitute to the high-level cameras that are available to production crews. The one thing that is not reduced in terms of absolute quality is the audio present during this live show.

If anything, what it almost sounds like is a Kiss / Alive type of thing. Stiff Little Fingers are so talented in the music that they play that it feels as uif the songs were finished in a studio. The decision to break up the live footage with interviews, practice footage, and more is something that is inspired. This means that there are all sorts of different media ready and willing to assault listeners; individuals will not be bored when they stick this DVD into their player. Of course, all the big hits of Stiff Little Fingers are played on this DVD. This means that “Barbed Wire Love”, “Alternative Ulster”, and “Fly The Flag” are present, along with thirteen other cuts. The tracks are faithful to their original sound, albeit with a more solid sound than what was present on the original albums.

The style of footage that is present during “Handheld & Rigidly Digital” is something that is a marked change from most of the live show DVDs; the type of screengrabs that the camera gets are not bad, but they just will remind viewers of concert movies from the past. Keep in mind that this is now a Blair Witch type of things, as there are some nice tricks done during this DVD where the cameras bounce back and forth between the two or three musicians that are currently playing. Aside from the live footage, there is also an interview that will get individuals caught up to date about Stiff Little Fingers; influences are mentioned and a backstory to some of the reasons why the band was formed are provided. When compared to the live footage, the interview is a little bit tame. It is much more formal and down to earth that individuals may not necessarily want to have it playing during a party. Still, for those true fans of the Stiff Little Fingers and do not already know the stories behind the band, the interview is a great thing to check out on this album. Again, perhaps some older footage or a show from the past would be the next logical step for MVD, as this disc really showcases the current era of the band. I’d like to see the band as they first started getting big, to see where they have came from and how they matured into what they are as of the time that “Handheld & Rigidly Digital” was filmed. This is well worth the cost to any fan of Stiff Little Fingers, or of Irish music or even punk music in general.

Rating: 6.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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