Stiff Little Fingers’ Contribution – to Road Safety in Vietnam.
Above Photo: Stiff Little Fingers live.
I recently travelled down the spine of Vietnam through the Central Highlands, on minibuses driven by seemingly drug-crazed nutters.
We flew along dangerously winding roads, passing landslides and precipitous drops, shutting my eyes at near misses – and wandering buffaloes – as we narrowly-avoided head on collisions with similarly-driven suicide vehicles.
It made for pretty grim passenger viewing.
Called ‘flying coffins’ by locals, these minibuses defy the laws of physics, well as the laws of the road.
But what has all this got to do with Stiff Little Fingers? Who were, in my opinion, by far Ireland’s best Punk band?
Well, to take my mind off an urgent need to make a will, I decided to put on my MP3 and to listen to the Punk and New Wave compilation of all the bands I refer to in Bombed Out!
Suddenly, the driver, who was yakking into his mobile, which he held in one hand as he changed gear with the other, tugged at my sleeve and asked me to plug my MP3 into the minibus’s sound system, as he couldn’t get his own music to work.
“Like fuck mate” was my reply, which he spoke insufficient English to understand. “You can just about keep this thing on the road without listening to a load of head-banging fucking Punk!”
He appeared crestfallen at my flat-out rejection, but as I was listening to Stiff Little Fingers’ Wasted Life (which was entirely appropriate right then) and had just listened to Law and Order (which he obviously knew nothing about, especially as it related to the rules of the road), I thought this was definitely not ambient driving music to be blared out in a Vietnamese minibus by a cranked–up kamikaze Flying Coffin driver, and would have been positively perilous for the other cowering occupants of the minibus.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php
I’ve put You Tube links to the two Stiff Little Fingers tracks below.