Not many people out there in the world of music are probably familiar with the name Henry Cluney – but you may be aware of the punk band Stiff Little Fingers.
Henry was one of the founder members of this band and was playing rebel music in Northern Ireland in the late 70’s.
With songs such as “Alternative Ulster” and “Suspect Device”, they were definitely sending out a strong message from the heart at that time. Johnny Rotten thought he was punk, but can you imagine playing punk music while bombs were going off down the road from you?
Anyway, Henry survived and is now playing solo and is writing his first album without Stiff Little Fingers.
So before Henry sets out on the road again, I persuaded him to answer a few questions that have been bugging me for a number of years.
Henry Cluney interview with Dave Tommo
Dave Tommo: How did you and the rest of the band meet?
Henry Cluney: Three of us went to the same school – Ali was a friend of a friend.
How much more subversive do you think it was playing punk music in Ireland as opposed England at the time?
Northern Ireland was a bit different – singing about what we did was seen as a bit ummmm…out there.
Who would you say is your biggest influence on the guitar?
Marc Bolan / Mick Ronson / Johnny Ramone.
I remember you wearing a really smart leopard skin jacket years ago. Have you still got it (and do you want it!!)?
Aaaaaagh–no!!!! Dunno where that thing is.
How did you feel about relocating to London when the band signed to Chrysalis?
I never did. Always lived in Belfast. Not really a problem as it was only an hour flight.
What was the best thing about being in SLF?
Playing and going places. Hate hearing people in bands complain about travelling – just think how lucky you are.
Can you tell us the story behind you leaving the band?
Didn’t leave. Was told to leave by the manager…
It is really great seeing you up there playing your songs solo Henry. What was it that made you decide to go for it again (excuse the cheese)?
Thanks. Agent put the idea in my head and after a bigggg lot of thinking I thought – go for it!
Are you planning to record any new material for your forthcoming tour?
Just finishing an album now – hope it works.
Have you seen the new SLF book and what are your views on it?
Not seen it yet–sounds good tho. Covers the REAL SLF.
Finally, are you able to tell us where you are playing on your next tour?
No dates yet. I’ll put them on my website.
Stiff Little Fingers on amazon.co.uk
Stiff Little Fingers on amazon.com
Henry Cluney Official Website