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Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers say Paris gig will go ahead

Singer Jake Burns and the Stiff Little Fingers 
Allison Morris and David Young

Punk legends Stiff Little Fingers have said a concert in Paris will go ahead tonight despite the recent terror attack on the city.

The massacre at the Bataclan concert hall and other venues prompted the cancellation of several gigs across the French capital, including an appearance by U2.

Bono and his fellow band members laid flowers on Saturday near the scene of the atrocity.

However, speaking yesterday, Stiff Little Fingers lead singer Jake Burns said the band had played through the worst of the north's Troubles and were determined not to let fans down.

The group, who formed in Belfast in 1977 and were famous for hits such as Alternative Ulster, will play at Backstage at the Mill on the Boulevard de Clichy, around 10 minutes from the Bataclan theatre.

Mr Burns said the band members were deeply touched by events in France and sent "sincere condolences to everyone affected by the Parisian tragedies."

"The music business is often sheltered from the harsh realities of life and this weekend they have come home with a dreadful finality."

He said there had been a lot of confusion about whether the gig would go ahead but he felt strongly they should fulfil their commitment despite the increased terror threat.

"When we were growing up in Belfast, I was always saddened by the fact that groups would never come and play there because of the political situation," he said.

"I was deprived of another 'normal' part of life.

"With this in mind, and with the wonderful co-operation of our Parisian promoter, the SLF show at Backstage at the Mill will go ahead."

Several bands have cancelled gigs in France in the wake of the attacks.

US rock giants the Foo Fighters were due to play in the French capital on Monday night, Lyon on Tuesday night and Barcelona on Thursday night.

In a post on Facebook, the band wrote: "It is with profound sadness and heartfelt concern for everyone in Paris that we have been forced to announce the cancellation of the rest of our tour.

"In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can't continue right now.

"There is no other way to say it. This is crazy and it sucks. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one."

U2 also cancelled their Paris shows at the weekend.

Speaking from the city the band said: "We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city.

"We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans."

The band later paid their respects at the Bataclan.

American alternative metal group Deftones, who had been set to play a three-night run at the Bataclan, said they "must return home to our loved ones". As well as the Paris shows, they had been due to play in Germany and London.

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