It's an era which was beautifully rendered on the big screen just recently in hit movie Good Vibrations, about the life of punk impresario Terri Hooley, but from which few bands have still survived to be playing today.
Contrary to the music genre which would cement their reputation, however, Stiff Little Fingers started life as a schoolboy group called Highway Star, covering rock classics.
"Nothing else came close," he says. "Most of our friends continued to plug Sabbath, Zeppelin and so on, but their days were over!"
Attracting a mass following with their blend of personal and politically-themed material, including singles like Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster, Stiff Little Fingers also became the first group to conquer the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut, Inflammable Material.
His early music inspirations included Elvis Costello, The Stooges, Lou Reed and The Who, but new acts like Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro and Elbow are more likely to feature on McMordie's personal playlist now.
"I like bands that have stuck together and built up a great grassroots following," he says.
Despite numerous line-up changes (frontman Jake Burns is the only other member remaining from their punk era) the band is still as much in demand as ever, and has returned to the music scene with a new repertoire of songs and a live gig in Belfast next week.
"There are still plenty of issues to be angry about," says McMordie. "If we had become complacent there would have been no new album. We wanted to get these songs out there – we didn't want to be considered a nostalgia act with only an old catalogue to promote."
Describing the new release is difficult, he says, but the flavour of the music will be familiar to faithful fans. Produced via the Pledge Music route – whereby it is funded by fans – the album features, according to McMordie, "injustice, deceit, discrimination and oppression – and that's just the first track".
Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
Original article: Belfast Telegraph