it's the fans that make or break bands

The Rifles – The Forum, Kentish Town

Forum, Kentish Town
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8.0 10 Great

The london leg of any tour is always a bit special for bands and even more so for ‘local boys’ The Rifles. The sharply dressed fans with mod swagger fill Kentish Towns Forum kicking it back to the youth subculture days of the mid-1960s. Joel and Luke of The Rifles are reunited with originals Rob (bassist) and Grant (Drummer) who slip back in to their rightful places with ease.

They open with recent single Heebie Jeebies which receives a great reaction and the room is buzzing already. The Rifles cruise through their set almost effortlessly with tracks like Sometimes, Winter Calls and The Great Escape all from the album of the same name.

The ‘classics’ are there of course, mainly hailing from debut album No Love Lost which started it all for the band way back when. They include ‘Spend a Lifetime‘ ‘Peace and Quiet‘ and the impressive ‘Local Boy‘ which whips the audience into a frenzy as beer soaked men and women bellow back the lyrics to the band “…and he don’t need anyone/there’s no one there for him…” When asked about Local Boy in a recent interview the band said “Jimmy is the character we have lost. He is our granddad, your granddad,…” and it certainly strikes a chord with their fans live!

It seems much of the Freedom Run album has been left ‘Out in the past’ although the strength of songs like ‘Tangled up in love‘ and ‘Nothing Matters‘ cannot be ignored and still feature. Joel takes things down a notch mid set and has a magic moment with the crowd as he sings tracks like Nothing Matters and Spend A Lifetime. Minute Mile, the next single to be released from the upcoming album feels like it could have been left on the cutting room floor of No Love Lost material. It’s a new song with an old vibe and the crowd welcome it with open arms.

Ironically, the old lineup feels like it’s injected a new freshness to the band as they buzz and bounce off each other. Everyone seems comfortable and that can’t be a bad thing. The General and Romeo and Julie are among the encore tracks.

There’s nothing too new or groundbreaking on this tour in terms of style of music but then I think the fans will be more than happy with that. After-all, if asked, I think most would just say ‘Play me a classic”…

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Passionate about music. Been attending gigs for over 14 years. I remember my first live gig, Paul Weller at Crystal Palace in 1997. God, I'm old!

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