Back in 2014 The Rifles caught my ear with the release of their fourth studio album None The Wiser. ‘Minute Mile’, with it’s to die for riff and the 60s saturated ‘Heebie Jeebies’ were the main two that grabbed me by the balls and I have been into it since. Having not heard the band live before, this was one I had been looking forward to since the announcement of this tour.
Now the Oran Mor is one of my favourite venues in Glasgow and with The Rifles headlining, the ingredients of a great night are there. Throw in a rowdy sell-out crowd, many who fuel their thirst on beer as they await the quartet, and this cannot be anything but good. Similar to the arrival of The Libertines on stage in Glasgow back in January, The Rifles are piped on and the crowd erupts as the band set the tone for the next hour or so by opening with the terrific ‘Heebie Jeebies’. With the constant red and then blue light giving me nightmares as I attempt to a get some shots, I down the camera for most of the first three songs and enjoy the music on offer. ‘She’s Got Standards’ and the guitar driven anthemic ‘Sometimes’ follow as the band mix it up with offerings from throughout their back-catalogue.
The pace is frantic with no let up throughout from the band or crowd who respond visibly and vocally to the music on offer. As the assault continues, ‘History’ is a real standout with the solid drumming throughout the night pulling the sound together. At one stage front-man Joel Stoker announces the bassist is not their normal player although with many in the crowd transfixed on Joel and fellow guitarist/vocalist Lucas Crowther few appear to care and such is the tightness of the band throughout it is not evident to my ear.
‘Peace And Quiet’ is anything but with the crowd bouncing in appreciation. Energy levels are at an optimum throughout with the band and crowd going toe-to-toe throughout the set. ‘Minute Mile’ somehow takes it to another level before Lucas shines vocally on ‘Summer Rain’. The lively gig continues to delight with ‘Tangled Up’ leaving a few bodies down the front literally looking that way.
With the enthusiastic crowd fired-up for more ‘Romeo And Juliet’ cranks up the encore sending many in the crowd ‘pure nutto’. ‘Under and Over’ closes out the night with Joel thanking the crowd for their support. Brazen beats and gutsy guitar driven anthems worthy of the applause and with a new album imminent, The Rifles are a band I look forward to hearing more of in the near future.
Words: Bazza Mills