On the brink of releasing album number four (None The Wiser), which will come eight years after the release of their first album, it was evident from the crowd in Manchester Academy 2 that The Rifles still have that same hardcore following they did back in 2006.
With a busy on looking crowd, most sporting Paul Weller haircuts and their best mod clobber, The Rifles blasted straight into their set with a collection of old favourites including Hometown Blues and Local Boy. Immediately you see crowd surfers appearing at the front with security left to contend with flailing legs.
Some songs off the new album featured in the set also and with original bassist Rob Pyne and drummer Grant Marsh back in the fold, it’s safe to say the forthcoming album is going to be a bit closer to their first two offerings rather than their last release Freedom Run. Freedom Run was by no means a below par album but with the original foursome back together the noise they create just sounds that little bit more complete, both on record and on stage.
It’s great to see that whilst The Rifles have never quite reached the heights they may have after No Love Lost, they still have such a loyal fanbase around the country. Upon leaving the venue you see young lads in their teens up until the ‘ageing mod’, grinning from ear to ear and commenting on how the band ‘still have it’. And indeed they do.
Words by Sean Tallon