Tonight’s venue…..Kentish Town Forum. Tonight’s band….The Rifles. Tonight’s crowd…….avin’ it! Pre match pints start round the corner from the infamous Kentish Town venue at the equally infamous Assembly House. Walking through the ever so familiar crowd of Pretty Green, Weller hair cuts and bags of attitude the crowd are cut from the same cloth that you would expect to see at any Beady Eye, Kasabian or Weller gig.
The dj has clearly been given his guidelines for the evening and follows suit with tune after tune from Oasis to Arctic Monkeys and nothing any more imaginative. It does, however, serve as a great warm up to what is about to descend into utter chaos.
The Rifles have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years, but tonight, for the first time since the split, the original line up are back together in London and are ready to make up for those lost years. November sees the release of their newest single, which is just a taster of what’s to come on the new album, None The Wiser, out in January.
As they take to the stage, pints fly through the air (let’s hope it’s beer) and the crowd surge forward with all the excitement of a zoo at feeding time. The frenzy begins with newbie Heebie Jeebie’s what follows is a set covering all albums, showcasing songs from None The Wiser, yet to be released, as well as the anthems from the first 2 albums, No Love Lost and Great Escape. Arguably their best work. It is, unsurprisingly, the gems from the first 2 seminal albums which are greeted with roars and cheers from the crowd who leave not one lyric unsung. Over the years this band have amassed a cult following with a demographic that is impossible to pinpoint and all are on show. Smashing their way through a carefully selected set, which can almost be mistaken for a greatest hits tour, the band seem just as happy to be here as the fans. At every opportunity both lead singer, Joel Stoker, and side kick, Lucas Crowther, are brimming from ear to ear and often thank the crowd and declare their love with a humbling and sincere undertone.
Throughout the night at every moment of silence the crowd are chanting and singing the chorus to Romeo and Julie. After nearly a 2 hour set the encore comes to a close and the patients of the crowd are rewarded with a rousing rendition of their most famous anthem. Fuck me…..the crowd are going nuts! As the gig comes to a close it’s nigh on impossible to stumble out without slipping on the empty plastics. With the sound of that anthem chorusing through the air the crowd are still chanting their name then it’s back into the pub for last orders, followed by a few more.