Mods of all ages took to Rock City on the 23rd of Feb to welcome back The Rifles nearly 3 years after their last Nottingham gig. The 4 piece band from Chingford opened with the brilliant “She’s Got Standards” – the first track on their debut album ‘No Love Lost’. The sea of parkas were then gifted with the lively “Heebie Jeebies” which led to a paisley shirt being whipped in the air round the head of some individual somewhere in the middle of the floor. Their reputation for fast-paced and energy-filled gigs is done justice over the course of the next part of the set, with “Repeated Offender”, “Minute Mile” and then fan favourite “The Great Escape” coming in rapid succession. The tone is then slightly softened with “Tangled Up In Love”, which the older fans in the room seem to love, belting out the song from the 2011 album ‘Freedom Run’.
The crowd then starts to jump as Crowther’s guitar screams the starting riff to “Turtle Dove” and a pint is thrown, splashing beer dangerously close to the feet of bassist Rob Pyne who shoots a warning look at the crowd. “Victoria” is the first song to be played from the latest album and brings the pace down considerably, giving the band a breather as the Rock City balcony sways and sings for them.
The next part of the set passes and includes tunes such as “Narrow Minded Social Club”, “Talking” and “Peace and Quiet”, as well as a couple of acoustics such as “Coming Home”. With each tune, the vocals of Stoker and Crowther compliment each other perfectly and the band play together with the tightness that we’ve come to expect from this band since their formation in 2003.
The best part of the night comes with the final part of the set as we hear “Local Boy”, “Romeo and Julie” and finally “Under and Over” played in quick and electrifying succession. The quartet then leave the stage to the sound of hundreds of voices singing “Romeo and Julie” as fans file out the doors and into the Nottingham night.