Live Review: The Rifles in London
As The Rifles celebrated their tenth anniversary at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, Chloe Keung went along to the last of their three sold-out shows. This is what went down:
The Rifles are the quintessence of British indie rock. From Chingford, London, the four-piece have been a dominant fixture in the UK music scene for the last ten years, claiming critical success home and abroad – a feat only achieved by the best of the best. In honour of the past decade, Cooking Vinyl Records released the deluxe edition of their first album No Love Lost on May 4, featuring B-sides from the band’s singles and unreleased bonus material. On the first weekend of June, they celebrated those ten years, performing the album in its entirety. It was my first day in London, and I had the pleasure of heading on down to the Electric Ballroom in Camden to be part of that celebration.
Behind closely guarded doors in one of London’s artiest scenes, the show was just beginning. Up and coming yet ferocious London band The Storms took to the stage, promoting their stunning new single ‘Girls’, which is an innovative mix of indie noise with pop punk. Ever the enigmatic performers, indie rockers Dexters graced the stage with loud, catchy tunes, closing with my personal favourite ‘Oceans’. In a fitting preamble to the main act, both support bands brought so much energy, technical proficiency and passion for their art in front of hundreds of concert-goers.
When The Rifles came on, the crowd grew bodies-slamming-against-barricade crazy under waves of beer showers. The band opened with ‘Repeated Offender’. Stand-out songs included ‘Peace & Quiet’, which was the first single off the debut album, ‘She’s the Only One’, and title track ‘No Love Lost’. Fans new and decade-long sang along to every song. The Rifles smiled at us and each other a lot; I have never seen a band interact with each other as much as they did.
As a delightful and delicate break in the set, frontman Joel Stoker and guitarist Lucas Crowther delivered an acoustic rendition of songs such as ‘Spend A Lifetime’ and ‘Narrow Minded Social Club’, welcoming keyboardist Dean Mumford onto the stage (who, by the way, had been receiving chants of “Deano! Deano!” from the audience in between songs). In an absolutely welcome twist, The Rifles threw in an incredible cover of The Cure’s ‘Inbetween Days’. They cheekily teased us with a quick goodbye before performing a three-song encore, which included the classic ‘She’s Got Standards’.
As we flooded onto the streets afterwards, the spirit stayed with us as we walked through Camden Town echoing an iconic riff from their show closer, ‘Romeo & Julie’. I was amazed at the support the fans showed. The camaraderie and the genuine appreciation the band has for the fans rang true that night. The Rifles played like it was their last show ever. They also had a vibe about them, like a group of friends who wanted to play together for old times’ sake. In the words of the guy standing next to me, “That was fucking awesome!”.
Review by Chloe Keung.