The Brook, Southampton

The Rifles

Tonight at The Brook every ticket has been sold for a band who since forming in 2004, have slowly but surely built themselves a thoroughly faithful following of fans who last year helped the band record their fourth album through a pledge music backed campaign. The Rifles new album “None The Wiser” which came out in January was made with original members Rob Payne (Bass) and Grant Marsh (Drums). The new line-up brought back a certain new chemistry that seemed to have been lacking previously. The band are currently on an 11 date UK tour including a sold out show in Glasgow and a prestigious headline show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Opening act The Swiines (With two ii’s) from Nottingham arrive on stage with an air of confidence and a certain amount of arrogant swagger. Their recent support slots with the likes of Jake Bugg and Reverend and The Makers has given the band huge, well-deserved exposure. The band are perfect appetisers to The Rifles and after just the 1st few songs have the Southampton crowd well on their side. The four piece take some elements Sixties music and bring it up to date with modern guitar effects. The Northern accent in the well delivered vocals from Scott Bugg(Cousin To Jake Bugg) sound like a cross between Matt Bowman (Pigeon Detectives) and Alex Turner (Artic Monkeys). The band perform infectious songs such as “Scary Mary”, “Rose Without A Thorn” and the delightful “Love is Blind”. A great warm up from a band that delivered well and were appreciated by all who watched.

The Swiines

The Swiines 1

The Rifles emerged from their backstage hideaway at 9:30pm, arriving on stage to a welcome fit for a returning football manager with the cup. From the moment that the 1st track was played the well educated Southampton crowd sang virtually every word. For some strange reason the band did not seem to initially respond to the excitement within the venue and took quite a while to warm up. The familiar guitar sounds of songs like “Sometimes” and “Winter Calls” seemed to up the momentum, providing a great reason for people to start moving their feet on the dance floor. A nice acoustic intermission is observed with the band’s founder members Joel Stoker and Lucas Crowther playing a few numbers bringing down the tempo just a little, but the Southampton voices did not stop singing.

The Rifles

The Rifles 123

The band’s set features no less than 7 songs from the latest “None The Wiser” album, which is always a brave move when they have such a huge amount of songs from which to choose. It is great hearing the new material which seems to work well live, but you also want to hear the classics with songs like “Science is Violence” and “Fall To Sorrow” being missed by the crowd.

The band end on a high with possibly the best track from the new album “Under & Over”, a song which was made with the help of fans singing along with the band in the studio. This song has an extremely infectious chorus which will have you singing within a few moments of hearing it, working equally as well live as in the studio.

The band leave the stage with appreciation equal to that of when they arrived. Tonight was a great gig and the crowd played a huge part in creating a great atmosphere. However, for some reason The Rifles seemed to be a little subdued…Southampton 1 The Rifles 0.

The Rifles
Go Lucky
Robin Hood
All I Need
The Great Escape
Winter Calls
Minute Mile
Eclectic Eccentric
Heebie Jeebies
Local Boy
The Hardest Place To Find Me
Spend A Lifetime
Rock The Boat/Beautiful Music
Coming Home
Peace and Quiet
Toe Rag
Tangled Up In Love
Catch Her In The Rye
You Win Some

One Night Stand
Romeo & Julie
Under & Over

The Swiines
Matter of Time
Love is Blind
Rose Without a Thorn
In the Dark
Bent City Roller
Scary Mary
Back of your Mind



Words, Pictures and Video by Dave “only one i” Chinery.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace