Mr Kyps, Poole

The Rifles

It’s Wednesday night at Mr. Kyps and with Winter almost upon us it’s an evening of Indie/Mod Revival that’s instore. There’s barely 50 in the room when Basingstoke’s “Flashfires” take to the stage unannounced. Singer Alex ambles onstage, says “we’re Flashfires” and they begin. Immediately his voice sounds strained, but thankfully this doesn’t last.

Flashfires 12345

What they deliver is a classic set of Post/Punk Indie-inspired tunes, reminiscent of bands like JAMC and (early) Cure. Alex’s vocals become more confident while Toby (drums) is hitting with power. Without a setlist I cant wax lyrical about any one song. What I can say is that they win over a crowd content to just stand around chatting in the bar area. The applause gets louder with each song. The chiming chords in places are matched by some equally well-judged keys. Alex has a notable likeness to the the lead singer of The View but the similarities end there. This has been a great set and Flashfires definitely fit into the bracket “ones to watch”.

And so to the headliners. To use a football analogy tonight’s gig has been a “game of 2 halves”. Having seen The Rifles recently at Southampton’s “The Brook” I left quite disappointed. The band had decided to “pale everything back” and so delivered the songs slowed down somewhat. And this is how tonight’s show begins. They open with a slowed-down “Science is Violence”, followed by an equally slow “Sometimes”. Joel (vox/guitars) looks concentrated, dare I say it nervous?! He needn’t be, this is a passionate “locals” crowd he’s playing to. Recent single “Heebie Jeebies” follows next and it’s at this point the band start to hit their stride. This crowd soon find their feet, arms and bodies starts flailing around down the front. It’s not long before the first big singalong of the night. “The Great Escape” is not long coming as we all sing in unison. Joel “stretches” his vocal part toward the end of the song, but it really works and this crowd are in fine voice. Tonight that long lost fad of dancing aloft on someone’s shoulders makes a welcome return, as the love in the room grows stronger! By the time they play “Peace & Quiet” they have us all onside. Everyone is now dancing and it’s a return to form as we singalong once more to the chorus. “Tangled Up in Love” slightly disappoints this reviewer-the live version sounds less “clean” than the more “radio-friendly” version on record. However, it only gets better here on in. “Toerag” is excellent and delivered with gusto.

The Rifles
The Rifles 12

The now trademark acoustic interlude is impeccably observed, (despite one punter being determined to be the loudest voice in the room) – Joel simply humours him while smiling throughout! “Spend a Lifetime”, “Everline” and “Coming Home” just warm us up for the penultimate tracks that precede the encore. “Out In The Past” chimes it’s way into our ears before crowd favourite “Romeo & Julie” gets us all dancing once more. They leave us just begging for more as we all sing the “woah,woah,woah’s” that bring them back for the encore. “You Win Some” sets us up nicely for the rabble-rousing and rather apt “Local Boy”. The dancing is now bordering on manic. They end on the now legendary and utterly danceable “Under & Over”. It just seems to go on forever. Eventually they leave us to fantastic applause and we remind ourselves why we keep coming back to see The Rifles. If I have one gripe it’s this-a band with this many great songs and 4 albums behind them should be filling a venue this size. My clarion call is simple-where is everyone?! For those of us that did come this gig will be remembered as one “not to be missed”. I just hope that if we are rewarded with a return visit the band are afforded a full venue. We shall see…

Science In Violence
Heebie Jeebies
Go Lucky
Darling Girl
The Great Escape
Minute Mile
Shoot From the Lip
Peace & Quiet
Tangled Up in Love
Toe Rag
Catch Her In the Rye
Spend A Lifetime (acoustic)
Everline (Acoustic)
Coming Home (Acoustic)
Rock The Boat / Beautiful Music
The Hardest Place To Find Me
Out In The Past
Romeo & Julie

You Win Some
Local Boy
Under & Over



Words By Ross A Ferrone.
Pictures & Videos By Chinners.

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