Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The Rifles @ Birmingham Barfly

The Rifles

We arrive just as Edgar Prais finish so it’s a firm no comment on those boys which allows me to take in the Barfly for the first time.

It’s a nice cellar isn’t it? Actually as a relatively small venue it has the massive advantage (if you excuse the pun) of having a large stage which doesn’t make it feel quite so claustrophobic or as difficult to see as the Bar Academy.

Queuing for a drink predictable fills up the time it takes for a set change and the emergence of the Rifles. It also allows for reflection on the polar opposite of crowds I’ve been with this week, the Klaxons in tow with teeny boppers and Rifles with the cast of ‘Football Factory’. Actually that’s unfair, obviously with their Mod styling and attention towards the sound of the Jam it’s not entirely unexpected that it draws an older crowd and close ties with Soccer AM do little to diminish this.

Not that this is really an issue at all, just a reflection towards the demographics. While it’s easy to criticise the Rifles for being about as original as brands in cut price supermarkets, it’s hard to deny their knack of writing catchy tunes. In fact the major criticism of the band tonight can only be that the slower songs do predictably slow things down a bit too much. Especially with the energy and excitement that they manage to whip up before the acoustic guitar comes out.

They shoot through debut album ‘No Love Lost’ and it’s all over in 45 minutes, but what a time spent. New single ‘Peace and Quiet’ goes down a storm and ‘Local Boy’ gets the crowd singing/shouting along in adoration, for people here tonight it seems to touch a nerve. I expect the Rifles to be playing bigger venues soon and the boys in York who go by the same moniker to have to change their name soon.