The Rifles at Koko
The Rifles kicked the weekend off with an exhilarating set at North London’s acclaimed music venue Koko. Having recently released their fifth album, Big Life, the indie group was back to treat their two full-house shows.
Welcomed onto the stage by the eager crowd, the London four-piece started the night in high spirits with the up-tempo Turtle Dove from their latest record. It didn’t take long before they had the room rocking and dancing to the feel-good music. With cups of beer flying in all directions and bodies bumping against each other, vivacity was overflowing from the venue. Every drum beat, every guitar riff and every flawless note belted out had Koko falling more in love with the Rifles.
The stage was an absolute spectacle, to say the least. Frontman Joel Stoker’s leather jacket; the bassist’s Beatles-donning bowl cut and lanky physique; the guitarist’s red-chequered flannel and classy cowboy hat; and the keyboardist’s Union Jack jumper were a perplexing melange of decades and styles that made for a dazzling performance. Behind them, the neon lights of a sign mimicking the one on their album cover was beaming with the same intensity and dynamism.
Guitarist Crowther’s distinctive voice soothed the crowd, giving them a moment to catch their breath from all the dancing. Intimacy, harmony and passion echoed around the room, tugging on the audience’s heartstrings. But soon, the room erupted with a rush of energy again as new track Caught in the Summer Rain as well as Robin Hood from their renowned third album No Love Lost came on.
The Rifles proved that they can both treat keen fans, playing acoustic renditions of Victoria and Young for a Day, and please those less familiar with the band with classics such as Numero Uno, Peace & Quiet and History.
Between every song, enthusiastic supporters chanted the well-known riff from the much anticipated Romeo & Julie. As soon as the opening chords of the tune resonated through the sold-out venue, the electrifying atmosphere became irrepressible. The unified sing-along, the countless crowd surfing attempters and the middle-aged mosh pit had the Rifles grinning ear to ear. It wasn’t long before the four-piece were called back on stage for an encore. Ending with a generous five-track finale – including She’s Got Standards, Minute Mile and Under and Over – the show was one groovy dance party from start to finish. Puddles of booze, sweaty fans and waves of elation were the perfect aftermath of a gig.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about The Rifles and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Peace & Quiet here: