Review: The Rifles at Engine Rooms, Southampton

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Once I had realised I hadn’t stepped through a time travel portal and landed in the 90s, I was able to see that the audience of this gig was one the most age-diverse gigs I had ever been to. The majority of people there had grown up in the 90s, some of whom looked as though they’d never left. However there was a surprising number of younger adults there in vintage sport jackets and long hair. As I settled myself in the audience awaiting the support group, The Scarletinas, I noticed a group of women that must have been around 60 years old, huddled near the back whispering excitedly to each other. It was an incredible feeling, being part of such a big diverse audience.

The Scarletinas, an indie rock band with strong 90s vibes, got the audience going with crazy energy, their long locks flowing around their instruments. They had a strong sound and the audience absolutely loved them. After their set, people flocked to the bar and the merch tent to prepare themselves for the upcoming The Rifles set.

Following a relatively long break, the audience patiently awaited The Rifles to appear on stage. The Rifles are an English indie rock band on par with the likes of The Smiths, and The Who. The crowd erupted when they ran onto the stage, immediately jumping into their newest single “Numero Uno”. The group of older women nodded along to the beat whilst one of the group danced further into the crowd. Everyone knew the words, and sang along proudly, it was a beautiful atmosphere.

After the first few songs The Rifles began talking with the audience, even stopping at one point to drink one man’s gin. There was some banter with the audience over owning certain albums rather than others, and there were several occasions that the audience cheer decided the next song. Their classics such as “Peace & Quiet” got the crowd so excited, arms were thrown into the air and near to the end of the set, they changed their guitars over to acoustic and played a beautiful short acoustic set. The electric instruments were brought back for the ending, but the acoustic section of the set was a real treat.

Overall it was a fantastic gig, and I would recommend going to see them to anyone who is interested in indie rock.

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