Awe striking at the Astoria
How do you pick a support band for a ska group like the Dead 60's? It must be hard no doubt-you could go the samey route of picking a complimentary ska band, you could try and be quirky and different, or you could pick a band like The Rifles.
The Rifles have just released a new single, their second if I'm not mistaken, and if the crowd reaction to their set is anything to go by, half the crowd that filled out this sold out Astoria was for them. The band seem to really have found a nice niche for themselves on stage-they have a lot of fun and seem to be individually pleased with being on the stage. This works rather well, as by doing this they engage more than a familiar crowd and climb the mind frames of those unaware of them. They deliver their polished, punchy set with a great deal of enthusiasm and merriment-banter that is accounted for between songs, actually funny and doused in wit. The band have charisma in buckets in regards to presence and persona and as they deliver vigorous tunes like 'Repeated Offender', 'She's Got Standards', 'Robin Hood' and 'Local Boy' they prove to brighten the stage and make themselves very comfortable on this stage that often challenges and consumes bands this new.
Their sound at first seemed slightly muffled and could have been lost in translation, but picked up as songs progressed. Musically they have a touch of Oasis in the sense they have a comforting familiarity to them but one that is not stagnant. Certain moments in their set evoke the Clash, The Horrors, the Holloways and early Cribs in performance and delivery adding a very crisp, contemporary touch to their musical stylings. Crooked grins in tow they don't try too hard and don't push it in attempts to be cool or to fit into any trite genre.
The Rifles provide a good show for anyone who's interested and even those who are not. This was a varied crowd of punters and the mass sing a longs en route to the singles were impressive. Though this band may need a more compacted venue to make a deeper imprint, which they are well capable of, at the Astoria they waded into our heads and kept us watching for all the moments of their fun and plentiful performance.