The Rifles at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Jon Neil and Mick Donlan browse through records on sale at Pie & Vinyl on Record Store Day Pictures: Keith Woodland

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Paul Weller has them modelling his new clobber and they have recently launched a new beer called The General. So, what next for The Rifles? A third album, that’s what.

Seeing the sell-out crowd at the Wedgewood Rooms, frontman Joel Stocker is visibly shocked. And, in return, he graciously belts out their indie rock tunes.

Since discovering them on recommendation at a Weller gig, I have merrily followed the band, telling anyone who will listen about them!

However, there is a problem. Their new album, Freedom Run, is a different. I give them full marks for experimentation but I’m still undecided about whether or not it works.

I am sure the rest of the Wedge audience share my views, judging by the lack of movement during new tracks, Tangled Up In Love and Dreamer, which lacked a definite punch.

The band seem aware and belt out both previous albums. Suddenly we find ourselves caught-up in the sounds of Local Boy and Repeat Offender.

Chanting to the anthemic Romeo and Julie, we leave, hoping that they will return soon with a fourth album back in the usual Rifles calibre.


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