Eastside present

The Rifles (Acoustic) plus Guests

Sage Two

The Rifles are back and once again, they are about to surprise you.

Two years and six months ago when their fourth album arrived, the band spoke of how – after the more serene, lush, different sounding Freedom Run (2011) – they had “started to miss that original Rifles sound a lot”. Even when they are going back to basics, it seems, The Rifles can’t help but move forward.

The Rifles arrive at Sage Gateshead on the back of their fifth studio album Big Life, a body of work which sees them release and tour a double album of four sides and eighteen songs.

There can’t be many other bands in the UK with as fervent a fanbase as The Rifles. They can still play, 12 years after they formed, to thousands of people in plenty of towns all over the country. They’re still not on the radio, they’re still not all over magazines, and yet they continue to be more adored than many other younger bands who are. And it is the trust that their audience has in them which inspires them to do things like Big Life: an expansive, incredibly varied record – or two records – that is the sound of a band at the absolute peak of their creativity.

Amongst the long term fans who have facilitated The Rifles still being around is one very famous one: Mr Paul Weller. His influence on their music has been evident from their very first songs, and he has been an amazing mentor and sometime collaborator.

It’s hard to think of a band more operating on their own terms and more outside of any sphere of influence.

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