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The Rifles: Shepherds Bush Empire

by Gig Reporters 2012

Hailing from East London suburb Chingford, indie rock band The Rifles were formed after founding members Joel Stoker and Lucas Crowther first met at their local college. Meeting fellow rock enthusiast and another Chingford resident Rob Lloyd of punk group Betamax, the boys were inspired to start their own group after watching legendary British indie rock group Oasis perform at Knebworth. With bass player Rob Pyne and drummer Grant Marsh added later to the line-up, the Rifles were born and were soon playing a series of gigs on the live music circuit.

Releasing a number of EPs through independent labels, the band soon found success and gained great exposure thanks to single “Local Boy” which received air play on popular Saturday morning football show ‘Soccer AM’. More singles followed which all performed consistently well one after the other and each one climbing further up the charts each time. The band soon embarked on a number of tour dates around Europe and one gig at renowned music venue the Forum confirmed them as a household name with the band performing alongside the “Modfather” himself Paul Weller.

Since finding success on the indie music success, The Rifles have seen each of their three albums perform considerably well and received with strong critical appraisal. Most recent album ‘Freedom Run’ saw the band deliver another solid record that was enjoyed by fans and critics alike.

Consisting of two original members Lucas and Joel - Robert Pyne and Grant Marsh have since departed to make way for band members Lee Burgess and Kenton Shin. On Friday 30th March 2012, the band The Rifles were set to play at the music venue Shepherd’s Bush Empire. WinkBall video reporters Alex, Dan and Stefan were down at the venue to speak to fans and find out their reaction to the gig.

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