The Celibate Rifles "20th Anniversary of Sideroxylon"
The Crisps
Annandale Hotel
Thursday, April 3, 2003


I headed to the Annandale full of anticipation about seeing the Rifles – it had been a year or two since I had last seen them grace the stage.

First up was a new band called The Crisps, a four-piece featuring a twin guitar attack of Chris Nacard and Dave Git, bassist Hoody (ex-Johnnys) and drummer Stu Wilson, who also handles lead vocals. They played a tight set with a couple of songs that caught the ear – was very impressed by the way Stu whacked the skins.

Kent goes berserk.

The amber fluid was flowing well when The Rifles hit the stage. After a brief welcome to the crowd from Damien Lovelock the band exploded into action with "Rock n Soul" before launching into "Sideroxylon", from go to whoa: "Killing Time", "Society", "Tick Tock", "This Week", "Anthem", "Back on the Corner", "Baby You’re Gonna Cry", "Where Do I Go", "Ice Blue", "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and "God Squad".

They all sounded as fresh as the first time I heard them and it was stunning just how relavent the themes of these songs remain and how well they have stood the test of 20 years.

With the formal part of the evening out of the way the familiar riff of the Johnny Thunders classic "You Can’t Throw Your Arms Around a Memory" before ripping through a blistering set of old and new tunes that included the crowd favourites "Sometimes", "I Shoulda", "Wild Desire" and "Johnny". A new song called "Welcome to Butt Land" was given an airing and if this is an indication of the material on the upcoming new album it looks like another sure fire winner from the Rifles.

Dave and Mikey get a little cross.

The band put on a stellar performance with Damien presiding over the microphone, Dave Morris and Kent Steedman’s twin guitar attack sounding as good as ever with their crunching riffs and killer lead breaks all nailed down by the powerhouse rhythm section of Parl Larsen and Michael Couvret.

These guys still cut it: giving a performance that many of the younger bands around these days can only dream of. All in all a great night.