Indie rock sensations The Rifles are back with their lush third album Freedom Run so, to celebrate, Football Burp caught up with front man Joel Stoker for a brief natter about his beloved West Ham United…
Did you see the 0-0 draw at Millwall last weekend?
No but my mates went. They said it was an absolute nightmare getting in and out of the ground.
Are you confident of going up?
Yeah, I think we’ll get it together pretty soon.
Was Sam Allardyce your preferred choice of manager or would you have gone for someone else?
I think he’s a good manager, especially for the league we’re in, where you’ve got to be tough and grind things out. It’s not so pretty, basically, so I think he’s the man for the job.
Which of the new boys have impressed?
It’s hard for me to call because I haven’t caught much of it this season. I’ve been busy so I haven’t really had a good chance to study any of them.
Really?? Yeah, I’d welcome Russell Brand to anything, I reckon!
Could you name the first, best and worst games you ever went to?
One that sticks out massively is a league game at Bolton when they first came up and we had Harry Redknapp as manager. Theirs was the only Premier League ground at the time that still had standing terracing for the away supporters. That was quite a big event for all of us – we travelled up there and got to jump around a bit which you don’t get to do as much now.
The worst game? I dunno. We’ve had a few bad ‘uns, I’d imagine! Maybe when we lost to Crystal Palace in the final of the Playoffs a few years ago.
I think the first game I went to was Tottenham v West Ham when I was little, but in the Tottenham end because all my family are Tottenham fans. But it’s still the first time I went to Upton Park to watch a game.
Finally, if you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the West Ham players you’ve seen, who would you go for?
Robert Green, Julian Dicks, Alan Devonshire, Joe Cole, Paulo Di Canio.
Joel, thank you.
New album Freedom Run is available now: www.therifles.net