The Riffs biography

I suppose back in 1989 was when it all started – you’d have to ask Mark “Clem” (drums) – he was a founder member of the band.

Since then, The Riffs have released a couple of albums, a handful of singles and appeared on dozens of compilation albums around the world. The band have also written a TV soundtrack as well as supplied music for a couple of videos and DVDs.

Famous for a being a fantastic live band, The Riffs have appeared all around the UK and Ireland and well as in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Spain.

With so many hundreds of gigs over the years, there are understandably a few that stand out (for different reasons!). The Riffs have shared the billing with Laurel Aitken, Madness, The Specials, The Skatalites, The Selecter, Neville Staple, Edwin Starr, Desmond Dekker, Bad Manners and loads of others.

When The Specials reformed in 1990s, The Riffs were the support act for their first gig at London’s Mean Fiddler. The band have also welcomed Buster Bloodvessel, Dave Barker, Winston ‘Mr Fixit’ Francis and Paul Fox of The Ruts to the stage as special guests and have played venues from Camden’s Dublin Castle to Brixton and Islington Academies – and even the O2 Arena as part of a Madness Christmas tour.

And that’s before you mention touring overseas without passports, broken down buses and cars, arriving in a different country to where you’re meant to be playing, getting stranded at airports, forgetting instruments… one day we might write a book.

2011 ushered in a new era for The Riffs. After a hiatus, the band are back on the live scene and following a triumphant comeback at London’s 100 Club, are back to their legendary best. The band released their first new album in donkey’s years in August 2013 – FTP FUTURE- and continue to bring the party to live venues across the UK and beyond, from Darlington to Dortmund and everywhere in between.

Fast forward to 2018 and following up a couple of years of acoustic gigs and covering drummers, founding member Mark (Clem) is back in the band and The Riffs are heading back onto the live scene. 2019 sees the 20 year anniversary of the debut album “Who Wants It” so expect some celebrations in the only way we know how…

Check our GIG page for upcoming live dates. FUTURE!

The Riffs are Spenny (guitar, vocals), Duane (bass, vocals), Mark (drums), Steve (keys, vocals) and Joel (sax).



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