The Struts take to the stage to entertain a sold Manchester Audience, returning to the UK after five fruitful years touring America, gaining a solid reputation whilst supporting the likes of The Who, Motley Crue, The rolling Stones as well as a fantastic stint with The Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl stating that “The Struts are the best band that have ever supported them”. Not a bad accolade from a band that originated from Derby.
Tonight’s support is provided by, Kelcy Karter who you may remember for that Harry Styles face tattoo a few weeks ago, was supported by the band The Boys with Long Hair, Karter opened with the single ‘Catch Me If You Can’, included a fabulous rendition of ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’, ‘Harry’ had to get an airing in light of recent events, finishing with ‘Too late for us’, not sure why Kelsy had to pull a stunt like she did, as there is certainly enough talent there, it wont be too long before Karter will be doing her own headline shows.
As the lights drop and the band take to the stage, the energy is already bouncing off the crowd, as lead singer Luke Spiller, takes control with the opening song of the set ‘Primadonna like me’. When I say takes control, he does what it says on the tin. Coming right to the front of the stage, leaning as far as he can towards the audience, he says to the crowd, “If you have not come to sing and dance, tonight, it’s time you fucked off”, which the crowd clearly loved.
As he stands up on the stage he puts both of his hands above his head and beckons everyone to do the same, as the all do, he begins to click his fingers and the crowd respond so eagerly, as the band kick in to the recent single ‘Body talks’ taken from the excellent latest album ‘Young and Dangerous’, which is the mainstay of tonight’s gig.
There is no doubting the band are heavily influenced by Glam Rock, they also have a solid edge of Hard Rock, yes there are elements of Queen, Bowie, Slade, T Rex and Mott the Hoople, they have a structure of Led Zepplin, Kiss and AC/DC, take nothing away from the way they perform, this is The Struts, their own identy and interpretation of modern Rock.
Its clear the band have learnt a few things over the last few years, one of them is how to harness and engage an audience from the start. Under Spillers the crowd where, singing, dancing in their element.
‘Kiss this’ and ironically as the photographers left the pit, ‘In love with a camera’, keeps the party fever going. Spiller has the stage presence of Freddie Mercury, and the pose of David Bowie, this shone through on ‘one night only’ and ‘Mary go round’. Spiller encouraged the crowd to get their phones out and the place lit up like candles at a Virgil.
Maybe a nod to another influence on the band as they cover Bruce Springsteen’s classic ‘Dancing in the dark’. As the band played ‘Put your money on me’, the temperature in the room was simply tropical, as the last song of the set ‘Where did she go’, sees the band leave the stage to a crowd begging for more.
As the band reassemble on stage Spiller takes to the piano to play ‘Ashes’, and straight into anathematic ‘Could have been me’, which was performed flawlessly, to a crowd who took in every breath of every note.
This is the bands biggest headline tour in the UK, most of the venues are sold out, it is only a matter of time before the band move up to bigger stages and arenas and festivals. The Struts are born performers, bringing the Glam and the Glitter back to Rock. If these guys are not on your radar, you need to put them on for sure. d0 Smar