Support: The Turning
The Struts have been playing to ever growing crowds in the UK for a few years and in the process have developed a reputation as a top live band. That reputation is helped in no small part by a front man (Luke Spiller) who, like his obvious heroes, is here to entertain, and a band that are now a well oiled unit. America has started to take notice. In the last few months an extensive US tour, support from Nikki Sixx and an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show have done them no harm at all. On top of that the recently released Have You Heard? EP, including lead single Could Have Been Me, has made great strides on the rock charts there. All in all things are looking pretty rosy in the Struts world.
Tonight’s show at the famous 100 Club on London's Oxford Street is a sell out. The club may not look much on the outside, sandwiched between a Boots Chemist and Anne Summers, however inside you can smell the history. As for Struts fans, well they may not smell of history but they certainly are an odd bunch. Odd in that they come in all shapes and sizes, all age groups, all sexes. That can only be a good thing. Here in London, whether it was the long legged girl in the leather trousers at the very front (I wasn't looking), the six foot five inch photographer in front of us, the middle aged couple jumping up and down alongside me (whose back sides I slapped...it's a long story), the guy in the suit, or anyone else there, every one of us had a good time.
First up was an excellent support slot from the Turning during which we planted ourselves against one of the pillars directly in front of the stage. Safe to say I have never seen pillars as close as those in the 100 Club. Indeed there was only room for two people deep between them and the stage. Strangely the pillars add to the appeal of the venue. The 100 Club is certainly quirky but pretty damn cool all the same and seeing the walls adorned with pictures of people that played before (including Oasis and a certain Paul McCartney) adds to the the feeling of musical history.
As soon as the Struts take the stage it feels like a triumphant return to these shores. Months spent touring the States has seen their stock rise no end. Tonight the band at first seem a little weary, no doubt feeling the effects after their relentless tour schedule. The setlist covers the bands only album, last year's debut, Everybody Wants (a classic sounding rock record from start to finish). The 70 minute show flies by and with Spiller up front there really is no lull. Kiss This, Dirty Sexy Money, and the arm waving Where Did She Go are all worthy of a bigger stage whilst Spiller takes his customary place amongst the crowd during Lets Make This Happen Tonight. He really is a true showman. It must be said though that the Struts are not just about one man, the band (guitarist Adam Slack, Bass player Jed Elliot and drummer Gethin Davies) provide the perfect platform for Spiller to do his thing.
This probably wasn't the Struts most difficult audience but this is very much a band full of confidence and I would imagine even the toughest crowd would struggle not to be won over. The group look the part, admittedly they would have looked the part more in the 60's and 70's, but so what. They are not afraid to show their influences and that is no bad thing. Bigger venues surely await. Next year really could be theirs.
Ticket: November 19th 2015
Ticket Price: £12.50