Support: Kelsey Karter
Forgive me Lemmy for I have sinned…it has been 80 days since my last obsession. Yep December 8th 2018 was the last gig I got to. That is nearly two months without any live music, which for a (supposed) live music blogger is not particularly great at all. Luckily the headline band on stage tonight blew any cobwebs well and truly away.
First up we saw cracking support from New Zealander Kelsey Karter…that’s she of the tattoo that wasn’t a tattoo fame. She and her band were really excellent and Karter’s voice is an absolute belter. They have been duly added to the ‘Stories From The Mosh Pit’ watch list for sure.
This was my sixth time seeing The Struts. The first back in 2014 was to a crowd of 200. Tonight, 5 years later, there were 2000 squeezed into the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The Struts are a good time rock and roll band. They also happen to possess a lead singer who has energy to burn and like his heroes can command a room of any size. Luke Spiller really is great front man. He is in his element during their cover of Springsteen’s, Dancing in the Dark, (including their very own ‘Courtney Cox’) but through out the fourteen song set he is a non stop, ball of energy.
The set is evenly split between their 2014 debut and last year’s Young and Dangerous long player. Every song, from opener, Primadonna Like Me, onward is a winner. Spiller is on form but as great as he is, this band is certainly not all about him. Adam Slack on guitar may be quite understated for a lead guitarist (very little rock star shapes thrown here) but he has talent to burn, as do Eliott and Davies. It really does feel that they can go far.
The audience make up is a mix of all ages and sexes. There are the very young (including one or two Little Mix fans here to see Jed), and then there are the ageing rockers (who have invested a lot of dosh in the denim industry over the years). Every single hand is in the air.
The Struts are on a steep upward trajectory, yet, at times, it hasn’t been that easy for them in the UK. This is a country with a serious lack of outlets on radio and TV for rock bands, or indeed bands of any description it seems. In America they have had support slots with The Foo Fighters, Motley Crue and the Rolling Stones and their stock has risen hugely. Over in their home country though it has been noticeably harder for them to gain traction. Well on tonight’s evidence that now seems to be a thing of the past.
There will undoubtedly be music critics that hate The Struts. Good time rock and roll rarely gets the thumbs up from the shoe gazers in the music press. It's the people who come to the shows that count though. If they keep coming then they must be doing something right….and hell, David Grohl knows what he is talking about.
Ticket: February 26th 2019
Ticket Price: £18.50