Concert Reviews

The Struts Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 14, 2016    
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The Struts- Dingwalls, London (UK) - 5 July 2016

Rarely do you get the sense that you are seeing a major Rock star before his discovery, but it is easy to feel that way when seeing The Struts. This is chiefly attributable to their larger than life singer Luke Spiller, whose vocals are not only clear and vibrant, but who happens to be a performance artist extraordinaire. However, rarely do you see such a happy band supporting their main man (whose Christ-like beauty and fragility is apparent even upon one performance), secure in the knowledge they are the rock on which he stands, playing well and supporting him, understanding that despite the obvious flamboyance of their vocalist they are the essential vase and water to his bouquet. Not once do they look envious of the attention that Spiller attracts and they do a fabulous job music wise. Some harmonies akin to early Beatles add gravitas. Live they are heavier than on record too, with Hard Rock influences more apparent in, for example, the guitar solos and question and answer "mimic me" sessions with the crowd.

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The Struts owe a lot to their British heritage and obvious influences are The Rolling Stones, with whom they have toured, and Queen (Spiller being lucky enough to have Zandra Rhodes who also designed for Freddie design for him also). However, Mick Jagger, while he has groove always looked like an awkward bird on stage, and Freddie Mercury, although sublime as a vocalist, always had some nerd factor. As the bastard love child of both, Spiller takes the best of both worlds and looks so comfortable on stage that he is literally that metaphorical duck on water, or should we say 'Black Swan' on stage. He is also unafraid to wear gold lame and sequins and declares he is not too cool or afraid of being cheesy to have a good time. If this is cheese give us the Stilton. Indeed, there are quite a few pheromones wafting around on stage which the front row could certainly appreciate. It was exceedingly hot in the venue mind you and Spiller is visibly exhausted midway through the set. He returned after a brief sojourn backstage visibly revived, which seemed suspiciously miraculous ...or maybe it is just part of the show.

Having relocated to LA (and no doubt anxious to avoid a backlash such as Def Leppard incurred when they did the same) the band are keen to say how much they appreciate the UK and miss everything here. They need not have worried, despite the heat the crowd sang for this band like the Marillion faithful used to for Fish in the old days. They were putty in Spiller's hands, suggesting this band have already started to inspire diehard devotion. Young talented charismatic budding Rock stars need little more. Certainly ones to watch, and stare in awe!

Dawn Osborne

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