The Struts, Melbourne, 22/8/19


Corner Hotel, Richmond – 22/8/2019

For quite a while, we’ve been told that “rock is dead” over and over again.  I have always taken the point of view that that is not the case at all, and on Thursday night, I was provided with further evidence to support my claim.

Opening the evening was J3 – the front of house guy for The Struts, solo and acoustic, performing a set of covers.  I had my reservations about this – I’m not the biggest supporter of covers acts, and this slot could have benefited one of our local acts greatly, but J3 was actually a fantastic choice.  For one thing, he was really good.  For another, his selection of songs had the crowd singing along to every word, well and truly readying the audience for the headline act.  Running through a set that included Born to Run, Wonderwall, Karma Police, Benny and the Jets and in a pretty bold effort, a really good rendition of Purple Rain, J3 won the crowd over – including me!

It was then time for The Struts, and the crowd was ready.  Now, it has to be said that I bought these tickets for my wife as her Mother’s Day present.  I like The Struts, but she LOVES them.   I wasn’t sure what to expect from this gig, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Frontman, Luke Spiller, is an amazing showman – legitimately holding his crowd in the palm of his hand.  If he wanted to see hands in the air, the entire crowd obliged, likewise for his call and response section later in the evening (even if that did go a little too long).

The energy from the band was huge, and the audience fed off of that.  Or maybe it was the band feeding off of the crowds energy?  Or maybe, in this particular moment, we were all one energy – together, united in rock.  Yeah, that works.

The Struts are a tight unit, easy to hear on record, but even easier to see on stage where their songs really come to life.  And Addo Slack has the lead guitar chops to become a hero in the years to come.

This is glam rock at its finest.  No, not like Poison.  I’m talking about the original forefathers of glam – Slade, The Sweet, Adam and the Ants – and it’s given a 2019 update, with Luke Spiller being the consummate frontman.  He’s Freddie Mercury, Noddy Holder and Noel Fielding all rolled into one neat package.

Like I said, the records are good, but live the band is massive.  Last time they were here, they played at Cherry Bar, this time it’s The Corner Hotel, next time I can see them at a larger venue like The Forum, because The Struts are on the rise, and the potential is there for them to become an arena level act.

Their tunes are catchy, with plenty of commercial appeal.  The diversity in the age groups within the crowd at the Corner proved that, and that fan base will only grow as the word spreads.

See this band as soon as you can.  You won’t be disappointed.

Set list:

Primadonna Like Me

Body Talks

Kiss This

In Love With a Camera

Fire (Part 1)

One Night Only

Dirty Sexy Money

Tatler Magazine

The Ol’ Switcheroo / Black Swan / Roll Up / Young Stars

I Do It So Well

Dancing in the Street

Put Your Money on Me

Where Did She Go

Somebody New

Could Have Been Me

Review by Shayne McGowan.

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