The One-Two Punch: Meet The Struts The English Rock Band Is Revving Up For Another Jaunt In The States
LOS ANGELES, CA- It was a hot, muggy summer afternoon in New York’s Central Park. The threat of thunderstorms loomed, but you could still fry an egg on the pavement as pavement’s tar oozed into the soles of your shoes shoes. We stood patiently by the 72nd Street entrance in the unbearable. We waited for our guests.
Tourists were swarming, taking photos at the “Imagine” marker next to Strawberry Fields. We thought we might miss them in the John Lennon furor. But, no. Rolling up to the meeting spot, we saw the unmistakable collection of destined-to-be-ridiculously-famous rockstars: The Struts. Having just opened two big shows at Madison Square Garden for The Foo Fighters, these young men were emanating a natural wow-factor.
The Struts have all the potential to become legendary. In fact, it’s already starting to happen. During our photo session a female fan spotted the band and asked for a photo. Her hands were shaking. A tell-tale sign of being star-struck.
As the encounter unfolded she told them that their song, “Kiss This,” is going to be played at her upcoming wedding as the ceremony concludes, and she and her new husband take their first steps as a married couple. This honest fan moment cause each member of The Struts to sport a slight but noticeable blush.
These talented musicians are all charming — full stop, and it’s not just because of their accents. Luke Spiller, lead singer and co-founder, is full vintage. I imagine he came out of the womb, full head of hair, not too far off from what he’s rocking now, wailing in perfect pitch. The Struts have been described as “unabashedly over-the-top retro-fetishist classic rock” as well as “glamorous and dangerous”. Luke embodies this sentiment completely.
Their music is the stuff of anthems, the carpe denim of rock ’n’ roll’s unapologetic legacy: live hard for today because tomorrow, who knows? That sentiment might be the embodiment of their sophomore album “Young & Dangerous” as Luke shared, “It’s kind of like the left-hook and the [“Young&Dangerous”] is the the right-hook knockout. So, not too different, just a little more powerful. A little bit more punch to it. Just the same thing again, but second hit, like I said.”
Their new album is the left-hook. And we haven’t even discussed their live show yet: the right-hook knock-out. Vocalist Luke Spiller is a born showman. His wit is sharp and his effortless command of the audience puts their show on another level. Adorned in a red jacket with tassels flowing, his vocals are as crisp and distinct as the light reflecting off his sequin sparkles. Spiller gives everything in his performances and his everything is the kind of talent and passion that comes around once in a generation.
But what I love most about this band is that it’s an ensemble act. The chemistry between the four members is a combo of gratitude that they are doing what they love, respect and appreciation of what each of them brings to the table, and a genuine feeling that they each know that what they have achieved wouldn’t have been possible without their combined passion and effort. Massive props to bassist Jed Elliott for being an engaged, fun-to-watch bassist. Not just a pretty face, he never misses a beat and lays down a solid, concrete foundation. Last, but certainly not least, drummer Gethin Davies. Respect!
Yet one of the highlights of the night came in the form of a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.” Spiller calls out, “Where is my Courteney Cox?!” And then brings a fan up on stage, reenacting the classic video.
Many times guitarist Adam Slack took center stage and tore faces off with his surgically-controlled licks. When he looked up to take it all in, his smiles reached the back of the venue. These moments reminded me of his answer to my earlier question, “When was the first time you noticed people singing along to your songs?” He’d said, “Show in London. I remember watching it back the next day and I cried. I was very hung over and I was watching a YouTube video from the night before. It was a … I think it was the Monarch. It was a place in Camden and yeah. Got me emotional. I was like, “Finally. Hard work’s paid off.”
Yes, it did, boys. Yes, indeed.
The Struts, originally from Derby, Derbyshire, England, are gearing up to headline in the States again. Having already done a headline run in the fall of 2018, they plan on ripping up the United States with another run this spring. Young & Dangerous Tour 2019 will kick off June 28th at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood. The tour dates are listed below, if you miss this, you are seriously fucking up.
Young & Dangerous 2019 Tour