Words + Photos: Brittany Long
Earlier this year, after the cancellation of the Greta Van Fleet Aussie shows and thus the cancellation of their supporting slot, The Struts treated fans to several pop up shows in some of the most intimate setups audiences have ever seen! Now, just six months down the track The Struts are back Down Under. But this time they’re headlining their own tour, which sees multiple dates across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The 22nd of August saw Britain’s hottest UK glam rockers The Struts kick off their Australian tour in style, at Melbourne’s The Corner Hotel. This was actually the second show date, as tickets to the first were quickly sold out and snapped up by eager fans desperate for round two. Night one of two saw them play to a packed audience, and, despite being a Thursday night the crowd was filled with die-hard Struts fans keen for a rocking good time, and boy did The Struts deliver.
Solo acoustic artist J3 kicked off the night. In an interesting move, John Allen is actually The Struts front of house man but proved he is multi-talented, and had his own time in the spotlight as a supporting act. Warming up the crowd with acoustic guitar cover’s of some of the most classic songs through the years, he had the crowd singing along to every word. Delighting with everything from the iconic Benny and the Jets to Panic! At The Disco’s Karma Police, Smile Like You Mean It by The Killers and more! But it was the cover of Oasis‘ Wonderwall, probably the most iconic song ever written, that proved to be the hit of the set!
J3 concluded his set with the parting words “I’m gonna leave you guys with this one and then we’re going to rock out to the f**king Struts” departing after a killer rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain.
Blaring sirens signalled it was finally time for the moment everyone had been waiting for. As The Struts took to the stage one by one, the roar of the crowd was deafening. Kicking off with hits off their 2018 Young & Dangerous album; Primadonna Like Me and Body Talks they had the crowd rocking out and hanging off their every word from the moment they hit the stage. “DO YOU WANNA, DO DO YOU WANNA FEEL PRIMADONNA WITH ME TONIGHT!”
This set the preface for the night, which was filled with nonstop high-energy thrills. The Struts brought the glam and the rock with them on their tour Down Under, donning their signature, unique clothing that was truly something spectacular. A true delight to the senses.
Kiss This off 2015 album Everybody Wants followed, before fans were treated to a killer performance of crowd favourite In Love With A Camera. A performance that had fans going wild, clapping and singing along.
The jam packed 15-song set list was largely made up by hits off The Struts most recent 2018 album Young & Dangerous, with several songs off their first album Everybody Wants included throughout. The Struts possess soaring vocal ranges, catchy beats and a stage presence that can be described as nothing short of electric!
Cracker single Fire off the band’s newest album Young & Dangerous was a hit with the crowd. While 2017 single One Night Only proved to be a dynamic explosion of electric passion and endless energy. Luke Spiller began on the piano and asked if ‘everyone was ready to sing?’. Before enacting a call and response ‘I said yeah yeah yeah’. With the crowd singing “I’ll give you one night only” and clapping in time, building the energy until the song reached the chorus and then absolutely went off!
Frontman Luke Spiller is as flamboyant as they get and proved to be well- loved by the crowd. He is absolutely electric on stage and truly gives every show his all. He does not stop shimmying and shaking the whole night! Testament to this is the fact he was soaked from head to toe, with sweat literally pouring off him, after just three songs. Spiller dazzled in multiple outfits across the night, wowing and entertaining the crowd at every turn. He resembles a young Freddie Mercury and possesses the same star quality, calibre of talent and unique unbridled sense of fashion. Not to mention his dynamic vocal range.
Spiller engages the audience at every possible opportunity. Whether that be making direct purposeful eye contact with a fan and making them feel like they’re the only person in the packed room or his witty banter and insight behind the meaning of certain songs.
Guitarist Adam Slack is an absolute ‘Guitar God’ and his guitar solo showcased exactly that. With sharp riffs that made hearts sing he revealed his pure talent and blew the audience away.
Bassist Jed Elliot however melted hearts with Spiller revealing that Jed was ‘newly single ladies’ which saw all the ladies in the crowd vying for his love.
Despite only being able to see glimpses of the top of his head, drummer Gethin Davies was an absolute machine behind the sticks. Between the four of them, every member of The Struts ensured the night’s performance was unforgettable.
The band powered through hit after hit barely giving the audience time to breathe. From Tatler Magazine and I Do It So Well. To the special surprise inclusion of 2016 track The Ol’ Switcheroo from the band’s first ever album Everybody Wants, which was a welcome addition to what was already a powerhouse set.
2015 track Put Your Money On Me also off the album Everybody Wants, saw Luke engaging in yet another call and response with his crowd. “I bet your body’s so sweet” with fans screaming back the response of ‘OH YEAH!’ This level of engagement was a common theme throughout the night with Spiller even taking to the barrier to shake the hands of fans at multiple times throughout the night.
Tatler Magazine once again saw Spiller return to the piano. Right from the opening chords this track reminded me of one of Queen’s greatest hits. Beginning with Spiller solo and subdued on the piano it then built into a crazy high energy chorus with a major crescendo featuring the whole band “I wanna be in a Tatler magazine”.
Getting intimate and serious with the crowd Spiller revealed the powerful origins behind I Do It So Well. Recounting a discussion with a record label manager from the early days, he shared how he had been advised that his fondness for “wearing makeup and clothes that make him look like a transvestite, nobody will buy into that darling” and that the “way he dressed would hurt his career”. Well from the show’s proceedings you can bet that Spiller’s signature style has in fact gained him plenty of fans worldwide and he should be commended. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and be proud of who you are and Luke Spiller is a role model for all those people out there trying to discover who they are, and learning to be proud of it. Glitter, leather and all.
Spiller had the crowd obeying his every word all night “If you’re not dancing and singing then you should get the f**k out of my show”, so dance and sing their hearts out they did. The moshpit was a sweaty mess of bodies dancing in unison and it was bloody beautiful.
A cover of David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s iconic Dancing In The Street, which is also The Struts newest music video was a major highlight! With Spiller announcing “If you ain’t sweating you ain’t doing it right”. “I want to turn this sweaty sweaty music venue into a nightclub, turn to the person you came here with and then the person next to you and say “let’s boogie boogie boogie!” Spiller asked the audience who ‘had seen them before and who hadn’t’. Telling the ones who had to “welcome their new Struts brothers and sisters, the first-timers to the family”and to ‘show ’em how it’s done’! The sense of family and unity in the room was something else altogether. Everyone present became part of one big Struts family, and I’d be lying if it wasn’t the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever witnessed.
Where Did She Go saw every single person in the room obey Luke’s order to “get as low as you can f**king go!” with every single person in the venue crouched down on the floor and then jumping up on cue. It was a spectacular sight with the song proving to be the perfect passion fuelled finale, met with arm waving in unison. The crowd were left begging for more, chanting ‘one more song’ and ‘encore’.
Well deliver an encore they did with Spiller in yet another unique outfit. If you thought there wouldn’t be anything left in the tank you’d be highly mistaken. The three song encore which took the energy down a notch included a ballad with Somebody New. While Could Have Been Me was among the highest most energetic song of the night! Truly the best finish to what was an unforgettable night! With everyone singing every word and the crowd leading!
The Struts are addictive and leave everyone wanting more! Even the security guards were caught having a good old boogie, highlighting that no-one is exempt from the pure magic of good old rock music that embodies The Struts.
The Struts definitely gained themselves several new fans and upon their promised return to Melbourne, because everyone in that room will definitely “Remember the name we call The Struts” you can bet they’ll be playing one of Melbourne’s larger venues like the iconic Forum Theatre. With a rock show like this it won’t be long before we see them headlining Australian stadiums and arenas too! I for one can not f**king wait!
As a final special touch Luke rubbed his sweat soaked towel across his crotch and flung it into the audience, sending his female fans wild!
The Struts are British glam rock at its finest, and Australian fans in Sydney and Brisbane better get ready because The Struts are in town and they’re READY TO ROCK! See the full gallery of photos from the show here.
Primadonna Like Me
In Love With A Camera
One Night Only
Dirty Sexy Money
Tatler Magazine/Medley- Ol’ Switcheroo
I Do It So Well
Dancing In The Street
Put Your Money On Me
Where Did She Go?
Could’ve Been Me
Tickets to the final shows can be found here .