The Struts arrive in Newcastle as part of their first full UK tour in almost five years.

Whilst most British bands struggle to crack the US market, The Struts are not most bands. The Derby originating quartet has spent much of the last few years on the other side of the pond. During this time the group has toured America relentlessly whilst gaining a significant following abroad. A string of hit radio singles Stateside as well as tours with the likes of The Foo Fighters have well and truly put The Struts on the map. In fact, Dave Grohl himself regards the band as the best support band they’ve ever had.

Eventually, the UK is finally catching up, with most dates on the band’s current run are completely sold out. This evening a packed out crowd awaits them at Newcastle University, as the band gives the Tyneside faithful a taste of what they are all about.

A string of glam rock classics plays out over the house PA, as glitter adorned fans line the security fence in front of the stage. Such is the popularity of the group that many in attendance this evening have travelled from as far afield as the USA and mainland Europe, with numerous fans attending multiple dates on this run.

The crowd this evening is made up of rock fans young and old. The Struts are certainly introducing and winning over a whole new generation of music fans with their distinctive brand of glam tinted rock.

As The Struts explode onto the stage like a vortex of energy, it takes no time at all for frontman Luke Spiller to jump down into the pit as he serenades the fans at the front of the room during a high octane airing of “Primadonna Like Me”. This is followed in quick succession by the band’s recent Kesha collaboration “Body Talks” and smash hit “Kiss This”.

With such a high concentration of big hitters in the opening three numbers, it’s fair to say that The Struts come out with all guns blazing and make their mark at the top of the set. With only a short gap between the stage and the fans at the front, the band immediately connects with the Geordie faithful.

Despite a new album under their belt in the shape of Young & Dangerous only a small smattering of tracks feature from the record this evening. With its infectious hooks “In Love With A Camera” certainly hits the spot at the top of the set.

Frontman Luke Spiller is the epitome of a rock and roll frontman. He is charismatic, energetic, entertaining and completely captivates the audience from the off. The fans hang on his every word, and they obey his every command. Spiller jokes about the fact that the band don’t have such a big production on this tour, largely because they blew their budget on his outfit, much to the crowd’s amusement.

Highlights from the set include the band’s beautiful rendition of the ballad “One Night Only” which features Spiller on the piano along with their take on Bruce Springsteen’s timeless classic “Dancing In The Dark”. During the latter of which Spiller invites the crowd to dance with one another or “Boogie Woogie Woogie” as he more aptly puts it as The Struts turn Newcastle University’s Student Union into a hot and sweaty night club. The band even invite one lucky fan named Olivia up onto the stage to dance and sing along during their own ‘Courtney Cox’ moment within the song.

The bulk of tonight’s show is taken from The Struts debut record Everybody Wants, with the likes of the glam rock monster of a track that is “Dirty Sexy Money”, fan favourite “Put Your Money On Me”, and the groove-heavy “Where Did She Go” all featuring.

A two-song encore featuring the North East’s own Courtney Hadwin from American Idol closes out the show as collectively they belt through a spellbinding rendition of “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin and the anthemic “Could Have Been Me”.

When it comes to The Struts the UK may have been slower on the uptake than their US cousins but we have a feeling this is about to change. It may have taken a long time for The Struts to arrive in the North East of England but on the strength of tonight’s performance, it was certainly worth the wait.

The Struts
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Event Date: 18-Feb-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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