Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
August 22nd 2019
Mick Jagger’s moves. Phil Lynott’s stage charisma. David Bowie’s glitter. Justin Hawkins’ wardrobe. Michael Hutchence’s sex appeal and Freddie Mercury’s range (and, eerily, appearance). No, this isn’t some sort of ‘Build a Pro’ or ‘Create a Player’ game mode; this is Luke Spiller, The Struts frontman and glam-rock god you’ll soon become obsessed with.
Don’t believe me? Before even releasing their first album, Spiller and his gang were handpicked to open for The Rolling Stones, support Mötley Crüe on their last-ever performances and won the backing of rock royalty Dave Ghrol – who later revealed: “they’re the best opening band we’ve ever had”. How’s that for a character reference! Currently touring Australia on the back of their triumphant Young & Dangerous world tour, glam-rock hellions The Struts have returned to Melbourne to deliver their brazen sledgehammer ebullience to both new and returning fans.
Opening the night, J3’s collection of acoustic renditions are a cascade of feelings and nostalgia. Quirky and occasionally humorous, the intimate covers of classic-hits are an all-you-can-eat buffet and the Corner Hotel loved every bite.
After a brief intermission, the headlining foursome swaggered on to the stage, readied with a set of material from their relatively fresh career.
Puff-chested pop-rock classic ‘Primadona Like Me’ opened the evening, before leading into bluesy clap-along ‘Body Talks’ – perhaps the bands most radio-friendly single. Enthusiastically blending banter with bombast in equal measure, it should come as no surprise that the theatrically attired loons have garnered a reputation not only for their anthemic tunes, but their impressive live shows and bedazzled nostalgia. Delivering delirious singalongs, contagious rock hooks, and the sleaziest grooves possible, fan favourites ‘Dirty, Sexy, Money’, ‘In Love With A Camera’ and a new soulful take on the 60s classic ‘Dancing in the Street’ are all played at their shit-ton of fun best, while ‘I Do It So Well’ is as scrumptious as it is unavoidable and ironic. What was most magnificent, was the defiant flouncing, preening arrogance and snarling haughtiness which soared from ‘Fire (Part 1)’, ‘Kiss This, ‘Where Did She Go’ and crowd favourite ‘Could Have Been Me’ – some of which no other band is anywhere near recreating.
Hailed as glamtastic genre definers and rock’s newest flag-bearers, The Struts are an incredibly rare find within this recent rock resurgence. An unhinged and unparalleled tour de force, it’s no wonder they’re selling out shows everywhere they go – they are dirty, sexy, fun.
Until someone invents time travel, there’s simply no better way to inhale the deliciously dirty air of the 80s.
Gig Review by Jimmy Russell @jamco17
The Struts – Australian East Coast Tour
August 27th @ The Triffid, Brisbane