If there’s one thing that treading the boards in the states does for a British band, it’s to teach them how to give an audience their moneys worth, and a night to remember… and also a night to not have a lot of walking the next day.
The Americans like a band that can entertain, and Struts vocalist Luke Spiller seems able to control the crowd like a man magnet, each to the next moving in time with his beat almost completely at will. That unmistakable waft of classic rock and roll sweeping across the venue, giving nostalgia to the elder states-folk present and a new sense of old school rock rebellion to the younger sorts.
Standing within the crowd, you looked around to see a lot of denim and leather jackets, not your standard everyday Manchester gig attire you think.. but at the same time giving the place a unique feel, quite unlike any typical UK pop or indie show, but the Struts are anything but typical.
It made it all the more intriguing, and along with Spillers wardrobe choices being all things bright and beautiful, you knew you were in for ‘something else’ as the Americans would say. You want energy? you got it.. dance? sure thing. Good times? you came to the right place. The frontman had mentioned that you can hear the crowd accents when they sing, this was especially prominent in Manchester with dulcet northern tones chanting ‘eyy ohh’ over and over. You could feel the newly found rising sense of British pride in rock and roll, allowing you to scream out about heartache or jump for as long as you could with joy and determination.. a much needed antidote to the never ending misery of a very British Brexit.
For the finale, and just when you thought they had nothing left, Spiller commanded the audience to squat to the ground, which surprisingly apart from a few common jokesters among the crowd, everyone did willingly. As suspense dusted overhead and tired legs began to shake, the heartbeat replicating drums had crouchers bobbing up and down in waves, building a spectacle of ever increasing energy levels.. ‘You know what to do’ Spiller screamed as adrenaline fuelled limbs gave it their last, wringing every morsel of unbridled joy and escapism out of their final few minutes.
As the band left the stage the buzz could be felt throughout the souls of every person present, whether you knew them or not, you were in that moment all united by music and a feeling of something that at times had previously been lost, something special that it felt really good to find again. A moment to ponder before the inevitable swell of strong northern british accents screaming ‘more! More!’ as if deciding what toppings to order on a domino’s pizza on a Saturday evening.